CCSS & Reading

I am becoming such a big fan of the Common Core State Standards.  I’ve always felt like a pretty good reading teacher–especially once I began to thoroughly teach the reading strategies, which, of course, I still do.  But I have to admit that teaching the Common Core Standards has taken my teaching to a new level of accountability.

For example, before this year (my 1st year using the CCSS) I would show movies of books we read, and have casual, short discussions about the differences.  One of the CCSS has to do with comparing and contrasting various media:

RL.6.7 Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poemto listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, includingcontrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceivewhen they listen or watch.

So this year, I read The Lightning Thief to my class and then showed the movie.  While they watched the movie, my students took notes on what was different from the book.  They really enjoyed taking the notes and ended up with pages and pages of material.  Next task, write an compare and contrast essay.

W.6.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational tests to support analysis, reflection and research.  Apply Grade 6 reading standards to literature and informational texts.

I knew my class couldn’t  organize all that material without a structure except for a select few.  I gave a suggested format:

  • Introduction paragraph
  • Two things the movie left out.  Write why you think they were left out and whether you think they were good choices and why.
  • Two things the movie added.  Write why you think they were added and whether you think they were good choices and why.
  • Conclusion paragraph

They’re busily working on this as I write this post.  They have 50 minutes to complete their essay, so I don’t know the essay results, but I do know that focusing deeply on this work has caused students to think critically and ask great questions.

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