As an aid to help students be thoughtful in their reading
we designed reading packets for the various pieces of children's
literature that were used by the groups. The reading packets
were designed to help students:
- visualize what is happening in the story.
- relate their own experiences to the various parts of the
- anticipate and predict.
- get a better understanding of character, plot, theme, etc.
as essential parts of a story.
The reading packets were mostly teaching/learning tools, not
testing tools. We told our reading group leaders that it was
okay to give lots of help in their completion if needed. There
were three main parts to a reading packet: 1) the
Prediction Page, 2)
the Response Log, and 3)
the Looking Back page. On the
Prediction Page students wrote a short but thoughtful prediction
of what they believed might happen in the chapter (or book) they
were about to read. For predictions and responses we told the
students that the only wrong answers were: a) no answer, b) "I
don't know.", or c) silly answers (not thoughtful). In the
Response Log children were to respond to each chapter (or book)
just after they finished it. They were to write something about
themselves that they were reminded of while reading the chapter
or something about the content of the chapter. If students had
trouble getting started, we might use one of the following to
give them a "jump start."
I wish... I would... I didn't understand... I noticed... I
remembered... I didn't like... I couldn't believe... It was funny
when... I liked... I thought about... I had forgotten... I would
change... I felt... I predicted... I wasn't sure... I think...
I understood... I agree... I disagree... I wouldn't change...
I prefer... I would add... I could understand... I was surprised...
The Looking Back page could be viewed as a way to summarize
the whole book. It mostly helped students focus on the story's
elements such as plot and theme.