This week in reader's workshop we will be looking at the things good readers do to help stay engaged or focused on the text. We will review several comprehension strategies - making connections, questioning, predicting and visualizing. The goal is to make each strategy as concrete as possible for the kids to help them grasp the concept and begin using it in their own independent reading.
On Monday we will launch into the comprehension strategies with visualizing. We are going to read the lyrics to John Denver's song Grandma's Feather Bed as well as listen to it and then the kids will sketch a picture of the image the song brings to their mind. We want the kids to understand that visualizing isn't simply just drawing a picture. When you visualize, you put yourself into the book - almost as if you become a character in the action. It's not only about what you see, but what you hear, smell, taste, touch, and feel. Use your senses!
When I use music and video in the classroom I try for things the kids haven't seen or heard yet. I think of songs and things from my childhood. Most of the kids these days have never heard the theme from the Brady Bunch! My mother was a huge fan of John Denver and still has many of his albums on vinyl. Listening to these songs makes me feel like a kid again.
If you haven't ever heard John Denver sing Grandma's Feather Bed, you are in for a real treat! The song is very descriptive and downright fun. The kids have a great time with the song. Here's a clip of John Denver singing the song on the Muppet Show. Enjoy!