Paired Texts Planning Present - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Paired Texts Planning Present

Reading comprehension isn't limited to one text anymore. As the rigor has amped up, students now must be able to "analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take." (CCSS, R.9) In other words, students must be able to read and comprehend TWO texts on the same topic (a pair) and then compare them. They also must still be able to return to each text individually to answer questions.  And finally, although there are still multiple choice questions about the texts, students must also be able to write constructed responses to text dependent questions.


Just like with other reading strategies, students must be taught how to comprehend and analyze a pair of texts. It's important to do close reading of each text individually first before comparing them or integrating the information in both. This means it could actually take a week or more to walk students through close reading and annotating each text individually AND the pair of texts (read more about that here)...then answer the questions about the texts. You might use small group time, or you might do it through your mini-lessons, but no matter when you do it, the rigor of paired texts will require you to carve out time over the course of the YEAR (it can't be saved for the month before the state test).
Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
Knowing that you will need to use paired texts all year, why not integrate your texts with other content your students need to learn? Reading and writing across the curriculum really helps to ingrain the content! Plus, we know that students need to be exposed to more nonfiction. You can find all of my sets of paired texts here.
Today's Planning Present is a set of science paired texts about snow and the water cycle!
Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
This passage is from Winter and Snow Paired Texts.

When it's time to answer questions about the texts, I like for students to mark exactly where they found the evidence for that answer. If you are taking "THE TEST" online, you are probably aware they have a highlighting function. Teaching students to highlight key words in the question and evidence in the text can help differentiate evidence from annotations as well as take away the novelty of it when it comes time to "play" on the computer. Ha! Here are some examples:
Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
Students highlight particles knowing this is the word they will look for in paragraph 1. 
Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
Students have already annotated this text, so highlighting helps show what evidence they found for the question. Here, they used context clues to determine particles are pieces and specks. They know dust is small, so the answer must be "small pieces."

Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
The evidence for this question is actually found in BOTH texts, but here is evidence in "Bentley's Snow Crystals" that shows choice b is actually false. You can also see the evidence that proves choice c is true, and can't be the answer. 
Paired Texts in the Classroom With Ideas by Jivey.
I hope this planning present will help you use paired texts effectively in your classroom. Don't forget to head over to Jennifer's blog, Teaching to Inspire, for another planning present!

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