Using Information Books to Teach Reading

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Using Information
Books to Teach
Reading
D. Ray Reutzel, Ph.D.
Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair
Professor of Early Literacy
Utah State University
Logan, UT 84321
Website: www.cehs.usu.edu/ecc
Text Structure and Genre:
What’s the Difference?
Text Structure
 Narrative Text Structure
 Story Structure
 Expository Text Structure
 Description/List
 Compare Contrast
 Time Order, Procedural
 Cause and Effect
 Question/Answer
Genre
 Fantasy - Fairy Tales, Folktales,
Tall Tales, Fables, Myths, Epics,
Legends, Ballads, Science Fiction
 Realism - Historical Fiction,
Series Books, Mysteries
 Biographical – Autobiography,
biography, journal, diary, logs
 Reference – Encyclopedia,
manuals, scripts, dictionary,
almanacs, guides, atlas
 Information – textbooks, trade
books, scripts, recipes, directions
Nonfiction and Information Books:
What’s the Difference?
Nonfiction
 Nonfiction includes any
text that contains factual
information!!
Information Books
 Information books are a very specific
type of nonfiction text. Information
books:
 Convey factual information about
the physical world and human
societies.
 Present information focused on a
clear topic or class of things and has
a “timeless” quality – butterflies,
clouds, reptiles.
 Present information using a variety
of physical features and formats, e.g.
CD, internet links, photos, diagrams,
inserts, footnotes, etc.
 Convey facts using a variety of text
organizations, e.g.,
compare/contrast, question-answer,
description, list, etc.
Why different genres?
 Genre researchers hypothesize that various genres
were developed to fill very specific purposes in the
real world, i.e. folk tales, fairy tales, almanacs,
advertisements, newspapers, TV guides, business
letters, memos, reports, lab notes, etc.
 Researchers have shown that texts have a multitude of
different features, formats, word choices, that affect
students’ reading ability.
 Even young children are sensitive to the differences
among genres but may not be familiar with how to
navigate different text genres effectively or efficiently
chiefly because the receive far less exposure at home
and school to some genres than others.
Why teach with
information books?
 In a set of studies about teaching reading with
information texts in first grades, Nell Duke (2000)
described experiences offered to children in 20 firstgrade classrooms selected from very low and very high
socio-economic-status school districts. She found a
scarcity of informational texts in these classrooms
(particularly the low socio-economic status schools).
There were relatively few informational texts included
in classroom libraries and on classroom walls and
other surfaces. The most startling finding was children
in low socioeconomic classrooms had access to and
read in information trade books about –
3.6 minutes per day on average.
Duke, N. K. (2000). For the rich it’s richer: print experiences and environments offered to children in very low- and very high-socioeconomic
status first-grade classrooms. American Educational Research Journal, 37, 441-478.
Duke, N. K. (2000). 3.6 minutes per day: The scarcity of informational texts in first grade. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(2), 202-224.
Why teach with
Information Books?
• 86% of the texts read by adults are information texts
• 50–85% of test items used to test reading
comprehension of children are informational.
• The acquisition of comprehension strategies is thought
to be “genre specific.” In other words, comprehension
strategies are learned within the confines of a particular
genre or text type. Thus young children require specific
instruction with informational texts to assure transfer and
generalization of comprehension skills and
strategies.
Calkins, L. M., Montgomery, K., Santman, D., & Falk, B. (1998). A teacher’s guide to standardized reading tests: Knowledge
is power. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Duke, N. K. (2000). 3.6 min per day: The scarcity of informational texts in first grade. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(2),
202–224.
Duke, N. K., Bennett-Armistead, S., & Roberts, E. M. (2002). Incorporating informational text in the primary grades. In C.
M. Roller (Ed.), Comprehensive reading instruction across the grade levels: A collection of papers from the 2001 Reading
Research Conference, 41–54.. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
So why aren’t teachers using
information books?: Myths
1.
2.
3.
Young children cannot handle informational text.
Children learn content as well as language from
information texts!
Young children do not like informational text or at least
prefer other forms of text. Studies show young children
prefer informational texts!
Young children should first learn to read and then
(around fourth grade) read to learn. This is a false
dichotomy as we explain in the next slide!
Duke, N. K. (2000). 3.6 minutes per day: The scarcity of informational texts in first grade. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(2), 202-224.
Myth 1: Too Difficult
Research by Kamil & Lane (1997, a, b) showed that firstgrade students who were taught to read with
information texts made “normal or above-average
progress” and that “it is not only possible but desirable
to teach students at the first-grade level about
information text genres, features, and uses.
Kamil, M. L., & Lane, D. (1997). A classroom study of the efficacy of using information text for first-grade reading instruction. Paper presented at AERA, Chicago, IL.
Kamil, M.L. & Lane, D. (1997). Using information text for first-grade reading instruction: Theory and practice.
Myth 2 : Kids Don’t Prefer
 K. Mohr (2002) researched the book preferences of 190
first-grade children in north Texas. They were given seven
picture books to choose from: narrative, information,
poetry, Spanish, Hispanic Characters, English, & English
Characters. Over 84% of ALL children chose one book to
keep (which they indeed received to keep). It was an
information book in English – Animals Nobody Loves.
Mohr commented, young children seem to see books as
“windows to their world rather than as mirrors of
themselves.”
Mohr, K. A. J. (2003). “I want this book!: First-graders rationales for
preferring expository texts.”
Reading Psychology: An International Quarterly, 24(2), 163-176.
Myth 3: Read to Learn Later On
Today in the U.S., economic differences between
the haves and have-nots are greater than at any
other time in history since 1929…Teachers must
ensure that children develop factual knowledge
that has coherence and depth. All of our children,
rich and poor and in between, deserve no less” (pp.
470-70).
Neuman, S. B. (2001). The role of knowledge in early literacy. Reading Research Quarterly 36 (4), 468-475.
Balance the Genres and Structures
in your Classroom!
 Distribute your use of genre and structures 33%
narrative, 33% expository, and 33% other.
 Use of more information books helps students by:
 Growing vocabulary
 Expanding background knowledge
 Appealing to students’ interests
 Increasing students’ motivation and engagement
Criteria for selecting
information texts
Authority of the Author
Accuracy of information
Accessibility
Attractiveness/Appeal
Addresses Diversity
Appropriateness
Student Interest
Text Format or Presentation
Recommendations
Print Rich Classrooms and
Information Texts
 Classroom Display Areas and Surfaces
 Daily Activities
 Genre Diversity



