The pandemic provides an excellent opportunity for many of our students to read A LOT nonfiction and to read W I D E L Y on a lot of topics of interest. The benefits are numerous–more background knowledge, better comprehension, bigger vocabulary, and the development of a love for what reading offers. There are even more benefits if they read several sources on the same topic of interest.
I’m sure you’ve been trying to encourage them to read from home during shelter-in-place. I have so much respect for all you have been doing to make distance learning manageable and fun for your students and their families!
To help, I’ve created a Padlet with sets of sources on high interest topics–sports climbing, driverless cars, robot nurses, insect super food, space junk, and cool amphibians. See link below.
It’s tempting to find a bunch of sources and dump them in a Padlet. This may overwhelm some of our students especially if the sources are not well developed and don’t overlap in content so that students can make some connections. Sources also need to be developed by authors or organizations with authority on the topic or by well established sources like National Geographic. With this in mind, I’ve curated sets of sources that complement each other, that share some main ideas. This makes it easier for students to ask, “What am I adding to my learning?” as they read or view each additional source. Text complexity was another consideration. If there is a harder source in the set, it’s the last one listed. The audience is 3rd-6th grade students and striving readers in grades 7-8.
Scroll down to the bottom of each set of sources and you’ll see “cheat notes” –one pagers (created for you, not students) that list common main ideas in that set of sources with supporting details that are color coded by which source I found them in. This cheat sheet can be an easy reference when you are listening to or reading student responses. BTW I’m not encouraging you to beat main idea and supporting details to death. There are lots of prompts for student-led conversation and response that require them to think through main ideas–this cheat sheet can be of help in this cas as well. Most of all, I’m hoping you’ll create opportunities with this for students to ENJOY reading and talking or sharing about the amazing information they learned.
Please feel free to copy this Padlet, revise, modify, make it your own!
Thank you to Heidi R. for inspiring me to explore Padlet and do this! Loom is next!
Hope this helps!