Introductory Challenge

It’s November, and Ms. Thompson’s class is getting ready for Thanksgiving break. Together they’re reading a history book about the European arrival to the New World. Before reading the book together, Ms. Thompson teaches a vocabulary lesson on words from the book that may be new to the students: “cornucopia,” “pilgrim,” “gourd,” “maize,” “gratitude,” “indigenous,” and so on.

After the lesson, the students take turns reading paragraphs from the first chapter. During one student’s read-aloud, he struggles with words that were reviewed during the pre-reading discussion. And, as he reads, he doesn’t observe periods and commas, so all the sentences blend together, making them hard to understand.

Think about what scaffolding you could give to this student to help improve his comprehension and therefore to help him read aloud more fluently. Imagine that you are helping Ms. Thompson develop two mini-lessons, one to help him work on vocabulary and another to help with punctuation. What would these two mini-lessons look like?