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Monday, August 12, 2013

Common Core Reading: Informational Text Standard 9

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard for Reading 9 (CCRA.R.9) asks students to "analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take."

The third grade Common Core State Standard, RI.3.9, addresses the last part of the standard: "Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic." This works well with many basal readers, which tend to provide several excerpts organized around the same topic. It's also easy to pull a related article or picture book to compare and contrast with sections in health, science, and social studies books. Using simple graphic organizers, such as Venn diagrams or T-charts, makes it a snap!

RI.4.9 and RI.5.9 tasks fourth and fifth graders with integrating "information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably." To me, this goes hand-in-glove with W.4.7/W.5.7 (conducting short research projects) and W.4.8/W.5.8 (gathering relevant information from print and digital sources). In terms of the Internet, this may be the most important standard. We look at several sites to glean information, reconstruct the new knowledge in our brains, then communicate our findings to others.

This ability to create something new from various parts is what makes us human. Here's the thought for today: Synthesis is a whole created by combining parts; synergy is a whole greater than its combined parts. How can we help our students pull information from texts, insert a little twist of their own, and create something magical and magnificent?

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