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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of April 13th

posted Apr 14, 2014, 11:46 AM by Courtney Richardson   [ updated Apr 14, 2014, 11:46 AM ]

How can I teach "author's message" in my guided reading lessons for second graders who are reading at levels 20/24?

Jan's Answer: 

As with every strategy, I recommend teaching it during whole-class instruction as a focus lesson.  For example, after reading a picture book, I might ask one of the following questions for children to discuss with a partner: 
"What is the big idea?"
"Why did the author write this book?"
"What is the author's message?"
"What did the character's learn?"  "What can we learn from this story?"

After several whole-class experiences with this standard, weave the "author's message" into the discussion question during guided reading. I wouldn't make it the focus for the lesson. These children are barely reading on grade level and probably need to improve their decoding of big words, fluency and literal comp. I would choose one of these focus areas for the guided reading lesson. Even for children above grade level, I would use author's message as a discussion question and target another comprehension strategy such as asking questions, making inferences or tracking a character's feelings for the focus.