An Elementary Warlpiri Dictionary by Ken Hale, Visit Amazon's Kenneth L. Hale Page, search

By Ken Hale, Visit Amazon's Kenneth L. Hale Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Kenneth L. Hale,

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3. Why is background knowledge so important? KEY CRITICAL READING SKILL 1: PARAPHRASING You may be wondering why I have included the ‘‘four key critical reading skills’’ in the chapter on comprehension, when the next chapter is about reading. Although these four skills are reading skills, they are integral to the comprehension process, and they are also critical thinking skills. Take paraphrasing, for example. In combination with accessing background knowledge, it represents the first step toward understanding any ‘‘text,’’ whatever that text might be.

Think of paraphrasing as retelling, and summarizing as highlighting. Summarizing a quote makes a great Do Now, and when you appeal to students’ competitive spirit, it increases engagement. The following example explains how. ’’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson, from ‘‘Self-Reliance’’47 ) Think of summarizing as weightlifting. You don’t start by trying to bench-press 250 pounds. Begin instead with numerous light repetitions and build your way up to longer, more complex texts. Comprehension 41 6. Teach students how to figure out what’s important.

Although it’s true that the thesis of a nonfiction piece is often located in the first paragraph, and subsequent paragraphs should have topic sentences that one can identify, ‘‘find’’ is an inexact word for what readers actually must do. It’s not a Where’s Waldo? exercise. And in the case of fiction, there are no thesis statements or topic sentences to point to. More often than not, no matter what you read, finding the main idea is more accurately described as an act of inference. How Can You Teach Students How to Infer the Main Idea or Argument (AKA Summarize)?

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