Is this a helpful model for you to use? Why/why not?
When I look at this program, I can ensure that my students are learning language features, understand what they read, know why it was written and can evaluate a text critically.
Each of the roles takes places at all grade levels and can be used in any mode of learning – modeled, shared, guided and independent. And the four roles – code breaker, text participant, text user and text analyst – are not learnt sequentially. Even from a young age, students should be thinking about how texts are used and why they are written.
USE ‘REAL’ TEXTS
Books for early readers are usually written in a way that is not conducive to natural reading. Use quality literature over many reading sessions, rather than awkwardly written texts. Texts may include a repetitive refrain to assist early readers. Phonics and sight word program can come from these texts (code breaker). ‘Real’ texts also include everyday texts, such as recipes, advertisements, take away menus and newspapers. These provide a rich source of discussion.
The whole-part-whole strategy is a routine that can be used to introduce students to reading ‘real’ texts.
Whole: Before the first reading, the teacher will activate prior knowledge by discussing what is on the front cover and have students relate their text-to-self connections. Predictions are made about what the story might be about and what indicates this on the cover. The teacher will model reading the story. Some students may pick up on repetitive refrains.
Part: The story may be read multiple times, with the students familiarity with the text increasing. The text will be deconstructed to enable students to explore the Four Resources Model roles. Some examples of text deconstructions activities include:
- Select a sound included in the text. Make a list of the words that have that sound in the book. What other words can you think of that have that sound? Words can be sorted into a chart that has the focus sound at the beginning, middle, and end. (Code breaker)
- Use new vocabulary encountered in the text in a new way. (Text participant)
- Retell the story using puppets or as a skit. (Text user)
- Whole: Students come back to the initial text and read it along with the teacher. The students and teacher could then write a new take on the text as a joint construction. The students share the ideas and the teacher writes it. They could write a new story from a different point of view, with different character, a different setting or alternate ending (Text analyst).
In shared reading, the text is available for all students to read. This could take the form of a big book or multiple copies of the text for students. The teacher will have students activate prior knowledge and make predictions using the front cover. The teacher, with limited interruptions to facilitate comprehension of the whole text, will read the book through once.
On subsequent readings, the teacher will read the book and focus on literary devices (characters, plot, setting), linguistic features (grammar and vocabulary) and codes (graphophonic knowledge, spelling and punctuation). Some strategies include:
- Cloze activates – Individual words are hidden using post it notes. Students predict the word. Peel off individual letter to narrow down the possibilities.
- Questioning – Which word had an “aw” sound (code breaker)? Why did the gingerbread man runaway (text participant)? Why did the author write this newspaper article (text user)? How would the text be different if it took place in the country (text analyst)?
- Character diary – Write the diary of the main character at a particular point in the story