Embedded Reading

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Archive for the category “Ideas”

What About the Culture? (big or little C)

I’ve had a few questions about the quality of the readings here.   There are concerns that the material is not culturally relevant and that so much more could be attained if the readings used with students were consistently culture-appropriate to the language of instruction.

 

I think that readings that integrate the target culture and that educate students are stellar.   I encourage you to use them.   The readings that are posted here are ones that we have had the time to get here.  Many of the embedded readings used by teachers are created from documents written by non-teachers.  In these cases, we try to get permission from the authors before posting the embedded versions on this site.  So, yes, they are out there.   Just not here yet.  :o)

 

Also, what you may see here as an embedded reading for a second-language classroom are only one piece of what may be a week’s worth of information and activities.   It is our goal to connect our students to the target culture as often as possible.  It is also our goal to connect with our students!!  Comprehensible-Input based instruction often starts with students’ interests and background knowledge and then segues into the target culture.

 

Comparison, or “parallel stories” are a regular part of the lesson.  The reading on Michael Phelps, for example, would be connected to a reading and activities about a Spanish or Bolivian athlete…using the same principal structures found in the Michael Phelps piece.

 

The story about Mia, recently posted, is just the beginning of a series of stories.  When Mia finds the enormous package in her living room, she Skypes with friends around the world to advice on what to do with the package.    Their responses will reflect their cultures.

 

So what about those “cultural” readings? Topics like holidays, customs, history, famous people etc.   Keep your eyes open…as more stories, and more “approvals to share” come in you will see more of them.

 

Thank you for the questions and concerns.  Keep them coming!!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Differentiation by Class

This year I have three Spanish 3 classes, each with its own size, needs and personality.  I am not really a stickler about having each class in EXACTLY the same place, but I do like them within a day or two of each other.    That isn’t always easy to do.  One class is significantly smaller and many of the students in the class are strong readers in English.  Anytime we read, they are off and running while I am prepping the other two classes for a successful activity.    Having several levels of one reading, and different levels of activities to accompany them has been wonderful.

This week we read a fictional story written in the past tense.   The base level reading was easy for all of the groups to comprehend, but one class had a much harder time answering questions in Spanish about the reading, so the next day we re-read it with actors and things went much more smoothly.  The other classes did not need to re-read, so in those classes we went on the next day to the second level of the reading.

On that day, the 3rd period class needed to go a bit more slowly than the ninth period class in order to thoroughly identify and understand the new details and language….and we had a fire drill…so we didn’t get as far as we did in period 9.

So, by day three I had three classes in three different places and I wanted to have a quiz before we started the state pre-assessments this week or it would be week 4 and I would only have 2 grades in the gradebook!    Here is what we did:

P. 3 quiz:  Students chose 10 sentences from the Level 3 reading (new to them) to translate to English.

P. 5 quiz:  Students read the Level 4 reading (new to them), answered 3 open-ended questions and wrote 2 sentences with new information that could be added to the story.

P. 9 quiz:  Students re-read Level 3 and answered 3 multiple-choice inference questions and 2 open -ended questions.

All of this was ready beforehand as activities to go with the reading levels.  I was able to choose which group was ready for which activities.

If I wanted to, I could continue on to Level 4 with all of the groups, but since it is early in the year, and we will be doing so much reading, I can stop right there in order to do next week’s state testing.   They will get many more opportunities to read and work through different kinds of questions and activities as the year goes on.  Remember, the MOST important pieces of language were in the base reading and have been repeated in every level, so I KNOW that each of the groups has had significant time with the focus structures in this story.
I’ll have the Level 4 version available for students to read on their own if they want to know how the story ends!!

Hope that your week goes well!!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Picture-based Embedded Reading

Thanks to Nathan who shared this on his and Michele’s TPRS blog and gave me permission to share.   His idea for an embedded reading came from a student drawing!  He writes:

Last week as part of introducing some past-tense modal verbs to my German II students (wanted, had to, was able to), I asked them to draw me pictures to illustrate them, and one student turned out this masterpiece:

We spent about five to ten minutes unpacking this picture in class (that’s the Pillsbury Doughboy fighting a chocolate chip cookie dough monster in Mordor), but for the past week, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get a little more burn for it.

