Multi-Genre Literacy Plan Peter Whalen
Definition of Literacy And the 6 Modes of Communication
Definition of Literacy Based on the 6 modes of communication, literacy is either the ability to gain understanding from or the ability to convey understanding through a text. L I T E R A C Y Gain Understanding Reading Listening Visualizing Convey Understanding Writing Speaking Representing
My Literacy Development through the Works of Bob Dylan: The Rolling Stone Interview with a Devoted Fan
Rolling Stone: What first got your interested Bob Dylan’s music? Devoted Fan: I first started listening to Dylan when I was in high school. My first album was his Greatest Hits recording on cassette tape. I was turned on to his lyrics, which spoke to me at a deeper level than other pop songs on the radio. Songs about lost love and songs advocating for social change captured my lovelorn, idealistic inclinations. The lyrics along with his harmonica and acoustic guitar opened the door to a lifelong appreciation of a great American artist.
RS: How did you express your appreciation? DF: I spoke those words as if they were my own. If “Like a Rolling Stone” or another hit came on the car radio, I belted it out on my drive to school. At home in the shower, I stuck a cassette in the tape deck and sang for all my family to hear. Dylan helped develop my own voice. I mirrored his style with my own inflections. I spoke the words with passion and intensity.
RS: You talk about a personal connection to the artist. Did that deepen in anyway? DF: Yes. I started reading interviews in magazines like Rolling Stone and learned more about his influences as an artist. Recently, I read his autobiography Chronicles, which detailed his childhood in Hibbing, MN, his early days on tin pan alley and his first contract with Columbia Records. By reading, I developed a more informed understanding of the lyrics. I made connections to his personal life, his influences and the trajectory of his professional career.
RS: Did Dylan influence your own artistic expression? DF: In college, a deeper appreciation for poetry developed and I began to write my own poems. I am not a songwriter or musician but I wrote poetry feverishly into the night. Dylan, the poet, was my earliest influence, and those poets who influenced him also made an impression on me, such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. I began to imitate their poetic style and started to find my own voice. Writing became my primary outlet of expression.
RS: Some films have come out recently about Dylan. Have you seen any of them? DF: Of course. I’m Not There was pretty cool. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of a young Dylan was an interesting twist. She was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. I also enjoyed watching Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home. And while it’s not recent, D.A. Pennebaker’s classic documentary Don’t Look Back remains a personal favorite. Viewing Dylan’s live performances as a young artist is pretty cool. All these films are recommended viewing for any Dylan fan.
RS: Any last memories you’d like to share? Let’s go back to high school again. Over all 4 years, my most memorable assignment was a poster board presentation of Dylan’s life and career for a Mass Communication class. It included some cool photographs, print outs of some lyrics and bio info. for display. I probably played a song or two as well. It was well received by classmates. I think I even got some applause.
The 10th Grade Students Bio-Poems, Data and Complaints + Strategies to Address Their Literacy Needs
Thomas’ Bio Poem Thomas Smart, good looking, energetic Brother of Sara, Evan, and Joseph Lover of sports, fashion, music Who reads when it’s quiet, when tired or bored Who feels lucky, joyful and excited when I read? Who dislikes reading when having company, eating or watching sports Who fears reading about death, obituaries, hate crimes Who wants to read about sports, rap stars and cars Resident of Milwaukee Groan-Wilson
Virginia’s Bio Poem Virginia Understanding, loving, caring and considerate Sister of Rosa, Jorge and Fernando Lover of boyfriend, family and friends Who likes to read when there is nothing to do, something isn’t on TV, or I’m bored Who feels sad, happy, and curious when I read Who dislikes to read when forced to do it, under pressure or not happy Who fears reading about death, drugs and sex Who wants to read about love, family, and hope Resident of Milwaukee Artega
Leon’s Bio Poem Leon Loving, wild, funny and laid back Son of John and Mary My son, my girlfriend, my family Who likes to read when I’m at home, school or work Who feels happy, smart and excited when I read Who dislikes reading when around loud people, in front of a lot of people, or when I’m sick Who fears reading about death, being burnt alive, and being a slave Who wants to read about lovers, life and money Resident of Milwaukee Diliberti
So’s Bio Poem So Nice, intelligent, caring, goofy Brother of Chang Lover of Will Smith, Sponge Bob and food Who likes to read when it’s quiet, nothing to do and have spare time Who feels relaxed, calm, and at ease when I read Who dislikes reading when it is loud and lots of people are around Who fears reading about spiders, war and death Who wants to read about computers, drama and comedy Resident of Milwaukee Vang
