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Mining Complex Text, Grades 2-5

  • Title:Mining Complex Text, Grades 2-5: Using and Creating Graphic Organizers to Grasp Content and Share New Understandings
  • Author:Diane Lapp, Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Karen Wood
  • Publication Date:October 2014
  • Grade Level:2-5
  • ISBN:9781483316291
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Imagine you are a fourth grader, reading about our solar system for the first time. Or you’re a high school student, asked to compare survival in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games and Elie Wiesel’s Night. Reading complex texts of any kind is arduous, and now more than ever, students are being asked to do highly advanced thinking, talking, and writing around their reading. If only there were ingenious new power tools that could give students the space to tease apart complex ideas in order to comprehend and to weld their understandings into a new whole.

Good news: such tools exist. In the two volumes, Mining Complex Texts, Grades 2-5 and 6-12, a formidable author team shares fresh ways to use the best digital and print graphic organizers in whole-class, small-group, and independent learning.  Big believers of the gradual release method, the authors roll out dozens of examples of dynamic lessons and collaborative work across the content areas so that we see the process of using these visual tools to:

  • Help students read, reread, and take notes on a text
  • Promote students’ oral sharing of information and their ideas
  • Elevate organized note-making from complex text(s)
  • Scaffold students’ narrative and informational writing
  • Move students to independent thinking as they learn to create their own organizing and note-taking systems

Gone are the days of fill-‘em-in and forget-‘em graphic organizers. With these two volumes, teachers and professional development leaders have a unified vision of how to use these tools to meet the demands of an information-saturated world, one in which students need to be able to sift, sort, synthesize, and apply knowledge with alacrity and skill.

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Author Bio

Diane Lapp, EdD, is Distinguished Professor of Education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She has taught elementary and middle school and currently works as an 11th- and 12th-grade English teacher at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Her research and instruction focus on issues related to struggling readers and writers who live in economically deprived urban settings, and their families and teachers. She has co-authorder numerous books such as Effective Instruction for English Language Learners, Essential Readings on Comprehension, and Teaching Literacy in First Grade. Dr. Lapp has received the Outstanding Teacher Educator of the Year Award from the International Reading Association, among other honors, and is a member of both the International Reading Hall of Fame and the California Reading Hall of Fame.

As a teacher for online courses hosted by the University of Central Florida, Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey is interested in how the interactions of students in digital and face-to-face environments change their learning. While much of his research centers on how visual information, such as graphic organizers, works in tandem with text to improve learning, he is also intrigued by the intersections of traditional literacies with digital literacies, specifically focusing on how those literacies affect teacher preparation and professional development.

Dr. Karen Wood has been training literacy specialists for over 25 years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she is a Professor in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education. Dr. Wood is a published author and former reading teacher, reading specialist, and K–12 instructional coordinator, and much of her writing focuses on translating research and theory into classroom practice across all subjects and grade levels.

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