Brief Synopsis- The story takes place on Manor Farm and has a third person perspective. The animals on the farm are unhappy with their current conditions. Led by a few pigs they revolt against the farmer that housed them. They hope to form a utopian farm for all animals. However, Napoleon (one of the pigs that started the revolution) starts to manipulate the animals and the humans around the farm. The farm starts to resemble its former self and Major begins to resemble the villainous farmer. This book is basically depicting communism in an interesting way.
Overview of the Unit Reading fluency is an extremely difficult area to assess and instruct. In general, there are three areas that are addressed that make up fluency phonemic awareness (being able to say words and understand the construct of the letters that make up the word), grammar and comprehension. These three areas formed together help a teacher assess the students they have. However, it is still very difficult to classify since fluency seems to come natural to many students especially by grade 8 (Rasinski, 2004).
Keeping all of this in mind there still needs to be a definitive gauge for assessment. This unit is based around some reading aloud in class. After the students have read on their own time, having them reread the various passages out loud will help to increase their fluency. According to the book Classrooms that Work, “repeated readings is a way to help students recognize high-frequency words more easily, thereby strengthening their ease of reading” (Addison-Wesley 1998). This will also allow for the next area of significance to become a link in the fluency chain-vocabulary.
The student’s readings will provide opportunities to ask them about the various vocabulary words in this unit. The unit will stress various vocabulary words and a higher order of thinking to gain comprehension. As they read, the teacher can pick out these words and engage the students to see if they comprehend what is being said. If the students do not understand the words, the next step cannot happen which is comprehension. Comprehension and fluency are forever linked. One cannot happen without the other.
The easiest way to label it is students must be able to understand what they read. That is why in many younger grades, grade levels are not simply based on the student being able to read the words, but to what degree they understand what they are reading. The main construct of the lesson is to expand the knowledge of the students and have them reading something outside of their normal realm. Students should always feel they are learning something new (Grabe, 2010). This book and unit will allow for that to happen.
Reading aloud by the students, by the teacher, and discussions about various vocabulary and plot themes will make this lesson successful. The students will read a great book that is a classic and they will gain an understanding of some high school level vocabulary and thought processes. References Cunningham, P. M. & Allington, R. L. Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read and Write. Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc. 1999 Rasinski, T. (2004). Creating fluent readers. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 46-51. Grabe, W. (2010). Reading in a second language. Ernst Klett Sprachen.
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