Reading Categories

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14 thoughts on “Reading Categories”

  1. Here’s a script based on Matava’s “The Thirsty Boy.” My fifth and sixth graders like stories with animals, and I like to bring in restaurant vocab now and then. We have had other stories in Flufflandia, so it’s a place the kids know. And I had to have a couple of footnotes.
    Les moutons qui aiment manger les sandwiches
    Trois moutons entrent dans un restaurant. Le restaurant est en Flufflandie. Le restaurant s’appelle “Le canard vert.” Les moutons regardent les autres animaux dans le restaurant. Il n’y a pas de moutons; il y a des poules, des perruches, des aigles, des coqs, des flamants. Le serveur regarde les moutons et il crie, “Non! Je suis désolé, ce restaurant n’est pas pour les moutons. C’est un restaurant pour les oiseaux. Au revoir, moutons.”
    Les moutons quittent le restaurant. Il y a un problème–les moutons ont très, très, très faim! Les moutons marchent….ils voient un autre restaurant. Le restaurant est très petit. Les moutons regardent le menu. Ils voient beaucoup de sandwiches. Les moutons adorent les sandwiches et un sandwich coûte trois dollars. Super! Les moutons entrent dans le restaurant. Le serveur regardent les moutons. “Oh, bonjour! Il y a une table libre2. Voilà la table. Asseyez-vous.” Le serveur donnent des menus aux moutons. Les moutons regardent le menu. Il y a beaucoup de sandwiches. Mouton #1 veut un sandwich au poulet, Mouton #2 aime les sandwiches au fromage (gruyère–il est végétarien et il adore le fromage suisse) et Mouton #3 commande3 un sandwich au saucisse. Les moutons mangent très vite et ils commendent d’autres sandwiches. Ils continuent à commander et à manger des sandwiches.
    Quand ils finissent, Mouton #2 demande au serveur, “Ça fait combien?” Le serveur regarde l’addition et répond, “Ça fait quatre-vingt-treize dollars, monsieur.” Mais les moutons ont oublié les porte-monnaies. Ils disent au revoir au serveur et quittent très vite le restaurant. Le serveur regarde la table–quel désastre! Il ouvre la porte et il crie, “Retournez, moutons!!” Mais les moutons ne sont plus en Flufflandie…ils sont au Bordiac! Bordia est à 500 kilomètres de Flufflandie. Les moutons sont rapides!!

  2. Here’s another French story based on Matava’s “Wants to be.” Again, I like to use animals as main characters.
    La vache qui veut être une poule
    Dans une maison il y a un mouton, trois canards et une vache. Les animaux habitent dans la maison. Le mouton est grand, calme et noir. Les canards sont gris et blancs. La vache est marron.
    Un jour (un lundi) les animaux sont dans la salle à manger. Ils mangent le dîner. La vache dit, “Mes amis, je ne veux pas être une vache. Je veux être une poule. Je vais aller à l’université pour les vaches. Il y a une classe pour être une poule.” Et la vache va dans la cuisine. Les canards crient, “Coin coin! Tu es bizarre, vache! Ce n’est pas possible! Les vaches sont les vaches et les poules sont les poules. Les animaux ne peuvent pas changer!” Le mouton regarde les canards et il dit, “Canards, il y a un grand problème. La vache est très stupide, elle n’est pas intelligente. Pourquoi est-ce que la vache veut être une poule?”
    Mardi, le mouton va dans la chambre de la vache. La vache regarde un livre. Le livre s’appelle _Comment être une poule: un livre pour les vaches_. Le mouton demande à la vache, “Vache, pourquoi veux-tu être une poule? Tu n’es pas très intelligente et être une poule est très difficile!” La vache répond, “Si je suis une poule, je reçois beaucoup d’argent. Je veux être riche. Je veux beaucoup d’argent. Je veux changer de maison–je n’aime pas cette maison!” Le mouton est triste. La vache n’aime pas la maison! Le mouton dit au revoir à la vache et il va dans le salon.
    Jeudi, la vache dit au revoir aux autres animaux et va à l’université pour les vaches. Les autres animaux sont dans l’entrée de la maison. Ils regardent la vache qui fait du vélo pour aller à l’université. Dimanche, la vache retourne à la maison. Elle n’est pas contente. Elle est triste et fâchée. Elle a reçu un D dans la classe. Elle ne veut plus être une poule. Maintenant elle veut être un âne!

