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Teacher Resources by Grade
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|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
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Guided Comprehension: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Recurring Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 60-minute sessions|
- Define and understand the meeting of the minds technique
- Take on the role of characters in a story and debate their perspectives, clearly and convincingly presenting the characters' viewpoints
- Engage in an oral debate in small groups
- Use critical thinking skills to create questions relevant to the text
- Use the strategy of evaluating to make judgments about characters in a text
Stage 1: Teacher-directed whole-group instruction (40 minutes)
|1.||Explain to students what it means to evaluate their reading. Tell students that evaluating means making a judgment about a story or a character. Give an example. Explain that they will be participating in an activity in which they pretend to be a character in a story, and will respond to questions as that character. Explain how they will be "evaluating"--by taking on the role of the character, they are making judgments about that character, other characters, and events in the story.
Do you think you did anything wrong in this situation?
|2.||Demonstrate the strategy. Ask two to four students to act as the wolf and pigs. (You may choose to have one or three students represent the three pigs.) Explain to students that there also needs to be a moderator to ask the questions, and a summarizer to summarize the debate.
|3.||Guide students to apply the strategy. Gather students into groups of four. Have students answer another question on the meeting of the minds chart. Each student in the group should have a role (moderator, character, or summarizer). When students finish, ask them to switch roles within their groups and pose another question from the chart.
|4.||Practice individually or in small groups. After students have had a chance to practice, bring the whole class back together. Tell students that they are going to hear another version of the same story. Read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs aloud.
|5.||Reflect. Ask students to reflect on the meeting of the minds technique. How did it help them understand the characters? What did they like and dislike about the debates? Did it help them better understand the stories?
Stage 2: Teacher-guided small groups and student-facilitated independent practice (40 minutes)
Before beginning Stage 2, students must be divided into three instructional-level groups. Students with similar instructional needs should be grouped together. This does not necessarily mean that students in each group are on the same reading level. Instead, they may have similar needs for comprehension instruction (e.g., students who have trouble making inferences or students who need extra practice making connections between texts).
Students are working in three different areas during this stage:
- Teacher-guided small-group instruction
- Student-facilitated comprehension centers
- Student-facilitated comprehension routines
Classroom management is at the discretion of each individual teacher. You may want to assign students to small groups and set up a rotation schedule, or you may want to allow groups of students to choose their own activities. Regardless, each group of students needs to visit the three areas at least once in the three-session lesson.
|1.||Teacher-guided small group instruction. Choose one group to begin with you as follows:
|2.||Student-facilitated comprehension centers. Students may be assigned to centers or choose activities on their own.
|3.||Student-facilitated comprehension routines. Working in small groups, students engage in three different literacy strategies. Students should already be familiar with each of the strategies and have practiced them over time. For more information, review the Summary Sheet or refer to the text Guided Comprehension: A Teaching Model for Grades 3-8 by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen.|
For Sessions 2 and 3, pick up where you left off the previous session. The suggested time for each session is 60 minutes, however, since the group only had 20 minutes in small groups during Session 1, you may want to meet with them for another 20 minutes and then switch groups for the last 40 minutes. The rotation should continue until all three groups have visited all three areas. In Session 3, students will spend 40 minutes in small groups, leaving 20 minutes for whole-group reflection and discussion (see Stage 3).
Stage 3: Whole-group reflection (20 minutes)
|1.||Talk to students about the evaluating comprehension strategy that they have been learning. Ask them to tell why and how meeting of the minds helps them to better understand the characters and the stories they are reading.
|2.||Give students time to share the activities they completed in the student-facilitated comprehension centers.|
To extend the activities in this lesson, have students explore the following websites:
- KidsReads.com: Jon Scieszka
- I Was Framed! A WebQuest for The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
- Have students write their own "fractured fairy tales" and publish them online at Scholastic's Fairy Tales Library
- Access and use other lessons based on the Guided Comprehension Model to teach additional comprehension strategies:
Guided Comprehension: Knowing How Words Work Using Semantic Feature Analysis
Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double-Entry Journal
Guided Comprehension: Monitoring Using the INSERT Technique
Guided Comprehension: Previewing Using an Anticipation Guide
Guided Comprehension: Self-Questioning Using the Question-Answer Relationship
Guided Comprehension: Summarizing Using the QuIP Strategy
Guided Comprehension: Visualizing Using the Sketch-to-Stretch Strategy
Use the Meeting of the Minds Rubric to evaluate students' participation and understanding of the meeting of the minds technique and the evaluating strategy. This rubric can be used during the whole-class debate in Stage 1 or during small-group work in Stage 2.