Speaker 1: I love a strategy. I made a little awesome bookmark for you guys.
I know that for myself, I'm a very visual learner, and I have a lot of students that rely on text not just hearing things, or experiencing them once. One strategy I'm experimenting with is giving my students tips for reading in the form of a bookmark.
Speaker 2: Do we get to put our name on it?
Speaker 1: This is your own personal bookmark.
In this one, we are using it to determine the most important events.
Here's what we're going to do. We're going to practice this with Summer's Section. Did everybody get to finish reading Summer's Section? Yes right? I have a couple of events. You're going to just pick random ones, and you're going to have a conversation with each other using these questions, "Would this be a major or a minor event?"
There's 3 questions on this bookmark. If this event were missing, would it be hard to understand the text?
Speaker 3: I think it's a major event.
Speaker 1: Why?
Speaker 3: I mean, if this was not really in the book, nobody would understand why people don't like [inaudible 00:01:09]. They just judge him because of how he looks.
Speaker 1: If this event were missing, would the text feel incomplete?
Speaker 4: That's complete.
Speaker 1: Why?
Speaker 4: Because someone needs to know what happens to Jack and August.
Speaker 1: If this event were missing, would it have less of an impact on me as a reader?
Speaker 5: It was mostly like a detail from her past, instead of something that had actually happened that was important right now.
Speaker 1: Okay, so it's kind of part of her back story, but it's not necessarily impacting what's happening in the text right now?
If you answer yes to these, it might be a major event.
Those major events are going to help you in terms of analyzing and making decisions about what something means. If you're getting confused between these two, and you think everything is really important, it may actually change what you know or how you understand the story.
Speaker 6: Summer explains that she first sat with August because she felt sorry for him.
Speaker 7: Well, I think that's a detail.
Speaker 1: Okay. If you had to choose that piece of character development to put as a major event or a minor event, which would you choose?
Speaker 6: A minor event.
Speaker 1: Why?
Speaker 6: Because all it is is character development. It's not major character development, but it is character development.
Speaker 1: Would the text be harder to understand or feel less complete if this was missing?
Speaker 6: It would feel less complete.
Speaker 1: Okay, so if you answer yes then you probably found a major event.
I would use this bookmark also to lay out other strategies great readers use. I think it could also be used as a reading response. I know that middle schoolers like to do things that are different, not necessarily just on a piece of loose-leaf paper. Having them do it on a bookmark form might be more engaging for some students, and less paper for me to take home.