Here's my problem: If I give an easy summary of each chapter before I read-aloud to them, it will be a "spoiler" for them and take away from the excitement. But, if I don't..then they will be lost in the difficult text and may loose interest altogether.
Which way is best???
Explain a few vocabulary words or anything that they may not understand before reading and ask them something to listen to find out (about the plot or character, etc). You may choose to read small selections, but please don't stop "in the middle". Once you begin reading aloud, don't stop until the end of the session (you know how too many tv commercial breaks are annoying to the flow of the story)
They may get lost, but trust me with this age group and this book they won't loose interest and your reading to them will be something they will enjoy and remember for a long time. Just read to them. Then discuss and ask the comprehension questions.
You can start the lesson by having them recall events that happened so far (material you've alredy read)and then take predictions of what they think will happen in the next chapter before you read it. After you read it, you can see if any predictions were right and also summarize the chapter! Hope this helps - I'm a teacher , but in early childhood!
Oh, and if you discover any of the students predictions are right you can stop in the middle of the reading to point it out so you don't "lose" the students. Or you can stop midway to summarize material thus far so they do not get lost. (This would mean summarizing twice -at middle and end).!
I have found that after a scene in the book, or in any particular spot that I think is good to stop, I ask students if there are any words they don't get so far. At that point, they really want to know what the word means(because they are into the book) so they will ask. Or, I will choose a few words that I know most kids won't get. After I read the sentence with that word, I stop and ask what do you think that word means? I reread the sentence and ask them to try and figure it out within the context of the sentence. This helps your students learn how to use context clues and also how to use that particular reading strategy(stop, re-read, think about it). Sometimes I'll even have a student grab a dictionary and we wait until it is looked up. It's a good way to model what to do if they get stuck without me there telling them what the word means.
Or, give a vocabulary list ahead of time with words/phrases for that chapter.you don't have to summarize the chapter, just give the vocab words. It might seem like a spoiler, but it might actually arouse their interest and get them making predictions.
Make notes in your text and summarize as you go. That way they can keep up and can understand the text. Don't do it ahead it does spoil it but after may lose some kids too, just do it every little bit and see if that helps.
I scaffold prereading with vocabulary words I think they may have trouble with. We discuss what they think the words mean and I have them predict how they might fit in with what they think will happen next in the story. Then I read the passage and have them compare what they thought was going to happen with what actually happened. Then I have them write a summary using at least 3 of the word we talked about in the prereading. At the end of the story, I put them in small groups with a discussion prompt that they can use their summaries with. Then I test them.
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