Tamisha’s Bio Poem Tamisha Loving, funny, African-American, Nice Daughter of Lela Lover of money, cars, clothes Who likes to read when it’s quiet, at school and to my little brothers Who feels happy, excited, sad when I read Who dislikes reading when I am mad, sad and not at home Who fears reading about death, scary books and how people die Who wants to read about puppies, mystery stories and buildings Milwaukee (Mil-town) Phoenix
Juan’s Bio Poem Juan Energetic, loving, singer, athletic Brother of Chris Lover of family, life and myself Who likes to read when bored, traveling, with kids Who feels inspired, smart, sophisticated when I read Who dislikes reading when noise is around, not comfortable, sleepy Who fears reading about people dying, homeless kids and our society Who wants to read about myself in the papers, history, cures for cancer Resident of Milwaukee Miguel
Understanding Culture: Where do your students come from? Family Practices Language Spoken Sibling Status Religious Practice Mealtimes Home Culture Education Attitudes toward Time Individual and Gender Roles Family Time Entertainment
Reading & Writing: Grade Equivalency Data • Grade Equivalency totals (vocabulary and comprehension): • 1 student (Virginia) scores slightly above grade level (11th) on vocabulary and comprehension • 2 students (Leon and Thomas) score at the 9-10thgrade level • 3 students are below grade level (Tamisha-8th) (Juan-7th) (So-6th) First Steps: Student collaboration will “raise all boats.” Students will be broken into small groups (literacy teams) working together daily to improve results. 2 groups of 3 students representing different grade equivalencies will be mixed together (Virginia, Tamisha, So) (Leon, Thomas, Juan). Students can also work in pairs. Outside Intervention (Reading/Writing Specialists) may be needed, especially for those scoring at the low end of the spectrum. Both classroom teacher and interventionists can work with small groupsand one-on-one.
Reading - Classroom Strategies • Student biopoems indicate a high number who like to read about tangible topics connected to their lives. They also like to read about topics with a positive message. Teachers should find a way to connect texts to “real life” situations. • Biopoems have a striking commonality: almost all students like to read when bored. Most also indicate a dislike of reading for school or when “forced.” This indicates interest in reading as an activity, but teacher must strive to make content of text one that catches student interest. • Giving students a choice of what they read based on interests and cultural connections will lessen the feeling of being “forced” to read something.
Reading Strategies continued • Placing students in study pairs for vocabulary may help those with lower skills to develop through work with peers. If this work includes reading aloud, then confidence will build for both students whereas this might not happen if reading in front of entire class. • Text response assignments should be differentiated for student ability level. The students at the highest percentile ranks/grade equivalencies should write response papers that draw conclusions and connections. However, students at the other end of the spectrum will benefit from guided reading assignments that will help them with an outline of what they are looking for in the text as they read.
Writing: BioPoem, Letter and Essay Evaluation • The majority of students fall within the Apprentice range, suggesting that core writing abilities have been developed and there are assets to build upon. • Writing skills must improve in all areas both at a macro level (organization, structure, detailed development, etc) and micro level (grammar, usage, spelling, vocabulary, etc). Revision, editing, and proofreading skills should also be stressed. Scaffolding--progress made incrementally--sentence structure and mechanics, paragraph structure and development, etc., etc. • Essays demonstrate that students approach topics through a cultural lens. Students compare and contrast cultural definitions of success to their own personal definitions and examples. As a result, personal identities emerge. Matching personal identities to writing topics will further engage students.
Additional Writing Assessments • Journals used for pre-writing activities (brainstorming, freewrites, mapping, etc), development of ideas, practice of paragraph structure and sentence mechanics, personal reflection, research, grammar exercises, etc. Collected on a weekly basis and reviewed. • Modeling exercises for students to imitate professional writers and exceptional student writing. • Multiple, focused drafts assigned and reviewed: for example, a developmental draft followed by an organizational draft followed by an edited/proofread draft. • Revisions: After students receive written comments, rubric scores and grades from the teacher, they should be required to follow up with a revised “final” draft. Revision must be taught, so students see it as more than correcting surface errors. • Writing workshops/Peer Review: Allow students to offer feedback to one another. Based on peer feedback, allow students to make revisions prior to turning final draft into instructor. Focus some peer review sessions on specific elements like organization. At other times, ask for global feedback. Stress different audiences for student writing: allies, peers and experts. Schedule one-on-one conferences between student and instructor. • Rubrics: Design so students can understand evaluation criteria and apply it to their own and their classmates written work. Distribute before and after assignments are due. Have students design rubrics based on their understanding of the criteria, using vocab. they understand (i.e. “flow”).
A Disgruntled Student’s Spontaneous Acrostic Rant about Textbooks Textbooks suck! They really suck! Everything about them sucks! X-out every page! I never read ‘em anyway! ‘Kuz’ Textbooks really suck! They’ve always stunk. If I could, I’d Burn ‘em up. Make one hell of a blaze. Throw ‘em Out! Out, I say! ‘Kuz’ textbooks really suck! They Suck! And that’s all I’ve got to say!
A Disgruntled Student’s Spontaneous Acrostic Complaint about Quizzes Quizzes Usually Induce Cramped Muscles and Kickin’ Headaches Writing a personal Reflection (on the other hand) Involves The Entire Self
A Disgruntled Student’s Plea for Help Vocabulary Obstacles Can become A real “B”– ouch! Unless you have a Loving A+ teacher who finds a Really, really, really good strategY to teach the meaning of words.
Common Core State Standards Which ones apply?
CCSS ELA Anchor Standards for Reading Key Ideas and Details CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. Craft and Structure CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
CCSS ELA Anchor Standards for Reading Integration of Knowledge and Ideas CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take. Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
CCSS Anchor Standards for Writing Text Types and Purposes1 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences. Production and Distribution of Writing CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS Anchor Standards for Writing Research to Build and Present Knowledge CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. Range of Writing CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
CCSS Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening Comprehension and Collaboration CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric. Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
CCSS Anchor Standards for Language Conventions of Standard English CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Knowledge of Language CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
Strategies and Assessments for Improving Literacy Skills
It’s Time to PlayAsk the Guru Vocabulary Guru Comprehension Guru Writing Guru
Dear Vocabulary Guru: What is a Vocabulary Overview Guide? The Vocabulary Overview Guide is a graphic organizer that helps students access the meaning of new words. The graphic organizer takes students through a few specific steps: (1) associating new words to mnemonic clues; (2) allowing students to come up with their own explanation of the words; and (3) letting students use the words in the context of a sentence. For example, the word “warily” would be approached this way: CLUE: “beware;” EXPLANATION: “you are very cautious about something;” USE: “The teacher would have to warily watch Charles.” Understanding is reinforced by the words used in class discussion. Recording the word in a graphic organizer grounds understanding. This multi-layered approach helps students feel more personally invested in their vocabulary acquisition (rather than rote memorization).
Dear Vocabulary Guru:What are Survival Words? The Survival Words strategy is a graphic organizer designed to build vocabulary within an inquiry-based, collaborative setting. The strategy teaches students that they can comprehend a text without knowing every word. The students and teacher identify key words found in a text, and the students work collaboratively to share their previous knowledge of the key words, or they work together to discover meaning (prior to consulting a dictionary). The strategy allows students to feel like experts on words they already know, while reinforcing the learning community as they share their knowledge. Let’s look closer at this strategy in the context of Walt Whitman’s poem, “I Hear America Singing.”
Step 1: Survival Words Teacher and students select 6-10 words they should know to comprehend the text, then make a chart with the following columns: Word A B C D Meaning
Step 2: Survival Words In the first column, students copy each word down. Then, in columns A, B, C, and D they will categorize each word. A= I know the meaning and use the word. B= I know the meaning but don’t use the word. C= I’ve seen the word before but don’t really know it. D= I’ve never seen the word. Word A B C D Meaning Carols x Blithe x Mason x Ploughboy x Fellows x
Step 3: Survival Words After categorizing, write down as many meanings as you know: Word A B C D Meaning Carols x songs at x-mas Blithe x Plank x a board Mason x Deckhand x works on ship deck Hatter x Ploughboy x Intermission x a pause in action Fellows x dudes Robust x
Steps 4 & 5: Survival Words Students break into groups and share the meanings they are most confident about knowing. Then, the teacher goes over the charts with them, answers any questions, and helps clarify any words that remain difficult. The dictionary is the last resort.
Dear Comprehension Strategy Guru: What’s a Thinkquiry Chapter Preview/Tour? ThinkquiryChapter Preview/Tour provides a structure for students to preview textbook chapters. By filling in the Thinkquiry chart, students get a full picture of the reading task before them. Thinkquiry is a well-organized chart that systematically walks students through several features: title; headings and subheadings; introduction and chapter summary; important vocabulary; words, phrases, or sentences in special type; visuals (graphs, charts, pictures, maps, etc). Students can break a chapter into parts and organize their thoughts on how to proceed. It’s an excellent frontloading activity and demonstrates that pre-reading is an important part of the reading process. It makes textbook reading seem less daunting.