Magazines
Newspapers
Charts/Posters
 Technology Access
 Classroom Library
Your Classroom Library:
Organizing Information Texts
Science
Volcano
Plants
Magnets
Human
Body
Social Studies
Rocks
Clouds
China
Other Content Areas
Benedict
Arnold
Revolution!
Maps
Cultures
Presidents
Mozart
Art
Plays
Health
Sport
Math
Computers
Photos
Information Text Read Aloud
Information Text Read Aloud
 Activate children’s knowledge or experiences with
the Topic/Content
Campbell, R. (2001). Read-Alouds with Young Children. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Information Text Read Aloud
 Create a Listening Framework (Picture the
Organization with a Picture Walk of the Book)
Campbell, R. (2001). Read-Alouds with Young Children. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Information Text Read Aloud
 Providing a Listening Purpose
 I Remember Strategy
 What is this book about?
 What are some important facts I learned about?
 Some examples of this are….
Campbell, R. (2001). Read-Alouds with Young Children. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Information Text Read Aloud
 Talking and Looking (Images and Captions)
Campbell, R. (2001). Read-Alouds with Young Children. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Information Text Read Aloud
 Showing What We Know
 Student Dictated and Teacher Recorded Knowledge Webs
 Word Wall Vocabulary Words
 Group Summaries
Campbell, R. (2001). Read-Alouds with Young Children. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Shared Reading of
Information Text
The Directed Listening Thinking Activity (Stauffer, 1975)
Step 1: Introducing the Book and Predicting
 Activate children’s knowledge or experiences with the
Topic/Content



