Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Workshop Wednesday - Reading Graphic Organizers

I'm linking up with the Workshop Wednesday Linky from Ideas by Jivey! The topic this time is graphic organizers for reading groups.

I teach reading in my classroom using a modified Daily 5/CAFE reading workshop structure. I see my kids in both small heterogenous strategy groups and independently at their individual reading conferences. When I taught the primary grades I would often group kids by reading level to make it easier to use the handy guided reading books that my school has. Now that I'm in 5th grade, and I give my kids the freedom to choose a "good fit book," I find it is better to group them by common strategies they need to develop. I use the CAFE strategies, but I have adapted them to fit both 5th grade and to address a couple of the PA standards that were missing. 

Teaching this way has definitely brought about the need to create graphic organizers to go along with some of the strategies that I teach the groups. I'm linking up with a few of my favorites.

I love teaching this lesson on Theme. I explain the concept of themes in literature to the kids, and provide them with a list of common themes. Next, I show them the book I'm currently reading and describe what I believe its themes to be and why. Then I ask them to choose two of the themes present in their good fit book to defend. On the sheet I ask the students to provide evidence from their text to show that the theme they've chosen is truly a theme found in the story. This really makes the kids think about the events in their book. I like how it challenges their comprehension and makes them think critically about their story.

I use this worksheet with magazines. I provide a stack of kid appropriate magazines and allow the kids to choose one they would like to read. I explain how different text and graphic features can impact our understanding of the text. The sheet helps the students find these features in their magazine and record some examples of how those features helped them understand the content of the magazine. I also include a mini-mini-lesson on the differences between fact, opinion and propaganda and have the kids record a couple examples of each that they find in the magazine.

I actually teach three different lessons on plot to my kids. These sheets really help guide the lesson. I start with the plot diagram and make a connection to its rollercoaster shape. We think about our current good fit books and fill in information about the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denouement. I also include a review of protagonist and antagonist as part of the exposition piece.

The second sheet is a Plot Storyboard. I tie this in to visualizing while reading. I ask the kids to visualize an important event from each section of their story.

I use the Plot Summary page as a way to have kids think about their story when they've reached the end of it. It helps them to be able to break the story down in a brief summary. I've found that kids in 5th are great at retelling, but not so hot at giving summaries. I want my kids to really be able to determine what the main events were of a story.

Well, those are some of the graphic organizers I use to help guide my reading instruction and to quickly assess my students' understanding! Be sure to check out the others in the linky!

And don't forget to sign up for my most recent giveaway of 250 Scholastic Book points! I'm celebrating overcoming the 25 follower hump! Next goal is 50!


  1. Love these! Added a couple to my TPT wishlists!
    ideas by jivey

  2. Continue to reach for the stars! You have great passion, quality, and creativity which all shine through in your products!


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