Dear Comprehension Guru:What is a Character Analysis Grid? A number of graphic organizers provide strategies for critical thinking about texts. Most stories are generated through the conflicts between characters. The external conflicts between and internal conflicts within characters propel the plot forward. The Character Analysis Grid encourages a deeper understanding of this dynamic. Asking, “What does a character do?” pushes the student to think about the character’s actions in relation to other characters. Asking “What does the character say or think?” forces the student to recognize a character’s internal struggles. These actions, thoughts and feelings define the conflicts that generate plot; these conflicts intensify the action and point to a climax and eventually a resolution within the story.
Dear Comprehension and Writing Guru: What are Quickwrites? Quick Writesoffer students an opportunity to deliberate and clarify their understanding of textual subject matter. Quick Writes are planned interludes for students to respond to their learning during class. Though brief, these teacher-prompted, rapidly written reflections stimulate personal reflection and critical thinking. Because they are placed within a lesson, they are an excellent complement to Admit and Exit slips provided at the start and close of a lesson. Like freewriting, they are a potential first step toward deeper critical analysis.
Dear Writing Guru:What are freewrites? I will refer you to the freewrite Guru, Peter Elbow, who says, “The most effective way I know to improve your writing is to do freewriting exercises regularly. At least three times a week. The idea is simply to write for ten minutes (later on, perhaps fifteen or twenty). Don't stop for anything. Go quickly without rushing. Never stop to look back, to cross something out, to wonder how to spell something, to wonder what word or thought to use, or to think about what you are doing. If you can't think of a word or a spelling, just use a squiggle or else write "I can't think what to say, I can't think what to say" as many times as you want; or repeat the last word you wrote over and over again; or anything else. The only requirement is that you never stop.” Writing nonstop is the key. • http://mgunby.wikispaces.com/file/view/Freewriting.pdf
Dear Gurus:What is a Memory Map? Good exercise for writing, visualizing and representing: • Draw a map of your neighborhood. • Create a legend that mark 3-5 special memory spots. • Break into groups of 2-3. • Tell the story of one memory and listen to yourself. • Write down what you said as if repeating the story in normal conversation. Embellish your stories as you tell them. Get rid of unnecessary, wimpy, nerd words. Use powerful words or phrases to create vivid images. • Write the final draft as a story or poem.
Dear Guru: How does the “Getting Inside the Image” strategy work? Choose a photo with a sufficient amount of detail. This exercise encourages students to analyze a visual text closely and respond to it. • Look closely at each object in the photo. Identify each one. • Examine each quadrant. BE SPECIFIC. • Who or what is in the photo? (Give names.) • Determine the season, time of day, location of the sun, weather conditions. • What are people doing? Why are they doing it? • Think about what’s going on just outside of the edges of the photo. • Pick a particular place in the photo where you can see yourself. Be in the photo. What does it feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like? What do you see that has the most impact upon you? • Determine what happens next?
Dear Discussion Guru: What is a Discussion Web? A Discussion Web is a graphic organizer that allows students to look at the pros and cons of an important issue or theme presented in a text. Students respond to a central question posed in the middle of a visual chart (for example, What is the American Dream? Has it changed?), and then in two columns on opposite sides of the chart, students list reasons and evidence explaining the pros and cons related to the question, which then leads students to offer their own conclusions related to the central question. The visual, hands-on component of the graphic organizer will appeal to many students.
Dear Discussion Guru:What is a graffiti discussion? A graffiti discussion allows students to free associate on ideas related to a text. Put up a piece of poster paper at the front of the room (or use the white board or Smartboard). In the center of the poster, write the name of the text. As a group, students will come up and list important concepts presented in the text--things that interested them or caught their attention (listing major themes, for example). Students will be able to compare their impressions with their classmates. Collectively, the class will come to a mutual understanding of key issues presented in a text. This activity appeals to kinetic, hands-on, visual learners.
Dear Discussion Guru: What is a Socratic Seminar? Socratic Seminars are named for their embodiment of Socrates’ belief in the power of asking questions, prizing inquiry over information and discussion over debate.Socratic seminars acknowledge the highly social nature of learning. The Socratic Seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly. http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/socratic-seminars-30600.html