This morning, however, I realized it would make a great embedded story as long as I withheld enough details from the early drafts. As I result I ended up with something like this:

Draft One
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies, but didn’t have an oven. He was sad, because without an oven he couldn’t bake anything. The Pillsbury Doughboy had to find a new oven and Mr. S. had a big oven. Mr. S. wanted to eat the cookies but couldn’t.

The emphasis in this draft was to try and make the story as normal as possible.  The picture is so over the top, I wanted to build up to the story slowly.  After reading this draft with the class I then had my students draw me a picture of something from this story, with an emphasis on speed over quality (3-5 minutes drawing time).  We then looked at the pictures on the document camera and discussed how well they matched the story.

Draft Two
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies and made a lot of cookie dough. But the Pillsbury Doughboy didn’t have an oven. He was sad because he couldn’t bake anything without an oven. 

The Pillsbury Doughboy also had another problem: the chocolate chip cookie dough was angry at the Doughboy.  It didn’t want to become cookies. The Doughboy had to fight with the cookie dough AND find an oven.

Mr. S. had a big oven and the Pillsbury Doughboy brought the cookie dough to his house. But Mr. S. was a very bad man.  Mr. S. wanted to kill the Doughboy and eat the cookies, but he couldn’t do anything. He could only watch.

In this draft I started throwing out a few of the funky details such as the cookie dough monster, the fight and the evil Mr. S.  Again I had the students quickly sketch me something from this story, but because this story was longer, I asked them to caption their picture.  Some students gave me a couple words, some wrote out full sentences.  Again we debated how well the pictures matched the story, and sometimes went back and forth between the picture and the story several times to establish the links.

Then I showed them the original picture and said this is what we were working towards.  Comparing notes, we then read the final draft.

Draft Three
The Pillsbury Doughboy wanted to eat chocolate chip cookies, and made a lot of cookie dough. But the Pillsbury Doughboy only had a normal oven and needed a very big oven for his cookie dough. He was sad, because he couldn’t find such a big oven. He had to do something.

The Pillsbury Doughboy also had another problem. There was so much cookie dough that it became a monster. The chocolate chip cookie dough monster was angry at the Doughboy because it didn’t want to become cookies. The Pillsbury Doughboy had to fight with the monster, but the monster was much bigger than he.

Mister Sauron had a big oven and the Pillsbury Doughboy brought the cookie dough to his house. But Mr. Sauron was a very bad man. Mr. Sauron lived in Mordor, and Mt. Doom was his very big oven. Mr. Sauron wanted to kill the Doughboy but he didn’t have any hands. He wanted to eat the cookies but he didn’t have a mouth. Mr. Sauron only had an eye and could only watch. 

What I liked about this approach was the “reveal” that I was working towards.  I had a great over the top picture to end with, and the progressive reveal coupled with additional pictures made it a really fun day.  I teach two sections of German II, and even the class that worked with the original picture had only two people figure out that we were working towards this picture before the finish.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Embedded Reading in the Science Classroom

This fall I will be working with our biology teacher and the push-in Special Ed. teacher to incorporate Embedded Reading into the biology curriculum.  I’m extremely excited about this and will add a category for materials and reflections on this collaboration.   Let the science folks in your district know!

 

 

Greetings Embedded Reading: Possible Activities

Here are some possible activities to go along with each level:

Base reading:  Grandma is at the airport.  She is not happy.  A person smiles at her.  She is happy.

* Circle each sentence

*Draw the scene/ find an image online to use or have students each illustrate the scene (allow only 1-2 minutes for drawing)

*Adapt and use this PowerPoint ( Grandma 1 )  to clarify meaning

* Teacher re-reads aloud and students close eyes and visualize the story.

Version 2:  Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello”.   She is happy.

