In 2004 I began attending a 3-year Literacy Coaching Class at our
local educational collaborative that offered the opportunity to work
with my colleagues to become part of a statewide initiative sharing
best practices teaching comprehension strategies in a lab classroom
1.We have extended the
repertoire of strategies for district colleagues,
preservice teacher candidates and enable others to view and
current best teaching practices and strategies that in turn
student’s ability to earn and develop comprehension
2. Through integrating content
areas, we help to infect all involved educators
in more effective, child-relevant curriculum design
while finding ways to
include rigorous science instruction in this time of
mandated time schedules
to meet the criteria of No Child Left Behind.
3. Having visitors has
helped because the positive feedbacks at post
observations have authenticated many of our choices
us ideas for fine-tuning this approach.
Student achievement is impacted
in several ways
1. The hands on science
activities are both motivating and stimulating for children
as they read and write about gardening and respond to other
2. We drive instruction with
the use of hands-on developmentally appropriate
tools that include all learners because we combine “tools”,
sunglasses (for visualizing),
seeds (relate to prior knowledge/schema), plastic shovels (to
model digging for meaning),
rakes (for questioning), hoes (help us determine importance),
(are the synthesizing agent), and a picture of the sun
(shines light on inferring),
with the acknowledgement of the student’s prior knowledge of
Students can’t wait to get their hands dirty, use real tools,
the real-life garden.
I invite parents as
partners into the classroom to model effective literacy practices so
they can continue to model
the same language at home.
This teaching theme is a developmentally appropriate hands-on
learning sequence, designed for teachers in the early primary grades
who want to
incorporate comprehension strategies into their literacy curriculum.
To better understand the comprehension strategies used to enhance
literacy curriculum, begin by reading these books as reference.
Click to buy these books:
Mosaic Of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene.
Strategies That Work
by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
With Comprehension by Andie Cunningham and Ruth Shagoury.
Seven Keys to Comprehension by Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins
Kid Writing Strategies
developed by Feldgus and Cardonic.
Before beginning each lesson, teach your students this song
them remember the strategies.
Have A Box of Tools
Use this poem to help students
make connections between
the comprehension strategies
Using this grid, students will color each section to show
which page they have completed.
After reading many selections, have students choose their
favorite book to illustrate and write about.
After reading several fairy tales, have
students choose a favorite one to illustrate and write about.
After reading books by several authors, have students
choose their favorite author and draw a picture of
their favorite authors book.
After reading several poems, have
students choose their favorite poem to illustrate and write about.
students write about an idea that an author wants them to know that was not
presented literally in the text.
Have students write one lingering
question about the read aloud.
Have students write about a new idea they have conceived
after a read aloud or reading alone.
To help your students visualize words while
reading aloud, have them wear a pair of child's sun glasses.
Have students look at maps, charts
to help determine the importance of the text.
Have students make a
connection to their past as you read aloud.
Have students write about one favorite person in their life.
Have students write about their lives.
Have students remember one moment of time in their lives
and capture that in a
picture and a short paragraph.
Click here on the
Strategies page to help you understand
what guiding relevant factors you should
consider when teaching.
For a word document to print of the
Strategies, click here
To help students understand the strategies, give each child their own tool belt.
I bought individual tool belts
at Home Depot for 99 cents. Inside the tool belts I neatly placed various
plastic gardening tools. Each tool is a tactile representation of each strategy. On each shovel (digging for meaning) I taped twenty-five every
day functional sight words that
students can use when they Kid Write. As students "dig for the meaning of
the story" they use the words on the shovel to help write sentences.
View the twenty five sight words here.
I bought little boxes shaped like flowers and inside I placed words
students use to write their stories. Each box contains words based on a
Click on the word list below to print out a copy of the words to place in your
Words for Questioning
you are looking for more ideas on building comprehension strategies with your
students please visit the Mosaic
Listserve at Reading Lady and click on their
page for many more ideas from teachers. I have found many interesting
lessons there and I have shared many of my ideas with teachers on the Mosaic
Listserve. Click here
Listserve Database" to view teacher created lessons with particular books
listed by strategies.
After I created Planting A Literacy
Garden, I created a website that uses Eric Carle's books. If you are interested in integrating technology into your
while studying Eric Carle as an author, click on
Carleworks below. Lessons were created that integrate technology based on
building five literacy skills of Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary,
Fluency and Comprehension. The website contains a Power Point to help
develop the skills.
Please feel free to use any of my work and email me and
let me know if this has made an impact on your students learning. Thanks for visiting!