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Modeling Inquiry with Nonfiction

Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis have established themselves as purveyors of reading strategies that work in elementary school settings. They promote modeling by all teachersand the processes for engaging themselves and their students in the understanding and use of nonfiction text.

A few of their exercises for early readers of nonfiction are summarized below (2000, Appendix F). Each of these will lead to early practice to help guide and model inquiry and scientific mindedness. Children are naturally curious, but as humans they need help in organizing, making selections, prioritizing, and eventually gaining focus on what is meaningful to both themselves and their likely audiences. Students are invited to make initial choices and are guided by teachers who model and present options so that students are enabled to make logical revisions and extensions to what they bring to the nonfiction text.

For each of the examples from Harvey and Goudvis below, copies of text pages are made for students to feel free to mark and highlight. If original pages are used, teachers and students use postem-notes. Sometimes different colors allow several students to contribute their ideas together to the same text pages and clearly show personal contributions. Notes can be moved from the text pages to large sheets of paper on which the postem-notes can be organized to show patterns of observations. Charts and tables of combined ideas can be generated. These same methods can be used to produce individual or group thinking for concept maps through the use of software such as Inspiration.

eyeRead Generating and Testing Hypotheses from NETC.

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