Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Determining Importance, Headlines, and Mental Images

One of my 7th grade reading groups is just wrapping up one of the BEST novels of all time, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.  At the beginning of the year, I made sure to start each group off with teaching each of the thinking strategies since so many students came from other schools where they hadn't been taught.
I decided for this lesson to revisit 3 of them!

The first thing I asked them to do was to determine which 6 parts of the story were the most important events to happen so far.  There were many many details that came up which we had to agree that while they were very entertaining, they were not the MOST important.  

Next step, draw their mental image of that important event in one of the slides.  One of our first noticings was that the students had different mental images from their peers.  Why are our mental images different?  They were all very quick to answer with (like little robots.  It was kind of creepy actually), because our schema is different!

The last step was for the students to write a headline at the top of each slide that really captured the event. 
It took some time for them to figure out the headline shouldn't be 2 L-O-N-G sentences explaining their image, but more of a captivating phrase.

A fun way to incorporate the thinking strategies into our book!

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