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Blog for Final Chapters of Deeper Reading--Lynn

Within the past year I heard a statistic stating that 50% of our daily print information comes to us through charts, graphs, and tables. As teachers Gallagher places the responsibility of really reading the newspaper and knowing its contents on the teacher. Gallagher shares ideas to help begin the process of comprehension into the classroom with the responsibility falling on the student to unearth deeper meaning and to read with a critical eye or with questions about the articles.

I will begin using this process in the Fall. Newspaper Reading Minutes places children in the position of looking for the most interesting article to share with the class. Students sign up for a day on the monthly calendar and when they are slated to present everyone in the class prepares a one sentence response to the article. This method seems the ideal way to wet the feet of the students.

His next focus is "reading" the political cartoon. I plan to "shop" for appropriate cartoons to share with the students and analyze. A recent report shared the low readership of the 30 and under age group. There are so many ways to be informed however it is vital that the studnets I work with develop a deeper understanding of the print resource.


Lynn, I too appreciate Gallagher's argument for the importance of teaching students to read "real world" texts like newspapers and political cartoons, and how we've failed if we haven't taught our students to apply the critical reading and thinking strategies we use with traditional school texts to the texts they read in the world. In addition to emphasizing the connection of critical reading strategies, I think there are explicit ways we can bridge the "traditional literature" vs. "current events/texts" divide by choosing texts that do connect with each other in their content as well (say a Brian Friel play about life in No. Ireland, a contemporary political cartoon about the IRA, the U2 video "Bloody Sunday," etc). Our discussion of the Simpsons yesterday made me think about how that particular contemporary text is itself in conversation with many classic texts-- both making the classics more accessible and helping our students read all texts more deeply and critically.

This is a Lynn entry, right? Apologies to you Joan, if it is really from you. :)

I really appreciate Gallagher's emphasis on teaching students to examine what is not said in the texts they read, especially, as Lynn notes charts, graphs and other information sources.

Nobody could be a bigger fan of nonfiction than me. However, I am also an extreme advocate for reading, reading, reading and writing, writing, writing nonfiction text in the classroom. Nonfiction literacy is critical for life beyond academia. It is the type of text we engage with most often. Anything teachers do to increase student exposure to, engagement with, comprehension for, and generation of nonfiction text is a positive step for a lifetime of literacy.

Mary Verbick