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Students of all levels need some scaffolding; they need a plan and some knowledge in order to build a foundation for deeper understanding. There are many ways to approach the task of scaffolding depending upon the age group of the students and the text’s level of difficulty. The following 12 ideas can be modified to meet the needs of any grade or ability level.
Assign a simple research task that requires students to investigate topical information from the text. This may include historical events, cultural beliefs or practices. Students can then become the teachers by presenting the information to the class via Power Point, a poster or Photo Story.
Introduce the Author
Writers often compose stories based on personal experience. Familiarizing students with an author’s background gives insight into the subject of the text, the author’s style of writing, or the main idea. Show students a video biography of the author or set them off to research the author in the library. Ask students to connect the authors’ experiences back to his/ her writing.
Introduce the Characters
Provide students with a character list and lead them through getting to know the characters. Equip students with the characters’ traits before they read. Based on what they know, ask students to draw a picture of the character or create a conversation between two or more characters.
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