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DESCRIPTIONPYRAMID READING ANALYSIS CLOSE READING
Pyramid Reading - Master Plan Pyramid Reading is founded upon the idea that scaffolding is the key. Just like grammar and writing, reading skills should be learned in a logical, sequential order. The purpose of Pyramid Reading is to make this process completely clear.Beginning with, LITERARY ANALYSIS: Foundational Skills, this unit pyramid represents the ten complete reading units that make up an English course. Each unit in Pyramid Reading builds upon the next. Within these units, the reading skills required for mastery are built upon each other as well. Finally, for every skill in every pyramid there are multiple teaching resources available which are themselves scaffolded. When all of this comes together, the complete picture of a comprehensive and effective English class becomes clear.Implementation Guide So now that we know what to teach and when, how do we do it? Underneath each unit pyramid there are graphic organizers that address each skill in each pyramid. Follow the simple steps below to put these tools to use in your classroom! 1. Choose reading materials that are age-appropriate and ability-appropriate.2. Start with the first skill at the bottom of the first unit pyramid and locate the graphic organizers under the unit pyramid that address this skill. 3. Make double-sided copies of the graphic organizer. Yes, you can print and make copies of these - as long as you don't try to sell them or tell people that you made them.4. Introduce the reading skill. Model for the students how to complete the graphic organizer by using real-world, relevant, appropriate topics. It will help to have a document camera or overhead transparency so that the students can see how this is done. 5. Read the literature in whatever method you prefer. Stop strategically to fill out sections of the graphic organizer as a whole class, in small groups or in pairs. Make sure everyone is on target. 6. After reading, ask the students to complete the graphic organizer on the back independently. This is your assessment for learning. 7. Check their work. If they got it, move on to the next skill. If they didn't, go back and try again using a new graphic organizer or reading materials. 8. Many skills can and should be re-taught strategically throughout the school-year. Primarily, these include the literary analysis skills found in unit one. Unit 1: Literary Analysis: Foundational Skills It is essential to begin by addressing the foundational literary analysis skills that will be used throughout the course. This pyramid begins where research shows is most effective, summarizing, and scaffolds up to evaluation. As with every skill in every unit, do not move up the pyramid until mastery of the previous skills are achieved. The key to this unit is to re-teach these skills often throughout the school-year using more and more complex reading materials. Unit 2: Elements of Literature: Introduction The journey towards fully comprehending grade-level reading materials begins by asking and answering the questions: who, what, when, where and why? This pyramid begins that process. Unit 3: Character Development We now dig deeper into the question: who?In doing so, we also begin to answer the question: why? Unit 4: Plot Studying plot is essentially a way to make sense out of a complete literary work. The best method for doing so is to read the story first while stopping along the way to summarize, make predictions, draw conclusions, etc. Afterwards, by teaching and utilizing the elements of plot, students can thoroughly analyze the work by breaking it down into its component parts. In doing so, they can examine how these elements make up the over-all structure of the story. Unit 5: Elements of Literature This pyramid begins by examining how different characters and the reader can experience similar events in different ways. It ends with making connections between literary works and life. Once again, it is essential that each skill is mastered prior to moving on - even if it requires more than a week to adequately teach and learn. Unit 6: Author's Purpose The truly powerful aspect to the 'author's purpose' unit is that when it is complete, students will be able to recognize how authors, politicians, advertisers and the media in general are able to manipulate them. As such, they become more empowered readers and thinkers. Unit 7: Informational Text Informational Text includes history textbooks, newspaper articles, flyers and brochures. The key to the process is to remember that few of these resources are entirely factual. History, as someone said, is written by the victors. Therefore, to fully explore informational text, a student needs to employ the critical reading skills learned in the 'Author's Purpose' unit along with many of the literary analysis skills mastered in units 1-5. Unit 8: Theme Just like main ideas, themes are seldom directly stated. In order to accurately determine a theme, students need to be able to employ every reading skill learned up until this point. Theme represents the highest purpose of literature. It is that often intangible feeling inside us that we take away from a great novel or film. How do we find that and put it into words? The answer is through deep analysis and higher order thinking. Unit 9: Figurative Language It's hard enough to teach students to make sense of the literal words on the page. Figurative language requires students to take those words and re-interpret them in a new way. At this point, we are very deep into an English/Language Arts course. However, if every skill has been thoroughly taught and learned up until this point, students are now ready to begin this unit. Unit 10: Elements of Poetry It has all been leading to this. Poetry is saved for last because it is the most difficult genre of literature to comprehend. Further, many of the reading skills that students have mastered up until this point - tone, theme, figurative language, etc. - all come back into play in analyzing and making sense of poetry. This is where the scaffolded journey ends.