Friday, October 12, 2012

Exploring Close Reading with Wonder

I recently read a fabulous, Franki Sibberson-recommended book called What Readers Really Do (by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton).  We're thinking a lot about how real readers do things like attend to minor details to understand characters, settings, and themes; one phrase you might hear a lot in our room is, "I'm noticing that ______ really did a close reading to make that connection!"

In those conversations, we're emphasizing the importance of making within-text connections. We try to put ourselves in author RJ Palacio's shoes to think about why she might include certain details, we're working on noticing details that might be important (the more you read, the more experience you have with stories, and the better you become at figuring out what might be important!), and then we're using our KNOW/WONDER charts to develop "wonders" (text-based questions) based on those details.

Our KNOW/WONDER Charts are Growing
Our KNOW/WONDER charts are starting to have a lot of arrows between our columns.  We're starting to naturally connect ideas within the text!

Here's my messy, messy chart.  You'll notice that we're also filling up our notebook word jars (/word pumpkins/word cans/word ghosts/word aquariums/etc).  Thanks, Mrs. Caplin at Bailey for inspiring us!

Within-text Connections
Today, we had a big "aha!" moment, which is reflected in many of our readers notebooks.  We have decided that, if we're making text-based wonders and writing down text-based KNOWS, then we should see connections between our KNOW/WONDER columns.

Check out our "aha!" that started out as a new KNOW:

When Auggie's and Via's parents found out that Via hadn't told them about the play, we had wondered if she would tell them WHY she'd kept it secret.   We found out later that she had kept it secret because she didn't want her new school to know about Auggie. We figured out here that she DID end up telling Mom. KNOW!
Here's more info about our KNOW. Then we decided we needed to read back (we read forward and then sometimes read back) to figure out when Via told her mom.; we didn't know for sure, because at this point in the book, Auggie was the narrator.  We had a hunch that the quiet part, when Auggie couldn't hear what Mom and Via were discussing, must have been when Via decided to be honest with her mom.

What's Important in a Text?
With our attention to details, we've discussed and tried to sort out which details are important details now and which details might be important later.

Here's one section of the text we really wondered about:
Yesterday, we put in our WONDER columns that we wondered why the author gave this much space in the book to talking about Miranda's family.  We also WONDERED if this might explain some of Miranda's behavior changes.

We were excited to see in today's reading a new KNOW that came from this WONDER.
Our within-text connections continue!

Photos and text from RJ Palacio's Wonder, Knopf Books, 2012

1 comment:

  1. I love this--What Readers Really Do was so powerful for me. I need to go back and reread.