* Ask ? w/ Question Words: Where is the airport?  Who is in the airport?  Why doesn’t she smile?  Who smiles?  What does that person say?

* Use a template like this that students fill in:  Grandma 2

*  Adapt and use this PowerPoint (Grandma 2 ) to clarify meaning.

Version 3:    One day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .   She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello Ma’am “.   She does not respond.   The person is not happy.  A person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, beautiful,” and Grandma smiles.  She is happy.

* Use a version of these questions in conversation, with a game or as a reading activity:  T F Grandma

* Have students write the meaning of the paragraph in English.

Version 4:

One beautiful day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.     A person smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.   The person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile. She is not happy and the person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles and says “Thank you.”  She is very happy.

* Use a version of these multiple choice questions with the reading:

MC Grandma

*  The teacher acts as a narrator and actors act out the roles and say the lines.

 

Version 5:

One beautiful day in September, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles, California.  Usually Grandma smiles.  Today she does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.   She is not happy because she is in the airport for two days.   She is very tired.

A boy smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma is tired.  She does not respond and does not smile.   The boy is not happy.

A man smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.  She is too tired.   She is not happy and the man is not happy.

Ryan Seacrest arrives from London.   He smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles.  She says, “Hello!  How are you handsome?”   Ryan responds, “I’m very good thank you.   How are you, gorgeous? ”  Grandma says, ” I am very, very, very good, thank you!”  She is very happy.

* Use a version of this PowerPoint: Grandma 5

* Create additional T/F or MC questions for the longer reading.

* Have students work in groups and write a Version 6.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Second Language Classes : Greetings in an Embedded Reading (Example in English)

Below is a simple embedded reading using vocabulary that is common to many classrooms in the first weeks of school.  It could be used with true beginners or emerging readers.

Base reading:

Grandma is at the airport.  She is not happy.  A person smiles at her.  She is happy.

Version 2:

Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello”.   She is happy.

Version 3:

One day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .   She is not very happy.   She does not smile.  A person smiles at her and says “Hello Ma’am “.   She does not respond.   The person is not happy.  A person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles.  She is happy.

Version 4:

One beautiful day, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles .  She does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.     A person smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.   The person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile. She is not happy and the person is not happy.  Another person smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles and says “Thank you.”  She is very happy.

Version 5:

One beautiful day in September, Grandma is at the airport in Los Angeles, California.  Usually Grandma smiles.  Today she does not smile.  She does not smile because she is not very happy.   She is not happy because she is in the airport for two days.   She is very tired.

A boy smiles at her and says “Hello old woman.”  Grandma is tired.  She does not respond and does not smile.   The boy is not happy.

A man smiles at her and says, “Good morning, Ma’am.”  Grandma does not respond and does not smile.  She is too tired.   She is not happy and the man is not happy.

Ryan Seacrest arrives from London.   He smiles at her and says, “Hi  beautiful, ” and Grandma smiles.  She says, “Hello!  How are you handsome?”   Ryan responds, “I’m very good thank you.   How are you, gorgeous? ”  Grandma says, ” I am very, very, very good, thank you!”  She is very happy.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Embedded Reading in the Curriculum: First 11 Ideas

There is no one “right” way to incorporate Embedded Reading in the curriculum.
Each teacher, each department, will look at the options for implementing Embedded Reading and make decisions.   They may sound simplistic but consider these guidelines:

  • Students should be engaged and interacting with the reading and about the reading.
  • Students should be able to comprehend, answer questions and discuss the reading, given appropriate guidance and support.

Here are some options for including Embedded Reading:

  1. Begin with the base reading on Monday (for example).  Students read (translate if necessary) and then illustrate the base reading.  Tuesday students listen to the base reading (read by the teacher) and point to the appropriate part of the illustration as the sentence is read.  The reading can take place in or out of order.   Students then read the next version of the story and answer a series of true/false questions (for example) about any part of the reading.   Each day of that week, use a new version of the reading and different activity for each version.   By Friday, the students will have a very thorough understanding of the material, repeated comprehensible exposure to the structures and language and have participated in a variety of activities (which may also include listening, writing or speaking about the topic addressed in the story/text.)

