How to Read a Textbook Page Fun Facts!

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					                                                                   Chapter/Section Heading
                                                                   Teach students to use all                                                                       Icons/Symbols
                                     Sidebars                                                                              Header
                                                                   headings and subheadings to                                                                     Textbooks use them throughout a
                                     They offer informa-           orient themselves. Before                               Used to orient readers to
                                                                                                                                                                   book in a standardized way. When
                                     tion that comple-             reading, have them write                                the chapter and section.
                                                                                                                                                                   you see one ask, “What does that
                                     ments but is not                                                                      Many books divide
                                                                   down questions or predictions                                                                   refer to?” They refer to activities,
                                     always essential to           about the subject based on                              chapters into “sections”
                                                                                                                                                                   connections. cross-curricular links,
                                     the main text.                title/headings.                                         or “units.”
                                                                                                                                                                   or, in some cases, multimedia tools.
 Have students can
 the following to               OBJECTIVE
                                                                                                                      Unit 2: Developing Students’ Textual Intelligence
 before they read:
   • Objective
                                To show students       How to Read a Textbook Page
                                how a page and its
   • Headers                    elements work so           Listed at the beginning of most chapters you will usually find:                       DAILY STRATEGY: ASK QUESTIONS
   • Subheaders                 they can read it
   • Section questions
                                                                • Terms to know                                                                   Ask these questions when trying to             Pull Boxes
                                more successfully.              • Themes                                                                          make sense of typography:
   • Terms to know                                                                                                                                                                               Similar to sidebars
   • Identified themes                                          • Objectives                                                                      1. What is the author/publisher doing          in effect, these
                                                                                                                                                      with typography here?                      usually feature the
                                                                • Connections (to Internet, other chapters and subject areas)                     2. How are they using it (e.g., italics)
Most textbooks use
italics and bold
                                Typography comes
                                in different forms:
                                                           Subheader: More on Typography                                                              in this context?
                                                                                                                                                                                                 following content:
                                                                                                                                                                                                 • connections
                                                                                                                                                  3. Why did they choose to use this             • features
typeface to indicate            • bold                     Subheaders indicate a subsection of the chapter’s larger ideas. If a chapter is
                                                                                                                                                      typographical effect here?                 • strategies
new terms and those             • italic                   titled “Major Scientific Discoveries,” a subheading like “Einstein’s General
                                • roman (normal)                                                                                                                                                 • profiles
listed in the glossary.                                    Theory of Relativity” might signal a specific emphasis on that discovery.
Always ask, “How is             • underlined
                                                           Subheaders might appear in boxes, bold, italics, or a larger font than the text
the writer using italics        • color
in this instance?” (To          • icon/symbol              that follows. In short, typography is used to:
indicate a new term?                                             • Emphasize
A book’s title? To                                              • Communicate (e.g., that an italicized word’s definition can be found in the book’s glossary (which will
emphasize an idea?)                                                appear at the book’s end or in a sidebar or pull out on that same page.
  Conventions                                                   • Organize
  Explain what such                                             • Designate (e.g., certain space for a specific purpose; specific typeface as part of a given group; certain
  abbreviations mean.                                              colors for certain themes, units, or connections).
                                                           Subheader: Organization of Information and Paragraphs                                                                                   Textual
Find the Main Idea
Look to the first and last                                 Textbooks typically put the main idea of the paragraph in the first sentence. One advantage to this structure is                        Organization
sentences to find the                                      that reader’s can skim and scan their way through the chapter prior to reading it or taking a test on it. Another                       Textbooks organize
main idea of each                                          benefit to this structure is that readers should know where to look to find the main ideas when reading. A final                        information into lists
paragraph. See also the                                                                                                                                                                            and paragraphs.
                                                           advantage to this feature is that it helps students understand how the text works by using predictable, familiar                        Here the boxed
headers and subheaders.
                                  Terms to Know            conventions to support the reader’s need for help.                                                                                      words indicate the
   Vocabulary                      • icon                        Textbooks these days use lists for many different purposes. In addition to making for a more concise text,                        different examples
   Determine which                 • abbreviation          lists allow you to emphasize the sequential nature of some information or the equivalent nature of other informa-                       of the paragraph’s
   words students must             • acronym                                                                                                                                                       main idea. Words
                                   • symbol
                                                           tion. To communicate such information through lists, writers and publishers use the following types of lists:                           like first, another, or
   know in order to read
   the assignment                  • annotate                   • bullets, which incorporate various “dingbats” but do not distinguish or otherwise rank the contents of the                       finally indicate that
   successfully.                   • margin                       list                                                                                                                             info is sequentially
                                   • objective                   • numbers, which emphasize the sequential nature of information                                                                   arranged.
                                                                 • check-boxes, which imply a sequence in many cases without the use of numbers
Determine whether
the contents of a list
are equivalent or
                                                 ACTIVITY:Ask five adults (adult = 18 or older) to list the most
                                                              SURVEY SAYS...