  3. Here’s a reading text I prepared.
    Focus words:
    -quiere, quiere ser (wants, wants to be)
    -piensa (thinks)
    -sabe (knows)
    Note: I wrote all the dialogue using Ud. insted of tú. I’m experamenting with only teaching my students mainly Yo, Él/Ella/Ud., and Ellos/Ellas/Uds. forms of the verbs to simplify things and also get students used to speaking to other using the third person tense as we do in Spanish for formal conversations. Once I figured out Usted is just an evolution of Vuestra Merced (your grace), speaking formally (in the third person) suddenly made sense to me. Its much easier to learn to speak using the Usted form when you know that it is exactly the same thing as the Él/Ella form, and not a completely different tense that just happens to be spelled the same way. I think this is because we are familiar with hearing or reading dialogue from old English where those of lower social stature would say things like: “Sire, shall I bring his Magesty (your grace) his carriage?”
    El nerd que sabe bailar
    Hay un chico y su nombre es Logan. Logan es un estudiante súper inteligente y sabe mucho. A él le gusta mucho estudiar y siempre saca una A+ en todas sus clases. Él sabe programar computadoras y en el futuro, Logan quiere ser ingeniero de robótica. Logan es un súper nerd. Todos sus amigos son nerds y Logan no es popular.
    Hay una chica en la escuela. El nombre de ella es Selena Gómez. Selena Gómez es súper atractiva y muy popular. Selena Gómez no es muy inteligente. A ella no le gusta estudiar y no sabe mucho.
    Selena Gómez y Logan son estudiantes en la clase de inglés. Logan piensa que Selena Gómez es la chica más atractiva en la escuela. Logan piensa en Selena Gómez mucho. Logan no presta mucha atención al profesor de la clase de inglés porque él piensa en Selena Gómez. Selena Gómez no piensa en Logan porque Logan es un nerd. A ella no le gustan los nerds. Selena Gómez no sabe que Logan piensa en ella. Selena Gómez casi no sabe que Logan exista.
    A Selena Gómez le gusta mucho bailar. Selena Gómez piensa en bailar mucho. Ella quiere ser una bailarina profesional. Ella sabe bailar Merengue, Salsa, Ballet, y Hip Hop. Hay un baile en la escuela la próxima semana. Selena Gómez quiere ir al baile, pero no hay muchos chicos que saben bailar. Generalmente, los chicos no les gustan bailar.
    Logan sabe que Selena Gómez quiere ir al baile. Selena Gómez no sabe que Logan quiere ir al baile. El lunes, Logan pregunta a Selena Gómez, “¿Usted quiere ir al baile conmigo?”
    Selena Gómez responde, “¿Con Usted? ¡No! Usted es un nerd, y no me interesen los nerds.”
    Logan dice, “Yo sé bailar.”
    Selena Gómez dice, “Usted no sabe bailar. Usted es un nerd. Los nerds no saben bailar.”
    Logan responde, “Unos nerds saben bailar. Soy un nerd y sé bailar.”
    Selena Gómez dice, “Baila. Quiero ver cómo Usted baila.”
    Inmediatamente, Logan comienza bailar. Selena Gómez está sorprendida y maravillada y dice, “¡Wao, Usted sí sabe bailar! ¡Quiero ir al baile con Usted!”
    Logan y Selena Gómez van al baile y bailan mucho. Después del baile, todas las chicas piensan que Logan es súper atractivo y todas quieren ser la novia de Logan.
    El fin.

    1. Michael, I started doing exactly that about two years ago, for level one and two at least. Then I throw in the impersonal “Tu” when addressing kids. The lower levels see it in reading material and novels, but that’s it. I like the change. You?

      1. Great to hear at least one other is doing what I’m doing. I like the change, but I’m not sure how things work out long term. I teach middle school and my students switch exporatories every 9 weeks, so keeping things as simple as possible is key, since I have so little time with my students before they switch.

        1. Michael with that kind of time limitation, about all you can really do is PQA and maybe work with lists of words on the wall, which middle schoolers love. You can establish meaning for a few words on the wall to begin each class, PQA them, extend that PQA a little bit to create a little scene, but as far as anything else, you don’t have enough time. At any rate, that is all I ever did when I had my 12 week exploratories with 7th graders when I taught middle school.

      1. Oops, I missed the part about posting Matava or Tripp scripts. It was my own story idea. Sorry. I think I was skimming through the article too quickly trying to catch up on all the articles that I missed over the last week.

  4. Maybe a way to simplify the categories is to standardize the way you title them. Perhaps just the script title (in L2) and whether it is simple or extended, but that latter part may not be necessary.
    I’m going to send you a couple more in the next few days.

  5. As far as the activity of doing the reading itself, I tried something that Carol Gaab has mentioned – going along with her ” the brain craves novelty” mantra. To that end, I divided a reading into color coded sections. All the blues translated the blue, etc. When they were all done, we got together in groups with one from each color group – a jigsaw. They were up and moving and all were involved. It kept them all engaged and liked being up and moving around. Next week I am going to try a cloze activity for reading – blank out the words, I will read and they will scream out the missing word.

    1. I am definitely going to steal color coded reading idea – our district is very big on cooperative learning, so this could be straight out of Kagan’s book. Yes, the brain does crave novelty, but just reading this blog ensures that there is always plenty of novelty in my lessons. Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions.

    2. Hi Chill – sorry for the stupid question, but HOW do you color-code a reading? What parts do you separate out? Which readings? Story scripts and/or novels? Thanks!

      1. MB asked this question a year and a half ago, and I finally have the answer after going to Carol’s session this summer.
        The reading selection in question is on the projector. Each section is marked with a bullet in a different color. The students have picked up colored strips of paper at the door (Carol claims that you can reuse them, but she doesn’t have teens who mangle paper.) That is how they group themselves. You can also use the colored “garage sale” dots on card stock. That’s what I plan to do to when I finally get to this thing.
        Carol’s colors reminded me of a game I am using at times with my students: Kahoot. A class or an auditorium can play it, using a combination of cell phones, tablets, or computers. (We do it sometimes in the computer lab.) Questions appear on the screen, and the answers are color-coded. Students pick the right color on their device, but they don’t see the answer choices on the screen. They have to look up to choose. The creators said they did that to make a group connect more, rather than having everyone looking down at the screen and being in their own little worlds.
        Go check out the game at It’s great.

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