Reading partnerships are an alternative to (but not a substitute for) buddy reading. We can help our students engage in meaningful reading partnerships by giving them a routine to follow as they discuss a poem, book, or short story and share and/or record their thinking. Often, students are paired with similar readers in their class to engage in meaningful reading partnerships. Reading partners each have their own copy of the agreed upon picture book, chapter book, poem, or short story and they set-up times to meet and discuss the text throughout their reading of the book; in other words, throughout their reading process.
When finished with a text, reading partners work together to complete a reading project and share their common reading experience with their classmates. I encourage these shares to be short and meaningful. Sometimes, students simply write a review for the book or create a two-minute book trailer to post on a class website (older students, on YouTube). Sometimes, they create an interview where one partner takes on the role of the author/poet and is interviewed by the other partner who takes on a television talk show host. The interview may involve doing some research about the author’s life. I like to encourage students to keep it simple. One pair simply created a song list to accompany the oral reading of the picture book. They didn’t read the book aloud on the audio recording, but they encouraged students to read it while listening to their soundtrack. Pretty cool! Another pair created several six-word memoirs as six-worders to advertise Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. Here is one of them: Pigeon pleads his case: reader, beware!
Here is an easy routine to get your students thinking through their reading process with a partner as they engage in independent reading in school.
Look at the cover of the book. What do you want to know?
Look at the pictures in the book. What do you think the book is going to be about?
Now read the book with your partner. Who are the main characters in the book?
What is the setting (Where does the story take place?) for the story?
What is this book about?
Draw something that happened in the story.
Finally, be ready to share this book with the class. Tell me how you and your partner plan to share.
I am participating in #SOL17. Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team and the participating writers for creating a community for sharing and responding to writing.