A. Reading for Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: Pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (15 minutes)
- Focus students on the description of the industrial food chain on page 5. Invite students to read that food chain again, as that will be the focus of the next few lessons.
- Tell students they are going to read pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma for the gist. Remind them that they should have already done a first read of these pages for homework.
- Display the Reading Closely: Guiding Questions handout. Explain that the questions on this document can help students to read texts closely because by questioning a text using these questions, it will help them to gain a deeper understanding of it. Tell students that in this lesson, they are going to look at the Questioning Texts row of the chart.
- Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:
* “Which of these questions do you think will help guide our reading so we can get the gist of pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma?”
- Listen out for and encourage students toward all the Topic, Information, and Ideas questions. (What is this text mainly about? What information or ideas does the text present? What details stand out to me as I read?) Highlight/check-mark those questions on the displayed copy of the document.
- Tell students that they are going to reread from the “I Plant Corn” section for the gist. Ask them to read along silently as you read the first paragraph aloud. As with other read-alouds, remember that the purpose is to read the text slowly, fluently, and without interruption. Don’t stop to address comprehension or vocabulary issues, as these will be addressed later and stopping would interrupt the flow of the text.
- Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:
* “What is the gist of this first paragraph? What is this paragraph mostly about?”
- Listen for them to explain that it is mostly about soybeans and how they are a big crop in the industrial food chain.
- Model annotating the paragraph on a sticky note and sticking it in the margin.
- Display and distribute the word-catcher. Tell students that where possible you would like them to read around unfamiliar words, looking for context clues to figure out what they mean; however, if they can’t figure it out from the context, encourage them to use a dictionary. Model how to fill out the word-catcher using a dictionary with the word “processed,” paraphrasing the dictionary definition on the word-catcher.
- Tell students that if they still aren’t sure what the word means after looking for context clues and looking in the dictionary, they should leave the Definition column blank to be discussed with the whole group later.
- Pair students up and invite them to work together to find the gist and record unfamiliar words on their word-catchers for the rest of the paragraphs up to the end of page 25.
- Circulate and support students as they read. For those who need more support, ask them to practice telling you the gist of a section before they write it in the margin.
- Invite students to pair up with a different student to compare what they wrote for their gist statements and to help each other with any unfamiliar vocabulary they haven’t been able to figure out the meaning of.
- Refocus the whole group and invite them to share any unfamiliar vocabulary words they found on pages 22–25 along with the definition. Where students were unable to work out the definition from the context or find it in a dictionary, encourage other students to assist them with the definition. Ensure that a student verifies that meaning in a dictionary. To keep things moving, if no one else knows what the word means, tell students what it means.
- Be sure to address these words, as students may struggle with them: kernels, Pioneer Hi-Bred 34H31, agribusiness, hybrid, traits, disease-resistant, bushel, quadrupled, yields, genetically, organism, genes, DNA, bonanza, patent, corporation, reckless.
- Remind students to record new words on their word-catcher.
- Explain that many words we use today have Greek and Latin origins, either in the root of the word and/or in the affixes, and that becoming familiar with some of these can help us figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words. Ask students:
* “What is an affix?”
- Select volunteers to share their response with the whole group. Listen for students to explain that an affix is something added to the beginning or end of a word to change the meaning. Provide an example: The suffix “ant” means “a person who,” so the word “applicant” means “a person who applies.”
- Focus students on the word regular on page 23. Explain that the “reg-” part of regular means straight. So when Michael Pollan says “regular kernels” on page 23, he means straight kernels or normal kernels, rather than something different or modified.
- Focus students on the word quadrupled on page 24. Ask:
* Can you spot the root of this word? What does it mean?”
- Cold call students for their responses. Listen for them to explain that the root is “quad-”, which means four.
- Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression, and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
- Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language. Consider allowing students to grapple with a complex text before explicit teaching of vocabulary. After students have read for the gist, they can identify challenging vocabulary for themselves. Teachers can address student-selected vocabulary as well as predetermined vocabulary upon subsequent encounters with the text. However, in some cases and with some students, pre-teaching selected vocabulary may be necessary.
- Inviting students to say the gist aloud to a partner or the teacher before writing can give them the confidence to record their ideas and ensure they know what to write.
B. Text-Dependent Questions: Pages 22–25 (12 minutes)
- Tell students that now they are going to dig deeper into this section of the text to understand it fully.
- Distribute Text-Dependent Questions:Pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
- Tell students they are going to work through the questions on this handout. Ask students to get into the triads they worked with in the previous lesson. Remind them of the Teammates Consult protocol from yesterday in which they spend time reading and discussing and coming to an agreement about an answer before they all pick up their pens to write. Make it clear that it is now the responsibility of the triad to manage this protocol—you will not be telling them when to discuss and when to pick up their pens.
- Model how to use details in the text by asking students to work through the first question with you. Refer to the answer on the Text-Dependent Questions: Pages 22–25 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (answers, for teacher reference).
- Circulate to assist students. Ask questions to encourage them to refer to the text:
* “How did you come to that answer? Can you use a detail from the text to support your answer? Can you point out to that answer in the text?”
- Invite students to pair up with someone from another triad to discuss and compare their answers. Invite students to revise their answers if they think it is necessary based on what they see in the answers of the person they are working with.
- Text-dependent questions can be answered only by referring explicitly to the text being read. This encourages students to reread the text for further analysis and allows for a deeper understanding.
- Some students may benefit from having access to “hint cards,” small slips of paper or index cards that they turn over for hints about how/where to find the answers to text-dependent questions. For example, a hint card might say, “Check back in the third paragraph on page 2.”
- Use of protocols (like Teammates Consult) allows for total participation of students. It encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and social construction of knowledge. It also helps students to practice their speaking and listening skills.
- Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the necessary scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning
C. Introducing Food Chain Graphic Organizer (5 minutes)
- Display and distribute the Food Chain graphic organizer. Remind students that Michael Pollan calls these “food chains.” Give students 2 minutes to read through the descriptors for what they are to record in each link of the chain. Ask students to discuss in triads:
* “What do you think you are going to record in each link of the chain? Why?”
- Select volunteers to share their triad discussion with the whole group. Point to the first link on the displayed organizer, “Start.” Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:
* “So in this lesson, we have started to look at the industrial food chain. From what you have read so far, where do you think this food chain begins?”
- Listen for students to explain that it begins with corn seed, which the farmer buys from a seed company and then plants to grow.
- Model writing “Industrial” at the top of the handout and recording quick notes in the first link on the displayed Food Chain graphic organizer. Invite students to do the same. Tell students that they will continue filling this out as they read more about the industrial food chain.
- When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
- Providing models of expected work supports all students, especially challenged learners.