My section was all about the signposts we see in literature as we read. While Kylene Beers and Robert Probst were reading novels that were commonly taught in certain grades they kept comparing notes and finding that they were pausing and questioning and reflecting in the same areas. Not only were these parts of the story helping the reader analyze, they were also causing the reader to comprehend and reveal literary elements in the story: conflict, plot, theme, symbolism, setting, etc. As they kept looking for those features they wanted to set up a criteria that had to be met so they knew that feature was worth teaching. That criteria was:
- The feature had to have some characteristic that made it noticeable, that caused it to stand out from the surrounding text.
- The feature had to show up across the majority of books.
- It had to offer something to readers who noticed and then reflected on it that helped them better understand their own responses, their own reading experience, and their own interpretation of the text.
From this criteria they established the six core signposts and which literary elements they help the reader understand:
Notice and Note Signposts
Contrasts and Contradictions
A sharp contrast between what we would expect and what we observe the character doing. Literary Elements: character development, internal conflict, theme, relationship between setting and plot.
A character's realization of something that shifts his actions or understanding of himself, others, or the world around him. Literary Elements: character development, internal conflict, plot.
Questions a character raises that reveal his or her inner struggles. Literary Elements: internal conflict, theme, character development.
Words of the Wiser
The advice or insight a wiser character, who is usually older, offers about life to the main character. Literary Elements: theme, internal conflict, relationship between character and plot.
Again and Again
Events, images, or particular words that recur over a portion of the novel. Literary Elements: plot, setting, symbolism, theme, character development, conflict.
A recollection by a character that interrupts the forward progress of the story. Literary Elements: character development, plot, theme, relationship between character and plot.
Ways to incorporate these signposts into your classroom:
I saw this photo on Pinterest (it did not have a home, so if you know where it originated from please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!) and I will definitely be doing this with our novel studies and literature circles this year! Love me some colored post-its ;o)
I created a few freebies for to use in your classrooms if you would like as well! The first are two different sets of bookmarks. The first one has the signposts, definition, and a box for you to put in a text code you might want to use. I left the boxes blank so you can choose your own symbols/codes for your classroom and just have your students fill them in. The second bookmark is just the signposts and definitions. Both sets come in black and white and color.
Another freebie I created is this graphic organizer for your students to use while they are reading independently. You can use this many different ways! You can send it off for copies whenever you want your kids to write down their ideas quietly before sharing or for their own books. I'm thinking I might laminate mine so we can reuse them again and again. Not sure though... Thoughts???
Click on the image to grab your FREE graphic organizer!
My friend Theresa over at Pinkadots Elementary has a SUPER CUTE Stop, Notice, and Note poster set for the signposts that I have already bought, printed, and laminated - ready to go for next year! She has also generously offered to giveaway a set of these posters to one of you! All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter below and cross your fingers! These posters are a chalkboard theme (which I love!) but she also includes a "save ink" set that is on a white background :o)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Rafflecopter will close by tomorrow (Friday, June 20, 2014) at 11:59PM, so hurry and enter for your chance to win! If you would like to check out even more great ideas for this book study, click on the links below to take you to some amazing bloggers and their thoughts on the book so far. Thanks for following along and please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and ideas on signposts in the classroom!