The Flow of History

Reading Strategies and Tools for Book Group

Skills modeled in book group include:

  • making sure everyone becomes involved in a discussion
  • practice paraphrasing text
  • attentive listening
  • building on one another's ideas
  • using text to support an idea
  • asking clarifying questions

Tools for Discussions:
In addition to the skills above, we will model the use of discussion tools at each session. By simply approaching material with a tool in hand reminds students to enter the text thinking and conscious of their response. The notes created with each tool thus come to discussion. They refresh memories and become the foundation for discussion possibilities. Please try these tools before book group and then later with your class.

Session 1: Double-Entry Journal or "Dialoguing with or talking to your text"
This tool uses a 3-column format to note quotations, page #s and reader response. We chose this for Race because it is a book with an argument that is expected to bring about much questioning and response.

Session 3: Text Coding (p. 101 in Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles)
This simple set of text codes is especially helpful with content-loaded texts where every single word matters. The text codes encourage marking right in the text and margins so that unfamiliar or important words are boxed and confusing passages are noted. We chose this tool for the set of articles because they are content-heavy and fact-filled.

Session 5: Sequencing a Story
In a graphic novel not only does the dialogue and the narration need to be absorbed and analyzed for meaning and plot, but so do the illustrations. In reading Satchel Paige, pay close attention to repeating images, facial expressions, body language, and the use of setting, color and light. The panes worksheet is an introduction to the way illustrations can carry the sequencing of a story.

Session 7: Biographical Timeline

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