The text that I'd like to share with you is Don't Laugh At Me. (I've adapted this lesson from Comprehension Connections by Tanner McGregor.)
I use this book because there are VERY FEW words but lots of EASILY INFERRED FEELINGS, perfect for modeling mixing your thoughts with the text. I like to start every year with a lesson like this because, believe it or not, some students reach fifth grade and don't realize that REAL READERS don't just read the words. I want to give my students a VISUAL that we can refer to throughout the year and I want to make a BIG impression with this simple lesson.
We use a salad bowl with red and green ping-pong balls for this lesson. I call for two volunteers and explain that I want my red volunteer to drop a red ball into our bowl when I read words from the page. I then explain that I want my green volunteer to drop a green ball into our bowl each time they can tell I am thinking about the text. I exaggerate this for effect to make sure we get lots of green balls. ;)
I'm sure you've guessed the end, and might have seen variations of this lesson before, but by the end of the book, my bowl is over flowing with green thoughts and is only sprinkled with red words.
I refer to this lesson almost everyday as we begin our independent reading time, and then again before we have our reflection time using STICK PICK. During our REFLECTION time, I make a point that I only want a little bit of details from their reading, but I want A LOT of their thoughts. We use a thinking stem anchor chart to get them going if necessary. They speak beautifully and confidently about their thoughts from their texts within only a few weeks.
Simple but effective and even my fifth graders need that visual to solidify the importance of adding your thoughts into your text to be a REAL READER. In my opinion, this is one of the most important lessons we teach our readers. Click over and check out some other Language Arts Mentor Texts. :)
Have a super Sunday! I'm off to church, then tennis, then ice cream with the family. :) Thanks for reading!