non-fiction informational

You will select one non-fiction informational text that you feel will be of benefit to mind, body, or spirit (no fiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, please).   Throughout the course of reading, you will employ assigned reading strategies in order to better comprehend the text’s content, as well begin the process of developing your rationale as to why or why not this text is beneficial to one’s mind, body, or spirit.

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I.  Purpose and Goal Setting


In your reading journal (a collection of strategies, notes, etc), write a paragraph in which you discuss why you chose this specific text.  What did you determine about its initial relevance to you; what interests/intrigues you about its subject/content; what will keep you moving forward as a reader when/if you lose interest, etc.


Then you will set two goals for yourself as a reader:  your “reading goal” and “content goal.”  For the reading goal, what do you intend to achieve?  (examples:  finishing the book, building your fluency and stamina, deepening comprehension, etc.)  For the content goal, what do you intend to learn from your chosen text.  As you declare these goals, please include the why behind these goals.


II.  Reading Strategies


Divide your text into 5 sections (either by page numbers, chapters, sections, etc).  You will respond in using a different reading strategy for each section.


Section One:  Dialectical Journal

You will chose significant, interesting, problematic, etc. quotes from this section.  In your journal, you will create a T-Chart upon which you will write the quote in the left column labeled “passage” (transcribed word-for-word in correct MLA format).  In the right-hand column, labeled “response,” you will record your thoughts, questions, reactions, etc.  These responses will go beyond the superficial (like: “Me too!” or “I never thought of that before.”) and move into the reflective—always think about not only what do you think butwhy do you think it.


Section Two:  Say/Mean

Similar to the Dialectical Journal (DJ), you will select specific passages from this section, only these passages need to be worthy of analysis.  Again, you will create a T-Chart, labeling the left-hand column “Say,” in which you will record the passage as you did in the DJ.  In the right hand column, labeled “Mean” you will offer your analysis, in essence interpreting, discussing, speculating, “making up” what you think the passage means.




Section Three:  Say/Mean/Matter

In this strategy, you will be taking the process of Say/Mean to the next level.  In addition to repeating the process of Say/Mean as you did in Section Two, you will add a third column “Matter.”  To complete this column, you will need to identify some of the overarching themes explored in either this particular section of the text or in the text-in general (theme is defined as “the bigger picture” being conveyed.  For example,Catcher in the Rye is the story of an angry teenager.  The themes in the book are:  self-discovery, guilt, hope, identity, etc.)


Section Four:  Chunking

In this strategy, you will “chunk” this section into smaller, “bite-sized” chunks.  In your journal you will record the following:

Chunk 1 (2, 3, etc.):  Inclusive Page Numbers

Main Idea:  In one – two sentences of your own words, what is the most important idea of this chunk.

Passage:  Include ONE representative passage (no more than four sentences, please), recorded in correct MLA format


Section Five:  Create Your Own!

Here, you will record your thoughts, ideas, findings with respect to this section, using any strategy you like or simply making up a new one.  Anything goes, as long as you record the process.


III  Reflection

At the conclusion of each of the above sections, please reflect-in-writing upon the following:

1)       Discuss how using this assigned strategy informed your comprehension

2)       Where are you with mastering your reading and or content goals?  Do you need to develop new goals (this is a good thing!)?

3)       What ideas are you developing about why or why not this text is beneficial to the reader’s mind, body, or spirit.


IV  Concluding Remarks


When you have completed your text, compose, again, in your own words, a brief (1 paragraph max) synopsis of your book.  To whom, do you believe, this text is specifically targeted (who is its audience, really).  What did you learn as a result of reading… about the subject matter, about your world, about yourself?

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