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Monday, January 19, 2015

What A Pair! {Using Paired Texts to Compare and Contrast}

I have be crazy busy with my new job back in the classroom {more to come on that soon}, but I wanted to share this fun set with you today! Last week, our skill was to compare and contrast two texts. In third grade, students are asked to compare and contrast the major points in two texts about the same topic. My two coworkers and I were searching for products to use, but we weren't finding anything that worked for us...
Fast forward to the weekend. I decided to create a passage to go along with the book Officer Buckle and Gloria. We wanted the students to be engaged in the topic {dogs}, so we used a fun fiction book that they would giggle at. :) In the past, I have read Officer Buckle and Gloria to kindergarteners and first graders, so I was slightly worried. I didn't know for sure if my third graders would think it was funny. OH was I wrong! They were laughing and asking to see the flipping dog picture again and again.

Reading two texts can be time consuming, but "Just Do It!".
With my on level groups, I read Officer Buckle and Gloria aloud and then students read the paired passage silently. With my below level groups, I read the book aloud, but the students read some of the passage and I read some of the passage. With my lower below level groups (many are already in RtI or receiving services), I read both texts aloud. In one of my classes, I read the book aloud whole group which saved a bit of time. Yes, it takes a long time, but there's no other way to expose them to two texts before discussing and responding.

Discussing the texts
After reading, we started discussing each text separately. I asked students to retell aloud using major details, and we talked a little bit about each character. I prepped students for the questions to come by showing them similarities and differences in the structure of the text: fiction/nonfiction, text features, real pictures/illustrations, paragraphs, etc. We also looked at similarities and differences between the characters/subject in both texts.

My school is big on accountable talk right now, so we made sure to answer questions in complete sentences with sentence starters. My friend Katie from Simply Creative in KY, has a great pack that helps remind us to use accountable talk. You can check it out here.
Responding to the Text
In order to hit two standards at once, I added response questions AND compare/contrast questions to the passage. My on level groups only did the compare and contrast questions with me, because they are able to answer text-dependent questions on their own. My below level groups were guided through everything. {A picture of both handouts is shown below.}

We compared and contrasted the text structure and the topic (dogs, worms, trees, apple pies, bumblebees) in each set of paired texts. Students then explained which book they enjoyed reading most and why.

It wasn't the easiest skill for my struggling readers, however, it did make them think. And think HARD! They were prepared for their practice assessment on Friday, and did very well. {Celebrate Small Moments!!!} Pretty soon, the service dog passage was turned into a whole pack!

Click here to grab yours or see a larger preview!
Here are the five passages included. 
These are the five books that I used to pair with the nonfiction passages. But, any fiction book on the same topic as the passage will work just fine! :) They are not included in this pack, so check out your local library or head over to Amazon. {Amazon Prime is my weakness!}
At the top of each passage in the pack, you will see a Paired Text Suggestion and a line for students to write the name of the paired book (see picture above). This helps students to see that they are focusing on TWO texts not just one.

There are also two response pages included with full answer keys. Some answers may be different if you choose a different children's book than the suggested one. Any fiction book on the same topic will do!
I hope you enjoyed this mini preview! If you are like me and focused on standards, standards, standards, then I hope this little pack helps to narrow down your planning for LAFS.RI.3.9 or CCSS.RI.3.9! Click here to see a larger preview!

Have a great week!

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