Friday, 25 October 2013

Reading Comprehension

Dear Parents,
After thorough evaluation, I have come up with an intervention plan for your child. This intervention plan is designed to meet the Ontario Curriculum Expectations in Language Arts.
Note: This intervention plan was designed for students who are struggling with Reading Comprehension, and who have scored C- or below on their most recent reading comprehension tests. However, this plan can be followed by all students. Everyone will definitely benefit Insha'Allah. 
Reading Comprehension: We have been working on the “Short Story” unit since the beginning of September. We are still working on it. In order to aid students in reading, they must do some work at home (other than their homework). Below is an intervention plan with specific ideas, questions and strategies that will help make students’ reading comprehension skills better Insha’Allah.
1.      Students should go to the Public Library and choose a book that is appropriate for their grade level. If you are not sure whether the book your child chose is appropriate for his/her grade level, do not hesitate to ask me.
2.      Before Reading:  Students must answer the following questions before they begin to read. These questions must only be answered based on the book’s cover and the book’s title.
A.    Why do I want to read the story?
B.     How do I picture the setting?
C.     What clues do I get from the title?
D.    What do you think the story is mainly about?
3.      During Reading: Students must answer the following questions as they are reading the book
A.    What is this chapter/section about?
B.     How do I feel about the main characters?
C.     Why does the character feel/act a certain way?
D.    How does the story/text remind me of myself?
E.     How will it end?
F.      Pick about 2-3 paragraphs in every chapter and ask your child to identify the main idea of the paragraph, its topic sentence, the supporting details and its closing sentence.
These are some basic questions that students must answer as they are reading a literary text. Students must think about the text by making connections in 3 ways:
-Making Text-to-self connections: Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading material and the reader’s own experiences or life. An example of a text-to-self connection might be, "This story reminds me of a vacation we took to my grandfather’s farm.
-Making text-to-text connections: Text-to-text connections involve connecting big ideas and themes across texts. There are some important questions to keep in mind while making this connection such as:
What does this remind me of in another book I’ve read?  How is this text similar to other things I’ve read?  How is this different from other books I’ve read? Have I read about something like this before? Are there similarities / differences in  genre, author, topic, theme, message, plot, characters, text structure or vocabulary?
             -Making text-to-world connections: Text-to-world connections are extremely important since they make the texts read come alive in our world. Students need to connect real world happenings to the text by keeping in mind the following questions:
What does this remind me of in the real world? How is this text similar to things that happen in the real world?  How is this different from things that happen in the real world?  How did that part relate to the world around me? Are there similarities / differences in something I have seen on TV, Radio news, a newspaper story, historical events or current events.

4.      After Reading: When students have finished reading the text, they must answer the following questions:
-How did the story make me feel?
-What do I like/dislike about the story?
-How are the characters’ feelings and actions different? (at the end)
-What is the author trying to say?
-What is the theme?
-Summarize the book (1-2 pages double spaced)

Below is a book report format that you could use with your kids at home. Please note that this report will not be formally evaluated in school. The purpose of this report is to give students more practice. We will be doing our own in-class book reports in the next term Insha’Allah.
Classic Book Report

  Answer the following questions.

1. Who is the author of the book?

2. What is the title of the book?

3. Who are the main characters in the book?

4. Where is the setting of the story? 

5. What is the main problem?

6. How is the main problem solved?

7. Did you like/dislike the book? Why/why not?

Some creative ideas that students enjoy (these are great to test students’ knowledge of the texts read)
1.      Give the story a different ending.
2.      How will the story be different if it happened on Mars? Explain.
3.      If you were the main character of the story, how would you have handled the conflict? Explain in 1-2 paragraphs.

I hope that this helps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me.
Jazakum-Allah Kahayran for all your support!

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