Nonfiction Text Reading in Third Grade

A love for reading and writing has to be cultivated at a young age. And in Katherine Callahan’s Third Grade class, that’s exactly what she’s doing. 
Last week’s lesson focused on dissecting and understanding nonfiction text. Ms. Callahan’s lesson was a two-part one. First, the boys had to match a photo, a nonfiction text word, and its definition together. Students worked in groups of four to identify the matching definition word and picture for such themes as “graph,” “picture,” and “idea”— all phrases that relate to building a cohesive nonfiction text.  
 
Secondly, boys then put their understanding of text components to work. They read an article about the water cycle, where they had to use deep-reading to answer questions. They assigned each question a color and had to underline pertinent information to help them understand the text better using a corresponding colored pencil. 
 
“When it comes to reading, especially reading critically, engaging our boys at a young age is important,” said Ms. Callahan. “Finding unique ways to stimulate different parts of their brains not only helps to fully immerse them into the activity but also helps to capture the attention of boys who learn in a wealth of different ways. Working in small groups also promotes collaboration, ownership, and the responsibility of one’s own work.”
 
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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.