Series Reading Groups

We have been working with series of books in Readers’ Workshop lately.  Our newest unit, which has a focus on patterns, characters and changes, is asking students to look at a series of books (one per group) to find similarities and differences.  Each kiddo in the group is reading a different book (which is something I’ve never done before) and when they meet, the team is responsible for talking about what they’ve each found in their books individually.

We’ve worked on looking at what is always the same (patterns in the series), what we can learn about characters, asking ourselves why certain things are important, marking the text with post-its so we don’t forget what we’ve noticed, talking “long and strong” about our post-it notes, making sure we understand what our partners are saying by asking clarifying questions, and using a Venn diagram to model what we notice between the books in our groups.

We’ve chosen books series that match each level of reader in my classroom: Horrible Harry, Roscoe Riley Rules, Berenstain Bears, Clifford, Mercy Watson and Little House on the Prairie.

It’s been really exciting to see what they’ve been able to do with this study.  For many it’s the first time they have really read a chapter book.  While each group has different conversations based on the members and the books, each works with diligence and purpose as they discuss what they are learning about their texts.  They are really thinking deeply about their books, having fun with literacy and their reading conversations are leaking over into other parts of our day.  The other thing I’ve seen is that many have been positively pressured to higher levels of thinking and participating because of what they see their friends doing.  Love that kind of friendly competition!

I know this kind of thing would be best explained with videos, but all I have is pictures.  Imagine that you can hear quiet murmurs of engaging conversations around books that kids love and it would sound just about right!

What series do you enjoy reading?  We’d love some recommendations for our next choices! 🙂

 

I Know an Old Lady, Do You?

During 2nd quarter, one of our big ideas during Reader’s Workshop was comparing various versions of the same text.  An easy one–as well as a favorite–was I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  We found 3 versions initially and read them (and then found a couple more!), creating a chart to represent all the parts of the story.

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I Know an Old Lady retold by G. Brian Karas: Somehow I managed to only have a picture of our “lady” without her labels! We spent much time labeling all of those things in her belly!

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucile Colandro: This one shows our super work at labels using interactive writing.  Plus, this old lady is super stylish with a belt, some glasses and a bow in her hair. :)

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro: This one shows our super work at labels using interactive writing. Plus, this old lady is super stylish with a belt, some glasses and a bow in her hair. 🙂

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie by Alison Jackson: This may be my favorite lady yet! Check out that 10-layer cake in her stomach!

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie by Alison Jackson: This may be my favorite lady yet! Check out that 10-layer cake in her stomach!

After we had read our stories, we dug in to start comparing and contrasting the stories.  We talked about how to do this in an organized way, and so kiddos were introduced to the Venn Diagram.  Well, reintroduced to the idea, but the name and the was new.  We had a 1st draft that ended up too messy to use, but it worked for us to understand how the diagram worked.

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Once we knew how to put the pieces together, kiddos worked in pairs to write the parts that were the same and different.  Again, what we had learned during many interactive writing lessons lately paid off!

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Another great example of interactive writing as well as great ideas for how the stories were the same and different! Super smart first grade thinking!

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Close up of I Know an Old Lady

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Close up of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves

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Close up of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Pie and the “same” sections of the diagram

Of which stories have you read different versions?  Share some suggestions with us! 🙂