Nuts & Bolts: Student Reading Packets

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Reading Packets

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 story.
  • 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.

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copyright © 2004 by Russell Yates