In the upper grades (2-5), we planned a unit in which the teacher reads several literary nonfiction texts and looks for specific things in each one, and then adds them to a matrix to help students make connections across texts.
This is the way our matrix looks in third grade:
In case you can't read the questions, they're
- Who is the subject/main person?
- What are their traits?
- What are their motivations or goals?
- What challenges does he or she face?
- How do they overcome the challenge?
- What lesson can we learn from their life?
We chose to read...
and Snowflake Bentley - one of my favorites!
It's especially difficult for kids to understand and decide on a lesson, moral, or theme for the text. Our teachers worked on the theme as the learning that the character does or the reader can do as a result of how the problem is solved (or challenge is overcome).
Question for you: Which biographies do you love to read with kids? Which have the best messages for us to learn?