What do you think this book may be about?
What do you know about_______?
Take a picture walk and ask – What do the pictures tell you
about?
Buss, K., & Karnowski, L. (2002). Reading and Writing Nonfiction Genres. Newark, DE: International Reading
Association.
Hoyt, L. (2002). Make it real: Strategies for success with informational texts.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational Books.
Stauffer, R. (1975). Directing the reading-thinking process. New York: HarperCollins.
Shared Reading of
Information Text
The Directed Reading Thinking Activity (Stauffer,
1975) Continued
Step 1: Introducing the Book and Predicting
 Predicting Content Elements





Display a web with the topic in the center
Place pictures or text from the book in random order next
to the web.
Help students read or look at a picture one at a time.
Talk about where this particular text or picture would
likely fit into the web.
Place pictures or text around the web to record
predictions.
Shared Reading of
Information Text
Shared Reading of
Information Text
The Directed Listening Thinking Activity (Stauffer,
1975) Continued
Step 2: Reading, Thinking, and Talking
 Read the book in segments
 Stop to check web predictions
 Stop to talk about what you are learning
Shared Reading of
Information Text
Shared Reading of
Information Text
The Directed Listening Thinking Activity (Stauffer,
1975) Continued
Step 3: Supporting with Evidence
 Confirming predictions with the text web
 Summarizing our learning
 Extending our learning
Shared Reading of
Information Text
Shared Reading of
Information Text
Extending Our Learning – “T” Comparison
Charts
Legs
Body Parts
8
6
2
3
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction
Step 1: Teacher Reads the Book Aloud while Students
Follow Along in Their Own Copy
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction
Step 2: Teacher points out interesting and important
features of the book to assist comprehension.
No table of contents
Captioned photographs
Bolded terms
Descriptive text structure
No headings or subheadings
Volcano status
Volcano size and shape
Effects of Volcanic eruptions
How volcanoes grow
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction
Step 3: Over the next several days students reread the
book orally in different ways:
Echo
Unison
Antiphonal
Mumble
With a partner
With a fluency phone
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Fluency Oriented Reading Instruction
Step 4: Final day culminates with a variety of extension
activities.
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
 Vocabulary
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Vocabulary
Is there a set of vocabulary words elementary
students should learn?
 Children learn about 1000 (conservative) to 3000
(liberal) words per year (Stahl & Nagy, 2006). Most
scholars agree with an estimate of 2000 – 3000 words
learned per year.
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Vocabulary
Is there a set of vocabulary words elementary students
should have?
 Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (2002) do not believe in
teaching Tier I words (high frequency). This
recommendation clearly assumes these words are already
known or will be learned incidentally through
conversation and social interactions.
Guided Reading of
Information Texts






