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Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
A Portrait of Our World: Making Connections and Developing Comprehension
|Grades||6 – 8|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Nine 60-minute sessions|
San Bernardino, California
Engage middle school students in a meaningful study of the lives of students from across the globe through the use of contemporary nonfiction and fiction. Students create personal autobiographies, sequence story events, and prepare well-crafted summaries while learning to use higher-level comprehension strategies such as Question-Answer Relationships and the Bio-Cube. Additionally, students conduct a critical study of the NCSS Notable Tradebook Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter, comparing and contrasting their own lives to Nasreen’s and expanding their geographical knowledge of the Middle East.
Bio-Cube: Bio-Cube is an interactive tool that helps students to organize and synthesize information for use when writing an autobiography.
A Guide to Question–Answer Relationships: The Question–Answer Relationship strategy develops higher-level comprehension skills with both narrative and expository texts by teaching students how to answer the four levels of questions and to even create their own questions.
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2009): This book teaches students about a different life and culture and exposes them to the narrative format they need to use when creating their autobiographies.
Liang, L.A., & Dole, J.A. (2006). Help with teaching reading comprehension: Comprehension instructional frameworks. The Reading Teacher, 59(8), 742–753.
- There are five research-based comprehension instructional frameworks that focus on the understanding of content: (1) Scaffolded Reading Experience, (2) Questioning the Author, (3) Collaborative Strategic Reading, (4) Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies, and (5) Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction.
- The five instructional frameworks are used in various grouping formats for short and long units of study.
- They are instructional frameworks, not scripted programs, and therefore can be used with various age groups and across different content areas.
Soares, L.B., & Wood, K. (2010). A critical literacy perspective for teaching and learning social studies. The Reading Teacher, 63(6), 486–494.
- Promoting a critical literacy perspective within social studies lessons allows students to become immersed in a democratic way of life by learning to critically examine our global world and take a stand on social justice issues.
- Critical pedagogy allows students to bring their own life experiences into classroom lessons and promotes multiple perspectives on important issues.
- Five instructional themes emerge to promote comprehension and critical literacy: (1) examining multiple perspectives, (2) finding your authentic voice, (3) recognizing social barriers and crossing borders of separation, (4) finding one’s identity, and (5) rising to the call of service.