Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Close Reading with Leo Lionni

My principal is coming next week to do our next observation.  She doesn't tell us when she's coming exactly, but has given me a time frame during our whole group reading time.  Since we've been so focused on close reading this year, I decided that I want her to see what we've been doing in kindergarten for close reading.  All the trainings we've had really focus more on the upper grades and how to do close reading with them.  I've yet to see a real example of close reading in Kindergarten.  So, with that being said, I don't really know what I am doing.  I can only try to adapt what little I really know about close reading and approximate those strategies with Kindergarteners.
I love doing author studies.  My latest is Leo Lionni.  Love his books, and love the conversations I've had in the past with higher grades about his books.  So, we'll try some Leo Lionni close reading and see what happens.  I created this freebie for anyone who might be interested for three of Lionni's books- Frederick, Fish is Fish, and The Busy Year.  Close Reading With Leo Lionni 

For each book, it's a three day sequence- I know some people are doing five days, but I just can't stand to read the same book for 5 days!  I think that's overkill a bit. The first day usually focuses on reading the book for enjoyment and basic understanding of the plot.  We also focus on vocabulary that first day.  I created this sheet to record two words from the story.
The second day is usually focused on text-dependent questions.  What do we know? These are the literal questions with an answer that's right there- the thin questions.  What do we think we know? These are inference/generalization questions-the thick questions that have answers partly there but you have to dig a little deeper to prove why you think that. Here are some samples of those types of questions for Frederick.

The third day either is either specifically inference questions, like with Frederick, or something specific to the book.  For example, in The Busy Year, day three is all about sequencing.  In Fish is Fish, day three focuses on specific adverbs the author uses to describe how the characters speak- mysteriously, triumphantly, excitedly.  Of course, this is done without really telling the students that these words are adverbs...  Students practice intonation and make connections to their lives- when would they speak triumphantly or excitedly etc...
There are opportunities for writing about the text, but it's not really necessary- I think the conversations themselves are almost enough for them.
I will let you all know how it goes, and if you download the freebie and try it, let me know if it was successful.

1 comment:

  1. This is amazing! I LOVE Leo Lionni and have been wanting to start doing some close reading lessons with my kinders! Your lessons are simple and straightforward but set the stage beautifully for a deeper exploration of Lionni's writing. Thank you so much for your hard work!