Vocabulary
What does it take to teach a word well?
Vocabulary should be taught both explicitly and incidentally.
Repetition and multiple exposure are important for learning new
vocabulary.
Learning how to construct vocabulary from rich (directive)
contexts is valuable.
Vocabulary learning tasks should be restructured when necessary.
Vocabulary tasks should entail active engagement.
Explicit vocabulary instruction should address the use of
definitions, context, and concept learning.
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
 Tier One Words- Consists of basic words and rarely require
instructional attention in school and highly frequent in life:
clock, baby, ball, happy, walk, run, etc.
 Tier Two Words - High frequency use for mature language
users and found across a variety of knowledge domains:
coincidence, absurd, industrious, fortunate, etc.
 Tier Three Words - Low frequency use and limited to
specific knowledge domains: isotope, lathe, peninsula,
refinery, etc. Best learned when teaching specific content
lessons such as geography, science, etc.
Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. NY: Guilford Press.
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Vocabulary
What words should I teach?
 First, examine the type of text the children will be
reading. Is it narrative or informational? Teach Tier II
words if the children will be reading narrative, literary
texts. Teach Tier III words if children will be reading
informational, expository texts (point of contact).
 Next, examine the text to develop a list of 10 Tier II or Tier
III words to be taught during the week, 2 per day.
Can You Find a Tier II Word?
Can You Find a Tier III Word?
Guided Reading of
Information Texts
Vocabulary
What words should I teach?
 Read the text to determine the nature of the context in which
each of the selected Tier II or Tier III words appear.
 Directive Context
 Gives clues, hints, synonyms to determine an approximate word meaning
in the context.
 Non-Directive Context
 Mentions the word without giving any clues to determine word meaning.
 Mis-Directive Context
 Gives clues that lead readers to false word meaning construction.
Teaching Vocabulary
Vocabulary
What words should I teach?
 If a word appears in a directive context, then teach
children how to use context to determine an approximate
word meaning.
 If a word appears in a non-directive or mis-directive
context, then write a defining context.
Active Context Word Learning
Albasa
Albasa will usually be found at grocery stores and
resturants.
People like to eat albasa on their hamburgers,
although albasa are tasty with a variety of dishes.
Since albasa are a vegetable, they are also nutritious.
One disadvantage of albasa is the strong odor
which has been known to produce crying symptoms
among those who slice them.
Gipe, J.P. (1980). Use of a relevant context helps kids learn new word meanings. The Reading Teacher, 33,(5),
398-402.
Context Vocabulary Teaching
Albasa*
Albasa will usually be found at grocery stores and
resturants.
People like to eat albasa on their hamburgers,
although albasa are tasty with a variety of dishes.
Since albasa are a vegetable, they are also nutritious.
One disadvantage of albasa is the strong odor
which has been known to produce crying symptoms
among those who slice them.
Gipe, J.P. (1980). Use of a relevant context helps kids learn new word meanings. The Reading Teacher, 33,(5),
398-402.
*Hausa word meaning – onion. Hausa is a Chadic language spoken by 15 million people mostly in the country
of Niger on the African continent.
Explicit Vocabulary Teaching
Definitions
Use Word in Context
Dictionary Look Up
Student Friendly
Find and Read it in the Book/Story
Vocabulary Word
Context Clue from Reading
Write the Word in a Sentence
Examples
Category/Class/
Part of Speech
Conceptual Understanding
Characteristics
Guided Reading for Comprehension:
Physical Features of Information Texts
 Text Features
 Title
 Table of Contents, Glossary, Index
 Photos
 Drawings, Lists, Diagrams, Captions, Charts, Maps,
Graphs
 Headings and Subheadings
 Bolded or italic print, bullets,
 Text Chunks
 Chapters
 Sections
 Paragraphs
Guided Reading for Comprehension:
Physical Features of Information Texts
Guided Reading for Comprehension:
Text Structure
Procedural
— Directions, Recipes, Instructions, etc.
Compare-Contrast
— Similarities and Differences
Cause – Effect
— Author explains how one event influences another
event in the text.
Problem-Solution/Question-Answer
— Author states a problem or poses a questions
followed by a solution or an answer in the text.
Description
— Author describes an object or event.
Collection
— Author groups together a series of descriptions
related to the same topic or concept.
What type of text organization
is this?
What type of text organization
is this?
Analyzing Information Texts for
Teaching Points
Pre-read the text to determine:




