Read & Analyze Nonfiction Text with the Rungs of Reading!

Hello, Friends!  We hope you are enjoying the long weekend (for some of us, anyways) and are excited as we are about all of the wonderful ideas we have been reading about this past week!  We are incredibly grateful to be part of this dynamite group of literacy gurus!  
We are Colleen and Stacy from The Rungs of Reading.  After teaching special education for 13 years, I (Stacy) moved into the role of Elementary Reading Specialist at my K-5 school.  I have been teaching reading for five years and absolutely LOVE my job!  Colleen is working hard as a first-year second grade teacher after finishing her undergraduate degree in early elementary with a Master's in Reading.  The idea for our little blog began when Colleen was completing her reading practicum in my classroom.  She quickly introduced me to the world of teaching blogs, and I was hooked!       
Today we are going to share one of our favorite comprehension strategies that we use in our classrooms called "Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction Text" or RAN, for short.   
Now that the Common Core State Standards stress an equal balance of literature and informational text in the classroom, we have spent a considerable amount of time building our nonfiction libraries and revamping our lessons to include more informational text strategies.  RAN has proven to be an effective strategy to use with informational text as it encompasses both before, during, and after reading activities.  In addition, it requires students to use a variety of strategies including activating schema, confirming thinking, and asking questions.  Finally, this strategy can be done with teacher support in a whole-class or small group setting or independently while using a graphic organizer.
When using the RAN strategy, students begin by brainstorming what they think they know about a topic.  These ideas are written on individual post-its and placed in the first column of the chart or graphic organizer.  Here is an example of a RAN chart after brainstorming what my second grade students knew about the topic "climate".  I recorded their ideas and placed the post-its on the chart.
After brainstorming, students read the text for the first time.  When they find a confirmation in the text, that post-it is transferred into the second column of the chart or graphic organizer.  Here is our RAN chart after some initial thoughts were confirmed.  Notice that some of our ideas are missing!
After the first reading, students review the chart and attend to any misconceptions they might have had about the content.  These ideas are transferred to the fourth column of chart or graphic organizer.  At this time, students can revise their thinking and add their ideas to the "new learning" column of the chart or graphic organizer.
Finally, the strategy concludes by reading the text a second time then thinking about what questions the students still have about the content.  This is a perfect time to explain that sometimes our questions are not answered when reading a text and we have to do additional research to find answers.
We hope you enjoyed reading about one of our favorite strategies to use when teaching informational text.  Here is a little FREEBIE to help you out when using the RAN strategy!
 Reading & Analyzing Nonfiction Text




Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

14 comments

  1. Awesome post ladies! I can't wait to try this strategy out with my struggling readers!
    Emily, The Reading Tutor/OG

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  2. I love using nonfiction texts with my first graders. They are naturally so curious about the world around them. I've actually used this exact book. The RAN strategy is an effective way to engage student thinking. Thanks for sharing your lesson and graphic organizer!

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    1. You're welcome, Wendy. Yes, the little ones are so inquisitive. I've always been bothered that "reading to learn" should be a focus in the upper grades as the primary grades are devoted to "learning to read." Those two ideas really need to go hand in hand.

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  3. Excellent explanation! I love the before/during/after format, and I think this strategy is one that applies to a broad age range. I think it will work very well for teacher modeling, and the graphic organizer will work well as the students take over the usage. Thanks so much for the freebie!

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    1. You're welcome, Carla. It's definitely a strategy that can be used successfully at different grade levels.

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  4. I agree with Carla! I could see using this with my 8th grade students too! Thanks!!

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    1. Aly,
      I think it would be perfect for older readers!

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  5. I also use this chart for all my content area studies and we use it throughout the unit. I use this as opposed to the KWL. I never knew what to do with when they say what they KNOW, and it is wrong. This allowed us to talk about what they THINK they know and point out the misconceptions as we taught them in our study. I love this strategy. Tony Stead's book has many more for analyzing nonfiction text. Thanks for the freebie...I have a big chart, and I like this for individuals to use.

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    1. You're welcome, Terry! You made a good point. Sometimes children think that all of their thoughts are valid. A KWL chart can be hard to get the message across that our thinking isn't ALWAYS accurate.

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  6. I think this would be great for any age group struggling with comprehension, research skills, etc. I am going to trial it with my daughter with Nonverbal Learning Disorder. She has difficulty with comprehension, isolating facts, sifting through texts to find the main idea, etc. Thank you so much!! thursdaytook@hotmail.com

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    1. You're welcome. We hope your daughter has success with this strategy.

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  7. I love this! And it will work so great for any level of text. I appreciate your description explanation of it! That is so helpful to me. I have already passed this post onto my reading teammate. Thanks!
    Em

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    1. Thanks Em! We are happy to hear that it was helpful and that you passed on to your teammate!

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