Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Determining Importance in Reading

Good readers try to determine importance in what they are reading. Usually it is automatic. If it is not, meaning will break down. When meaning breaks down, the point of reading is lost. There are three levels to consider when determining importance: Word level,
Sentence level, and Text level,

Word level refers to the ability to understand what words convey the most meaning.

“Her attempts at reconciliation were fleeting.”

Ask: What words are most important and why? What impact will they have on the storyline?  What will this do to the plot? To the characters’ lives?

Sentence level is determining the most important sentences which carry the weight of the passage. 

“She was determined to block entry at all costs. Pushing furniture in front of the passage and flinging anything she could lay her hands on into the path. But beyond all reason and effort, they made their way nearer to her hiding place. At last, they reached the thresh hold. Try as she might, the weight of the door was too much.”

Ask: Where is the pivotal moment in this paragraph? What will change the course of events for the character?

Text level is generally referring to key ideas, concepts, or themes in the entire text.

Think in terms of Aesop’s fables…
The Kid and the Wolf
A kid, returning without protection from the pasture, was pursued by a wolf.  Seeing he could not escape, he turned round, and said:  "I know, friend Wolf, that I must be your prey, but before I die I would ask of you one favor you will play me a tune to which I may dance."  The wolf complied, and while he was piping and the kid was dancing, some hounds hearing the sound ran up and began chasing the wolf.  Turning to the kid, he said, "It is just what I deserve; for I, who am only a butcher, should not have turned piper to please you."
~In time of dire need, clever thinking is key or Outwit your enemy to save your skin.

Ask: What is the moral? What is the point? How does this apply to my life? How can I connect this to other things? What point is the author trying to make?  What should I walk away remembering?

Thinking in this way gives readers an opportunity to interact with text, to enjoy it, and really derive meaning from the text.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,


MrsYub said...

This is a similar theme to what we follow in Sunday School :)

Bethany said...

That's great!

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