Theme: Nonfiction Read Alouds
Recommended Grades: 3-6th grade
Last week, I showcased Ranger Rick magazine and pointed out how technically it wasn’t a picture book, but it provides short text (and lots of photographs!) that can easily be used in the classroom to model nonfiction read alouds. This week, I chose National Geographic Explorer. Same idea… technically not a picture book, but great to use as a model in the classroom because it has short text.
Another positive for National Geographic is they provide two editions (one for grades 2-3 and one for grades 4-6) that makes it easy to differentiate instruction. They have the same look and articles, but different reading levels. These texts are great to use as a whole class model and then differentiate your guided reading groups with two different levels of text.
Lesson Idea: Choose a specific topic you want to discuss and locate an appropriate National Geographic Explorer article. Read the article and determine the vocabulary words you will need to preview for students to have a firm understanding of the text. Download the Inferring Vocabulary graphic organizer. Write the previously chosen words in the graphic organizer. Model for students how to infer meaning of a vocabulary word (context clues) as you read aloud the text. Stop when you reach a word and model for students how to infer its meaning based on the clues in the text and your background knowledge. Reread the text aloud once students have a firm understanding of the meaning of the words. When students have had plenty of practice inferring vocabulary of various texts with you or a partner, have them use the graphic organizer to infer vocabulary on their own.
Content Connections: National Geographic Explorer is a great resource to use when teaching science or social studies.
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