Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Thinking Classroom

By Alan Crawford; Wendy Saul et al. | Go to book overview

FIRST CORE LESSON: LEARNING
INFORMATION FROM TEXT
This lesson shows you ways to help students learn from reading an informational text. The lesson follows the three-part format of anticipation, building knowledge, and consolidation that was presented in the first section this guidebook. The lesson will use the Structured Overview (Ausubel 1968), the Know/Want to Know/Learn (K-W-L) procedure (Ogle 1986), Paired Reading/ Paired Summarizing (Vaughn 1986), and the Value Line (Kagan 1997).The text for this lesson is called “Elephants and Farmers,” but the procedures in the lesson are meant to be used with any informational text that you have. This lesson is done here with sixth graders, but the procedures can be used with grades below that or up through the secondary level.
HOW TO READ THIS LESSON
As you read the following demonstration lesson, please bear in mind that its purpose is to demonstrate teaching methods (and not to teach you about elephants!). Think about this lesson in two ways:
1. Imagine that you are a student who is participating in this lesson. What is your experience? What kind of thinking are you doing? What are you learning?
2. Then think yourself into the role of the teacher who is leading the lesson. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you handling the three phases of the lesson— anticipation, building knowledge, and consolidation?

LESSON

The teacher begins with a Structured Overview, in this case a short talk about the topic—just enough to frame the students' thinking about the topic and to raise their curiosity. The talk goes like this:

Teacher:Today we will be talking about the problems of protecting endangered species. We will focus on elephants, and consider efforts to save them from dying out. We will also look at the question a different way: We will think about problems that are caused by conservation.

Some elephants live in Asia, but the most plentiful and largest elephants live in Africa, mostly in the eastern countries of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. (The teacher points to these countries on a map). Elephants live on grassy plains and in forests.

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