Beyond Basals: Using a Range of Texts for Guided Reading

By Kulaga, Amy | Practically Primary, October 2011 | Go to article overview

Beyond Basals: Using a Range of Texts for Guided Reading


Kulaga, Amy, Practically Primary


As a teacher entering the profession on the cusp of the National Curriculum, I wanted to know more about the ways I could prepare children for the literacies of today and tomorrow. When examining the draft of the Australian Curriculum: English, I was struck by the emphasis on quality literature, which the Board of Studies (2011) quantified as a range of literary and factual texts, everyday and community texts, and digital texts.

For my honours research, I worked with six competent readers in Year 4 to examine the use of extended texts during guided reading. These extended texts offered a plethora of learning opportunities that could not be covered sufficiently during a single guided reading episode alone. In order to facilitate the use of these texts, the guided reading episode was extended into three distinct phases (see Figure 1).

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

I began by selecting and analysing two texts using a framework by Pinnell and Fountas (2006). The students had been learning about British Colonisation and Aboriginal culture, so I decided to take their learning further using extended texts with an Indigenous focus. My priority was selecting distinctly different texts in terms of genre, language features and structure, to provide students with a broad understanding of how texts are created to achieve their intended purpose. I selected Sand Swimmers by Narelle Oliver, a multimodal picture book, and Dust Echoes, multimodal digital dreamtime stories. Pinnell and Fountas' (2006) framework allowed me a thorough analysis of the text, subsequently supporting my design of the guided reading focus. These analyses are set out in Tables 1 and 2.

The Guided Reading Cycle

Once I had selected the texts, the students and I embarked on the journey of the guided reading cycle.

During Phase 1, the students were introduced to the text. Together, we engaged in a surface examination of the text and made predictions about what we expected to find on closer inspection. With each of the texts, this phase looked different. With Sand Swimmers, the students were able to use the cover, blurb and illustrations to inform their predictions. With Dust Echoes, however, the students had less information to work with.

During Phase 2, the students took the text home to read and examine it further. As they engaged with the text, I requested they complete an independent task, such as a written review, to encourage them to reflect upon their reading. This was a crucial part of the cycle as the time constraints of Phase 1 and the complexity of the texts prevented a deeper examination. Providing time for independent engagement allowed them to explore the text more fully, which facilitated a greater level of discussion during Phase 3.

During Phase 3, the students and I reconvened to share what we had found. Using Chamber's (1993) questioning schedule, we critically examined the text to identify the signiicant textual features, make judgements about the author's intentions, and reflect on the audience and purpose. From this phase, it was anticipated that students would gain a greater understanding of how texts are created by an author to achieve their intended purpose.

Sand Swimmers:

Reading challenges for children:

The children were genuinely engaged by the features of this text. As they explored it further, they become more aware of its complexity. Although the children were familiar with picture books, this text presented a challenge in the following ways:

* The text was blurred in genre, which made it difficult to classify.

* The multiple storylines made it difficult to pinpoint the author's message.

* The technical language used challenged their understanding of illustrated picture books.

Reflections:

At first I was very intimidated by my lack of control over the learning that was taking place. Although I facilitated the session, I was unable to anticipate and prepare for the actual discussion that took place. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Beyond Basals: Using a Range of Texts for Guided Reading
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.