The St. Therese 3rd Graders are analyzing the formats of fiction and nonfiction books.  With each book the class begins by establishing whether the book has some unique format, such as a table of content, index, glossary, or a play layout.  Building greater comprehension can be done by doing a quick walk through of the book to gain prior knowledge from a glossary, index, map, and caption boxes.          

          The students understood that a fairy tale fiction book, such as The Great Big, Enormous Turnip, could be read as a story or as a play after doing a quick perusal of the book.  Based on the Fairy Tale introduction, the student also determined that the story would have a lesson or moral for them to discover.   The farmer and his family soon discovered that it takes a ‘Team to Make the Dream Work” or that “Never underestimate the power of even the smallest participant”. 

         Before reading and while reading nonfiction texts, such as All About Sled Dog, the students are encouraged to pay close attention to Texts Boxes and the Glossary at the back of the book.  Students discuss the words that help the dogs to survive and compete in this extremely unique habitat.  The students learned that the dogs needed to wear special protective booties to keep their paws from bleeding.  They also learned that the dogs could train year-round because the dog sled is traded out for a wheeled cart for the summer.   The Texts Boxes helped the students understand how the musher yells out instruction to the lead dog, like a rider would do with a horse. The students used new information to compose a simple dictation paragraph on what was learned from the fiction and nonfiction text to expand their comprehension.