the physical features
the text structure(s) used by the author(s)
the unfamiliar concepts and terms to build background for
information books
the opportunities to teach comprehension strategies
 Answering questions
 Graphic organizers/text structure
 Monitoring
 Summarize
What is Transactional Strategy
Instruction?
The teaching of a “family” or “set” of comprehension
strategies embedded in a collaborative, interactive
and engaging routine.
Transactional Strategy
Instruction Model
TSI Components
 A “family” of comprehension strategies
 Activating/building background knowledge
 Text structure
 Prediction
 Questioning
 Monitoring
 Fix-up strategies
 Summarizing
Activating Background Knowledge
Text Structure
Predicting
Monitoring
Fix-Up Strategies
Summarizing
TSI Components
 Explicit teaching of each and all strategies
 Explain & display strategy uses & processes
 Model strategy uses & processes using teacher “think
aloud”
 Scaffold assistance – gradual release of responsibility
 Application in reading and writing
TSI Components
 Gradual release of responsibility over time
 All teacher
 Shared teacher/student
 All student
TSI Components
 Extensive interaction
 Teacher/student/strategy charts/graphic
organizers/text
 Student/student/strategy charts/graphic
organizers/text
 Cooperative learning
 Turn to your partner
 Inside/outside circle
 Triads, etc.
Guided Reading of Information
Texts
 Independent Reading – Scaffolded Silent Reading
(ScSR)
What is Scaffolded Silent
Reading (ScSR)?
 Scaffolded Silent Reading (ScSR) is
silent reading practice that redesigns
practice conditions to deal affirmatively
with past concerns and criticisms
surrounding traditionally implemented
Silent Sustained Reading (SSR).
What is Scaffolded Silent Reading (ScSR)?
 ScSR is intended to provide students
with necessary support, guidance,
structure, appropriate text difficulty,
accountability, and monitoring that
will assist them in transferring their
oral reading skills to successful and
effective silent reading practice.
How do you implement ScSR?
1.
Arrange the classroom library to support and guide
children’s book reading choices toward
appropriately challenging books. Place reading
materials of differing reading levels into clearly
labeled shelves or plastic bins representing differing
levels of reading difficulty.
How do you implement ScSR?
2.
Color code the difficulty levels of books within the
classroom library using different colors of cloth tape
on the book binding or using stickers in the upper
right hand corners of the covers.
How do you implement ScSR?
How do you implement ScSR?
3.
Since children receive less frequent feedback and
support in ScSR than in other forms of reading
practice like guided oral repeated readings with
feedback, children practice reading texts they can
process accurately and effortlessly at their
independent reading levels (Stahl & Heubach,
2006).
How do you implement ScSR?
 Teach a series of explicit book selection strategy
lessons including:
1) orient students to the classroom library,
2) give book talks to hook children on books,
3) select a “just right” or appropriately leveled book
from the classroom library,
4) select books from a variety of genres in the
classroom library,
5) confirm selections of appropriate difficulty levels
using the “three finger” rule.
How do you implement ScSR?
Example Lesson: Selecting an Appropriate
Independent Level Book from the Classroom
Library Continued
 Teach children the "three finger" rule. This rule is
described by Allington (2001) and involves children in
marking with three fingers of one hand the words they
don't recognize on a page of print. If there are three or
more unrecognized words marked by the fingers on a
page of print, the text is considered to be too difficult.
How do you implement ScSR?
Example Lesson: Selecting an Appropriate
Independent Level Book from the Classroom
Library Continued
 Teach: Show them the “three finger” strategy poster
and model reading aloud a single page from the Babe
Ruth book. Show them how many words on the page
you did not know. If you placed more three fingers on
this page, then you should choose another book either
from this level or ask the teacher for another book
level color you might select from that would be a bit
easier.
How do you implement ScSR?
Selecting an Appropriate Independent Level Book
from the Classroom Library Continued
 Application: Continue modeling with the help of one to
two children role playing the selection of an appropriately
leveled book with decreasing amounts of guidance from
you. Tell the children you will be allowing them the
opportunity to go to the classroom library to select an
appropriately leveled reading book one at a time. This
will be their chance to show that they have listened and
understand what you have taught them before they can
actually go to the classroom library on their own in the
future.
How do you implement ScSR?
Selecting an Appropriate Independent
Level Book from the Classroom
Library Continued
 Monitoring for Success: Monitor each
child’s book selection levels and their
ability to use the “3 finger rule” for
selecting a book.
How do you implement ScSR?
 Wide Reading: Oral wide reading
from a variety of literary genres
increases motivation, fluency, and
comprehension (Stahl, 2004; Kuhn,
2005).
How do you implement ScSR?
Wide Reading Using a Genre Wheel

