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Retelling nonfiction


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Retelling nonfiction

  1. 1. Retelling Nonfiction Content area text presents a challenge for young readers.Often, students think that simply reading the words equalssuccess. They may not understand that they have to rememberimportant ideas from what they read. Retelling can be a great tool to help students understandnonfiction. When students retell, they have to transform theprinted words of the text into their own spoken words. Retellingallows readers to see if they understood the text, connect newideas with existing information, and make inferences. Simply directing kids to retell does not always lead to goodresults, though! In my experience, students need careful modelingand support as they work on retelling. Pictures or figures can helpthem to retell. The pictures can be cues to help them rememberimportant information, and can also help students to show howideas relate to each other. This packet includes a reading selection and materials tosupport retelling expository text.Item ExplanationBefore Reading This Before Reading activity is a variation of Probable Sentences. Students read words from the text, rate their knowledge of them, and then use the words to write predictions for the text. This helps them to form expectations for what they will read.“Surviving the I was so fascinated by accounts of how theseWinter: The tiny turtles survive the winter! In this article,Painted Turtle” written at a third/fourth grade level, students will learn about how tiny painted turtles live through freezing temperatures. As you read this with students, be sure to draw their attention to the headings and italicized words.Retelling This is a generic set of directions to guideNonfiction students as they retell nonfiction. If yourEmily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  2. 2. students are retelling nonfiction for the first time, be sure to model how to do it. Show students how to use headings as a guide for recalling information.Painted Turtle As students retell, it is helpful for them toRetelling Figures have pictures or manipulatives to move around. These pictures can help students to recall important ideas and show how they relate to one another.After Reading This page asks students to reflect on their predictions and answer some questions about the article.Postcard from a In this brief writing assignment, studentspainted turtle will create a postcard from a painted turtle.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  3. 3. “Surviving the Winter”: Before ReadingRead the vocabulary words from the passage. Put a star beside the wordsthat you know. Put a question mark beside the words that you are not sureof. winter temperature scarce survive painted turtles supercooled chemicals ice crystals hatchlingsUse the words from above to write two predictions for the article.1.2.Draw a picture to show something that you expect to read about in thisarticle.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  4. 4. Surviving the Winter: The Painted TurtleAn amazing survivor For most animals, winter is a difficult time. Winter bringscold days. The temperature drops below freezing. Food can bescarce. Baby painted turtlesdon’t migrate to a warmerplace. They can survivethrough cold, cold weather.They can survive intemperatures that are belowfreezing. They can evensurvive being frozen! How can an animalfreeze, and still be alive?Painted turtles have specialadaptations that help themsurvive.Turtle hatchlings Painted turtles are common reptiles. They live in ponds andstreams all over the United States. Painted turtles spend a greatdeal of time in the water. They can only swallow while they areunderwater, so they mostly eat water creatures and plants. Female painted turtles come out of the water to lay theireggs in the summer time. If the summer temperatures are warm,baby female turtles will hatch. If the summer temperatures arecold, baby male turtles will hatch. Something surprising happens when the baby turtles comeout of their eggs in late summer. Instead of swimming away intostreams and ponds, the hatchlings stay in their nests. Even as theweather grows colder and the days grow shorter, the baby paintedturtles stay in their nests, about 5 inches underground.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  5. 5. Two ways to survive When the temperature drops, baby painted turtles go into avery deep sleep. Their heart beats only a few times each minute.They don’t even need to breathe. Baby turtles survive cold winter temperatures with twospecial physical adaptations. Sometimes, the baby turtle’s bloodbecomes supercooled. This means that their blood actually goesbelow the freezing point of water. But it doesn’t freeze. Specialchemicals in the baby turtles’ blood make this happen. The specialchemicals act like antifreeze. They keep the baby turtles’ bloodfrom freezing. Supercooling isn’t the only way that baby painted turtlessurvive the winter. These amazing animals can actually livethrough being frozen! Most animals die if they are frozen. Jagged ice crystals tearthe living cells of their bodies. But when baby painted turtlesfreeze, the ice does not form in their cells. It forms in spacesbetween the cells. This way, the baby turtle does not die. Whenthe weather gets warmer, the baby turtles thaw and crawl away. So, on a cold January day, think about the baby paintedturtles in their nests. Their blood can be supercooled. They caneven survive freezing. Painted turtles may be small, but they haveamazing adaptations.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  6. 6. Retelling Nonfiction: Things to Remember 1. Your job is to retell the main ideas from the text in your own words. Don’t just read the text aloud. 2. Have a copy of the text beside you to look at as you retell. 3. Think about the text structure. Make sure that you retell the ideas in a way that matches the text structure. (For example, don’t tell a text written as main idea and details in chronological order.) 4. Use the headings to help you retell one section at a time. 5. Use important vocabulary words from the text. If you have been given a list of words to remember, try to put these words into your retelling.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  7. 7. Painted Turtle Retelling FiguresDirections: Cut out the pictures below. Use them to help you retell the mainideas from “Surviving the Winter” with a partner.Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  8. 8. “Surviving the Winter”: After ReadingReflecting on your predictionsLook back to the predictions that you made before reading. How was the textsimilar to or different from your predictions?Thinking about the text 1. What adaptations help a baby painted turtle to survive the cold winter? 2. How is the blood of a baby painted turtle special? 3. What is an adaptation?Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only
  9. 9. Postcard from a painted turtle Pretend that you are a baby painted turtle. Create a postcard from your winter home. On one side, draw a picture of what your winter home looks like. On the other side, write a few sentences to tell what your winter experiences are like. Be sure to include specific details from the text as well as your own ideas. You may address your postcard to anyone (or any animal!) that you like. I can’t wait for winter to be over!Emily Kissner 2011 For classroom use only