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Coteaching Reading Comprehension Strategies in Elementary School Libraries: Maximizing Your Impact

Chapter 9: Synthesizing: Advanced Lesson

Photo of Judi and Rochelle conducting writing conferences  
Photo of Judi and Tracy conducting art conferences
This lesson was field tested by fifth-grade teacher Rochelle Thomson, art instructor Tracy Ross, and Judi Moreillon, serving in the role of teacher-librarian. Throughout the unit of instruction, there were at least two educators present. This provided students with more individualized instruction. This was particularly important during writing and artwork conferences and at the culmination of the unit, when students shared their poems in small groups. The lower student-to-teacher ratio helped students be successful.

Additional Resources for the Jazz Bibliography

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers (Holiday House, 2006) These poems capture the rhythm, the history, and the heart of jazz. The illustrations capture the angles, light, and shadows of jazz musicians playing in many venues. Readers can use the introduction and glossary of terms in their inquiry projects.

Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sean Qualls (Henry Holt, 2008) In this simple story with an inviting repeating line, Ms. Weatherford shares young John Coltrane's musical influences. Sean Qualls' illustrations capture the movement of music and the richness of African American culture..

Examples of Student Paintings and Poems Here are some samples of fifth-grade students' paintings and poems. It is often helpful to share other students' work with young painters and writers.

Selecting Student Products

Depending on the time available to teach this unit of instruction, educators can engage students with the children's literature and then choose to include jazz musician research or go directly to composing poems after students have painted their artwork. Some students may conduct research on their own and bring their learning back to the class. Making connections to National Poetry Month (in April) or jazz musicians in the news can strengthen students text-to-text and text-to-world experiences.

Internet Pathfinder: Jazz

Fifth-grade students illustrated this pathfinder with paintings in the style of Picasso's "Three Musicians."

AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner:

  • Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning. (1.1.6)
  • Continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical-thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge. (2.1.1)
  • Organize knowledge so it is useful. (2.1.2)
  • Assess the quality and effectiveness of the learning product. (3.4.2)
  • Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning. (4.1.8)

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Launched: March 2007
Updated: 5 June 2013