2.    Use an embedded reading routinely when reading a novel or novella.   Begin each novel with the base reading (see Esperanza example in Spanish file) and the second version along with activities.  Then read Chapters 1 and 2 as a class (along with whatever activities are usually done).   Go back to the embedded reading and read version three.  Discuss what has already happened in Chapters 1 and 2.  Identify what is now going to happen based on the embedded reading. (i.e.There is going to be a fight.) Make predictions about details. (How will it start?  Who will be present?  How will it end?)  Read Chapters 3-5.  Continue to alternate between the novel and the embedded reading.

3.  Use an embedded reading to look at the details of a particularly important section of a longer piece.  (for example see Chapter 1 of Pirates in the French section)  If a particular chapter of a novel, or a particular paragraph in an article contains a large amount of important information, break it down using the “Top Down” approach.  Use the versions created, beginning with the base reading, so that the students have a very clear view of this particular section of the reading.

4. Use an embedded reading at the end of each unit.  It can be created to include a number of the concepts, vocabulary words and language structures from the unit.

5.  Use an embedded reading to introduce a song.  The lyrics can be an embedded reading or part of an embedded reading that includes a “backstory” to the song.

6.  Use embedded readings to focus on what people think, feel and say.  The base story can be a narrative.  Version 2 will include what characters are thinking.  Version 3 will add what characters are saying.  Version 4 can include what characters feel based on what they think and in reaction to what other characters have now said and done.

7.  Use embedded readings to compare/contrast a point of view.  (See Vantage Point in Spanish Readings)

8.  Use embedded readings to prepare students to be comfortable reading the type of  selections that will appear on a standardized test (district or otherwise).

9. Teach the strategies involved in creating “Bottom Up” embedded readings to have students become better writers.   Students can create base readings or add on to existing versions.  Give students as much or as little support as necessary.

10.  Teach the strategies involved in creating “Top Down” embedded readings to have students “pare” down a complicated text into a more comprehensible version.

11.  Work with another teacher (if you work with a team).  The first 2-3 versions of the reading could be done in English / Language Arts and the 4th and 5th version in Social Studies or Science depending on the content.

These are just short summaries.  If you would any of these ideas in further detail, let us know!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Don’t Let Your Language Hold You Back!

In the past few years we have seen teachers of the following languages use Embedded Reading Successfully:

Chinese

English (as a first or second language)

French

German

Greek

Italian

Latin

Japanese

Russian

Spanish

If you have used Embedded Reading while teaching another language, let us know!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Movie Suggestion: Vantage Point (Upper Levels)

I don’t know how many or which languages are available, but my fellow language teachers..check out the movie Vantage Point © 2008 Columbia Pictures

You will obviously need to preview it for your students and your community, but I have used it successfully in Spanish with high school juniors and seniors.

The beauty of this movie is that the audience sees the main event, over and over again from the point of view of a number of different characters.    Each time, new information is added …sound familiar?!!  The entire story is not revealed until the end of the film.
Attached is the Embedded Reading that I used with the first four segments of the movie.  I hope that some of you find it useful.

Vantage Point (Punto de Vista)

P.S.  The movie takes place in Salamanca, Spain!!

 

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Circling: Questioning For Repetition and Differentiation

“Circling” is a questioning technique central to Comprehensible Input approaches such as Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS).     Circling takes some practice, but it is such a powerful skill for second-language teachers.    Content area teachers can adapt Circling for their own use in the classroom.

Circling can be used at any point when using Embedded Readings as a class.  It encourages students to ask questions of the text as they read, to slow down and to read carefully, and to reread if necessary.

Below is a link regarding Circling.   We’ll be adding further links and explanations over the next week. If you have questions, please contact us at lclarcq@yahoo.com
Susan Gross’ Circling  Explanation Template

 

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

 

 

 

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