Sunday, April 7, 2013

Text sets...built around character

Kids are always thinking.  Kids always want to know more.  Kids are curious.  Text sets provide students with the avenue to act on their curiosity and to develop background knowledge that can be used immediately with another text.

Last year I spent the majority of my time focused on providing a text set that included fiction and non-fiction.  I was always faced with the decision of which one to read first for interactive read aloud. You might look at this text set and think...these two texts are together because they both have a goat on the cover.  Text sets are not topics by convenience.  Text sets are paired together to strengthen and develop meaning because no text provides meaning alone.  All the text we read are developed and become meaningful in connection to another text.

I wanted to support students in learning about characters and their motivations.  Furthermore, I wanted students to be able to read a non-fiction text and view the subject as a character.  I wanted the students to use the same thinking about a character in non-fiction as they do when reading a fiction text.  That was how this text set was formed.

The first text, Beatrice's Goat, is about a little girl who receives a gift.  The gift is a goat and in her African Village this goat will give more than the gift of milk.

The Goat Lady, which tells the story of a misunderstand lady who has provided goat's milk for people who in need and has sent her extra goats to poor countries through the Heifer Project.  Students can learn about the Heifer Project and how it impacts our world today.  There is even a blurb in the book that relays more true facts about this text.

1 comment:

  1. I am so excited about these titles first they fit right into my current literary non fiction lessons. Second every year our 5th graders raise money for the Heifer organization. Finally I appreciate how you share your thinking about text sets. I believe with Common Core teachers need to think more about this question.