                                                                                                                                       Fun Facts!                                               Supplemental Info
arranged from most                                                                                                                                                                              Most textbooks now
                                                        common types of reading they do in the course of a day. At least                                                                        include such regular
to least important.                                                                                                                      45,000 - 3,000 years ago
Note also the use of                                    two people should be thirty or older, and the five people cannot                                                                        features as “career
bold typeface to                                                                                                                         • Alphabet invented                                    connections,” “technol-
                                                        all do the same type of work. Create a three column spreadsheet.                                                                        ogy links,” or profiles of
identify the three                                                                                                                       • Extremely easy to use
main types of lists.                                    List the different types things (e.g., newspaper, contracts, etc.)                                                                      important people.
                                                                                                                                         • Near universal literacy possible.                    Students need to learn
                                                        that they read in column one. In column two, write a concise
                                                                                                                                         • Semites - Canaanites, Phoenicians,                   when and why to read
  Reading Directions
                                                        description of why they read that (e.g., for work). In the third                                                                        such content. They
                                                                                                                                            and Israelites - become first peoples
  Have students try any                                 column identify the skills they use to read these different types of                                                                    also need to realize the
  or all of the following                                                                                                                   to become substantially literate.                   info’s brevity means it
                                                        documents. Finally, ask them to identify the five types of reading
  strategies to under-                                                                                                                   • First alphabetic book: the Hebrew                    is incomplete.
  stand directions:                                     they do the most. Put a star next to each of these five documents
                                                                                                                                            bible.                                                Color Codes
  • Underline all verbs                                 in column one.                                                                                                                            Textbooks frequently
     (e.g., draw, list, find)                                                                                                            • Images of any kind proscribed in first
     to clarify what they
     are supposed to do.
                                                       Check for Understanding: Section Review
                                                        1. List three questions that will help you read this page better.
                                                                                                                                            culture to worship written words.
                                                                                                                                          SOURCE: Leonard Shlain, from The
                                                                                                                                                                                                  color code the book to
                                                                                                                                                                                                  help readers find their
                                                                                                                                                                                                  way around. Thus all
  • Identify the expected
                                                        2. List three different ways typography is used to communicate                                                                            “Fun Facts” would use
     outcome (e.g., write                                                                                                                 Alphabet Versus the Goddess.                            the same color format.
     an essay, take a test).                               information and meaning to a reader.
  • Rewrite as a checklist
     to clarify what to do
                                                        3. What do you call information that appears in the margins?                   Figure 5-12: Timeline of Literacy                         Reading Figures
                                                                                                                                                                                                 When and why should
     and the order in                                   4. What do you call the boxes (e.g., Fun Facts)? Explain why                                                                             readers look at the
     which to do it.                                       writers use these boxes and how you should read them.
  • After identifying the                                                                                                                       Internet Connection                              figures? Show
                                                        5. What are two strategies to help you understand directions.                                                                            students the point at
     verb, ask “What am I
                                                                                                                                        For more information, visit:                             which they are
     supposed to. e.g.,
                                                                                                                                                                                                 directed to go to the
     draw?”                                                                                                                                            figure (5 = chapter 5;
                                      Chapter Five: How to Read a Page                                                                                                                           12 = the twelfth figure
                                                                                                                                                                                                 in that chapter). Ask,
   Pre-Reading                                                                                                                                                                                   “How does this
   Have students read the                                                                                                                                                                        information comple-
   discussion questions                                                                                                                                          Web links                       ment or relate to the
   before they start                      Footer                            A Short Note to the Teacher/User of this Page                                        More textbooks include
                                                                                                                                                                 links to web sites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 text to which it is
   reading so they know                   Many textbooks include                                                                                                                                 linked?” For example,
   what they need to                      different information in         I created this page after listening to my students make the following                 Teach students how to           does it complete,
                                          the footer. Pay attention                                                                                              read web sites. Also            supplement, or
   understand and find.                                                    comments:
   Note also the use of a                 to this and use such                                                                                                   help them understand            rephrase the content
                                                                               • “I don’t understand how to read the page. It has all these colors               when, how, and why
   standardized icon to                   information to orient                   and boxes and symbols on it, and I don’t know what they mean                                                   of the main text?
   indicate these                         you to the main ideas                                                                                                  they should pursue the
                                                                                  or what I’m supposed to do with them. I get totally confused.”                 information provided on
   questions which appear                 and location within the
   at each section’s end.                 chapter.                             • “I don’t understand what the directions say,” or “I don’t                       the web site.
                                                                                  undertand what the directions want me to do.”
                                                                           A short list of the essential skills students need would include:
                                                                              • identify the main idea
                                                                              • distinguish between important and irrelevant information
                                                                              • know which questions to ask (and when and how to ask them)
                                                                              • determine if they understood the information and, if they did not,
                                                                                 know which strategies to use to increase their comprehension              Created by Jim Burke: