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  • Secondary Instructional Ideas


    Possible Concepts/Themes for Choice Reading

    Other Worlds
    Coming of Age

    Great Resources!!


    Stick Figure Characterization

    Students can visualize each character in a book and note what that character thinks, feels, says,  and loves.   The foot indicates what the character would want to eliminate in his or her life, and the achilles heel and muscle in the arm represent the strengths/weaknesses.


    The Last Word

    Kelly Gallagher’s idea of THE LAST WORD is one of the best to get students talking and thinking about their book selections!  When students are reading their CHOICE selections from a particular concept (Struggles and Perseverance, for example), they are asked to find a passage to share. They do not tell the group WHY it was selected.  The group tells the reader WHY THEY THINK it was selected.  Then the reader shares his/her thoughts.    Below is what each student is given.  The magic begins as soon as students start to share.  Immediately, the question of the day is…”James, do you have another one of the books that he/she is reading?”  Thus begins the dealing of books at a face pace!

    The Last Word…..


    The passage I am reading is from _______________________________(give title) and is on page _______________.


    Why I am selecting to read this… (circle one or more)


    • Passages you find beautiful


    • Passages you find interesting


    • Passages that exhibit great writing


    • Passages that anger you


    • Passages that trouble you


    • Passages that perplex you


    • Passages that raise your curiosity


    • Passages you find humorous


    • Passages that challenge you to think differently


    Using Concept Questions to Differentiate

    So, how is it possible for teachers to manage and “control” the class if every student is reading what he or she wants to read?  EASY.  Based on the interests and reading levels of the students, devise  THEMES or CONCEPTS for the year.  The ones I have used are “Friendships,”  “Struggles and Perseverance,”  “Heroes,” “Destiny,” and “Other Worlds.”


    Each student will select from a large quantity of books that fit well with the theme.  Do not forget to ask your media specialist and other teachers for possible titles.


    Each student can discuss his or her book in relation to the CONCEPT QUESTIONS.  Below is an example.  When students start to add their own questions to the list, they are clearly HOOKED!



     Concept Questions Regarding Relationships & Community

    • What are the essentials that build a strong friendship?
    • Do friendships change over time?  If so, in what ways?
    • What influence does family have during different stages of our lives?

    Research-Based Reading Strategies

    Strategies to MODEL and EXPLICITLY TEACH to students.