From D. R. Reutzel & P.C. Fawson Your Classroom Library: Ways to Give it More Teaching Power. New York: Scholastic
Professional Books.
How do you implement ScSR?
5. ScSR time begins with a short, 5-8
minute, teacher explanation and
modeling of 1) an aspect or element of
fluent reading and/or 2) how to apply a
comprehension strategy during reading
using a teacher selected text.
How do you implement ScSR?
6. Following this brief lesson, children are
dismissed from the group to select a new
book or retrieve a previously selected
book from the classroom library.
How do you implement ScSR?
7. Provide approximately 20 minutes reading
practice time each day.
8. During reading practice time, the teacher
conducts Individual Monitoring
Conferences (IMCs).
How do you implement ScSR?
Individual Monitoring Conferences (IMCs) include the
following:
 Children are asked to read aloud from their
book while the teacher records a running
record analysis of their reading.
 After reading aloud for 1-2 minutes, the
teacher initiates a discussion with each
student about the book. The child is asked
to retell what they read aloud.
How do you implement ScSR?
Individual Monitoring Conferences (IMCs)
include the following:
 Follow up with general story structure
questions if the book is a narrative. If the
book is about information, ask students to
explain the information or answer questions
about facts related to the topic of the book.
This is a brief discussion of about 2 minutes.
How do you implement ScSR?
Individual Monitoring Conferences (IMCs)
include the following:
 Finally during each IMC, ask each child to set
a goal for a date to finish the book and select
how they will share what the book is about
from a displayed menu of “book response
projects”
How do you implement ScSR?
 Tracking Form for Individual
Monitoring Conferences
(IMCs).
How do you implement ScSR?
 Tracking Form for
Individual Monitoring
Conferences (IMCs)
continued.
How do you implement ScSR?

Conducting IMCs with 4-5 students per
day ensures that children are engaged and
accountable for the time spent reading
silently (Stahl, 2004).
How do you implement ScSR?
9. At the end of the ScSR time, children
quietly return their books and reading
folders to their places around the
classroom or in the classroom library.
10. Quickly transition to the next part of the
daily routine.
Exploring Scaffolded Silent
Reading (ScSR)
Exploring Scaffolded Silent
Reading (ScSR)
Guided Reading of Information Texts
 Content Reading: Concept Oriented Reading
Instruction
What is Concept-Oriented Reading
Instruction?
 CORI is a research-supported framework for
integrating curriculum with instruction and
fostering long-term engagement in reading.
Reading Engagement
• Engaged Readers:








Are Active learners
Set goals for learning
Ask questions
Read for more information
Find answers
Gain information from others
Share information with others
Use strategies for learning
CORI Foundation
Principles of Coherent Instruction









Learning and Knowledge Goals
Real-World Interactions
Interesting Texts for Instruction
Autonomy Support
Strategy Instruction
Collaboration Support
Rewards and Praise
Evaluation for Engagement
Teacher Involvement
Intrinsic Motivational Needs
 Competence
 Autonomy
 Belonging/Relatedness
Principles of Integrating Curriculum
 Conceptual Themes
 Classroom Activities
 Connecting Reading Strategies
Phase 1:
“Observe & Personalize”





Builds curiosity & interest
Creates engagement through firsthand
experiences
Generates real-world interactions
Provides hands-on activities
Encourages questions
Phase 2:
“Search and Retrieve”


Students learn how to ask questions related to the
topic.
Students learn how to access information from a
variety of texts.
Phase 3:
“Comprehend and Integrate”



Students learn how to comprehend what they are
reading from multiple sources.
Students learn how to write and present information
in a meaningful way.
Social Collaboration - Group Projects.
Phase 4:
“Communicate to Others”


Students engage in various activities to share what they
have learned.
Examples:



Oral reports
Group presentations
Sharing projects created
Teacher Resource
Guided Reading of Information
Texts: Involving Parents
 Summer Reading
 Take Home Books
 Reading TV: Captioned TV Discovery Channel, History
Channel
 Computer Research
If you want more information please contact:
D. Ray Reutzel, Ph.D.
Emma Eccles Jones Professor
Utah State University
www.cehs.usu.edu/ecc
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