In this unit, students will practice essential reading strategies while reading the novel Old Yeller by Fred Gibson. They will enhance their awareness and use of skills such as using context clues, identifying the main idea and the author’s purpose, making predictions and inferences, summarizing, and checking for understanding. Students will understand that good readers use specific skills and strategies to help them better comprehend a text, and they will be able to identify and describe some of those strategies. After participating in a number of learning activities, students will be able to answer the questions, “How do reading strategies help me become a better reader?” and “What can I do when I do not understand what I am reading?” In addition to developing students’ life-long reading skills, this unit is designed to review reading strategies prior to the fourth grade TAKS reading assessment. To that end, students will complete a multiple-choice assessment at the close of this unit with questions that emulate those on the TAKS test. In addition, they will work in groups to complete one of two performance assessments. For the first task, students will design a presentation to teach their peers about one of the reading strategies investigated in this unit. The presentations will be videotaped to be shared among other fourth grade classes. The second task will require the students to create a book that teaches future fourth grade classes how to be a good reader through use of the strategies they have learned. *Note – The novel Old Yeller was chosen because of its connection to the fourth grade social studies curriculum, but any novel can be used in its place.
Morrow, Kathryn, "Using Fred Gipson's Old Yeller to Practice Essential Reading Skills [4th grade]" (2009). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 102.