You react to what is happening to the characters with strong feelings. If someone is sad, you feel sad too. If someone is worried, you feel worried too. This happens because the characters and events in the story seem real to you.
While you read, you make reasonable guesses about what will happen next. You use text clues. You DON"T just make wild guesses!
As you read you see the pictures of what's happening in your imagination. It almost feels like you are watching a movie in your head!
If you are reading a good story, you enjoy everything including all the little details. BUT, you also can figure out what parts of the plot are IMPORTANT! One way to tell is if that plot event disappeared from the story, would it totally crash the story? If your answer is "yes," then you have found something important!
As you read you are really paying attention. And, you keep having questions pop into your mind. Why did the character say that? What did the character mean when she said that? Why do you not trust a character?
Authors don't always explain everything. For example, they won't necessarily say something like, "Bob felt betrayed by Jim, and that's why he didn't go to the party." Instead, the author provides hints and clues and you have to figure those out. So the author might write, "Forget it, snapped Bob. "I'm too busy to go to your party, Jim!" See how you can figure out that Bob is upset with Jim even though the author doesn't come right out and say it? That is called inferring!
That's a big word, right? But it actually just means that you are aware of your thoughts, your ideas, your questions, your predictions as you read. You don't just zone out and live in La La Land. You don't finish the chapter and then can't even remember what happened!
Schema refers to the big bank of memories in your brain that covers everything that has ever happened to you. When you have experienced something that a character is experiencing it helps you understand so much better.
If a character loses a good friend it feels more intense if you ever experienced that yourself.
If a character gets lost, you understand the panic so much better if you ever got lost and had that panicked feeling.
On the other hand, if you are reading about a character walking on the moon, you never did that yourself, right? So you still can imagine it, but you don't have that personal schema to draw on it understand it at a deeper level. Make sense?
Have you ever gotten so involved in a book that you forget everything around you? The story feels like reality. Sometimes someone calls you to dinner and you get a little startled as you come back to the real world!
Also, when you read, the characters seem totally real. Have you ever been reading and you burst into laughter all of a sudden? Have you ever felt your heart beating fast during a scary event? Have you ever started crying when something awful happened? That only happens because, in a strange way, it is almost like you have become that character. It's like everything in the book is happening to YOU!
We are reading the book, Island of the Blue Dolphins, together.
We will be using this book to:
Notice when we are experiencing "What Good Readers Do."
Are we feeling lonely when Karana is feeling lonely?
Are we predicting what is going to happen next?
Are we using our imagination to visualize what is happening?
We will learn to notice and write down our ideas on post-its as we read the book.
Mrs. Eller will model how to do this.
We will turn in our best post-its each week
and discuss why we think it was our best thinking.
We will practice filling out a Reading Log.
There is not a lot of writing to do so don't get overwhelmed.
The important thing is that what you write down in your Reading Log is like a trigger than helps you remember what you were thinking while you were reading. This helps you when we meet and talk about the book.