Saturday, August 9, 2014

Building a Love for Reading: Prompting Book Previewing During a Check It Out Circle

Fourth grader loving the book, Nelson Mandela.

Fourth grader reading the back blurb to the book This Land is My Land.
On Friday I had the pleasure of working with fourth grade teachers and their students by conducting a Check it Out Circle, similar to Franki Sibberson & Karen Szymusiak's description in Still Learning to Read--but with a few changes.

A Check it Out Circle is way to share and preview books.  On this past Friday, the fourth graders and I along with their teachers sat in a circle.  On the floor in front of us were different books I had selected from the classroom library. Sometimes when I do this I think about genre or topic. On this day, I simply wanted students to begin to delve into their classroom library and so I selected a range of texts: picture book biographies, picture books, informational texts, historical fiction, series books, poetry books, and drama. I began by asking the students to select a book that catches their eye from the books placed on the floor.  We each selected a book and then I began to prompt how we might preview it before passing it to the person to the right of us and receiving a new book from the person to our left.

 A fourth grader thinking about the unusual title to a book and previewing it.
Some of the ways I prompted students to preview the text included:
A fourth grader reading the opening of her book to her partner.

  1. Take a minute to turn a few pages in the book you selected. Then turn and tell your partner why you selected the text. What caught your eye?
  2. Check out the front and back of the book you are holding. Read the blurbs & study the illustrations.  What did you learn about the book based on what you read and viewed?  Tell your partner.
  3. Look through the text and see if there are any photographs or illustrations that make you stop and look. If you find one, could you share it with us by holding up your book with that page open in a minute or so?
  4. Look through your books. Are there any illustrations that look like people you know?  If so, find one and be ready to show us.
  5. Notice how the author uses language in the book.  Is anything written in a way that catches your notice?  If so, share the title, line, or section with your partner. 
  6. Is there a table of contents or chapter titles in the book you are holding?  If so, read through and see if you can tell your partner what the book may be about. 
  7. Is there an index or glossary in your book?  Look through. What do the words suggest the book might be about? Tell your partner.
  8. Read the opening to the book. Practice reading it to your partner. If you have an opening that grabs you could you read us a line or two?
  9. Read the opening and closing to the book you are holding.  Do they connect in any way? If so, can you share how with your partner?
  10. Preview the book you now have and see if this is a book that can teach you about writing.  If so, show us the cover of the book in a minute or so.
  11. Browse through the book. Who has a book written in a way you don't normally see?
  12. Who has found a funny section in the book they have? Share that section with your partner.
  13. Does your book contain languages in addition to English.  Look through and if so, be ready in a minute to show us the cover of the book and if you know the other language tell us what it is.
  14. Read though the book you have and if you find a line you would like to share with us in a minute or so, practice reading it to your partner first. 
  15. Let's put all of the books back on the floor. You'll see I added some new ones as well.  Make a different choice now and select a new book to preview. Tell your partner why you selected that book.
  16. Who has a book that they think they will learn from?  What is it you think you might learn? Turn and tell your partner and share how you figured that out.
  17. Who has a book by an author they have already read?  Show us the cover in a minute.
  18. Who has seen a book they must read?  Write the titles in your notebook, on the page that says: Texts I Must Read! 

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