The Missouri Reader Vol. 40, Issue 3 - Page 23

Classroom Close-up

Reviewed by Tiffany Flowers, Assistant Professor of Education at Georgia Perimeter College

4. Biopoem: In this strategy, students take on the role of a character or object in the text and use information from the text and their inferences to fill out the structure. This is a good strategy to use when students need to go beyond memorization of facts and begin applying information to a specific scenario. The structure of the biopoem is listed below from Vacca et al. (2014).

Line 1. First name

Line 2. Four traits that describe character

Line 3. Relative (“brother,” “sister,” “daughter,” etc.) of ___________________

Line 4. Lover of ________________ (list three things or people)

Line 5. Who feels ______________ (three items)

Line 6. Who needs ______________ (three items)

Line 7. Who fears ______________ (three items)

Line 8. Who gives ______________ (three items)

Line 9. Who would like to see ______________ (three items)

Line 10. Resident of __________________

Line 11. Last name (p. 289)

This strategy works well not only for biographies of scientist or other important people in history, but I teach biology and bio- means life, so I like to modify it slightly to work for the living organisms we study. I would use this when studying the different habitats/ecosystems/biomes and the animals that are a part of them. Students would take on the role of one of the organisms living in the area and fill out their biopoem accordingly. Most animals do not have first and last names, therefore, some modifications might be necessary, or scientific names could be used. The following is an example of what a finished

product might look like.

Gray Squirrel

Who is small and gray with a fluffy tail, a great climber, and loud when warning of potential danger?

Cousin of mice, rats, chipmunks, and other rodents

Lover of acorns, berries, bark, and “flying” from tree to tree

Who feels shy around other animals and humans, territorial around other squirrels, and brave when jumping from tree to tree.

Who needs seeds and nuts for food, tall trees for food and shelter, and leaves and sticks for their nest

Who fears owls, hawks, cats, and coyotes.

Who gives up tail hair to make nests for the young, forgotten acorns to become saplings in the spring, and time to raise 1-5 kits each spring.

Who would like to see unguarded bird feeders, mild winters, and large nut trees.

Resident of the temperate forest ecosystems

Also known as Sciurus griseus

Content area teachers can enrich their teaching by adding reading strategies that not only help the students build valuable reading skills, but also bring deeper understanding and comprehension to the content.

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There is no one strategy that fits every content area, age group, or situation but each strategy needs to be chosen based on the goals of the lesson."

An Interview with Dianne de Las Casas – Motivating Readers with a Sparkling Spirit

I wanted students to know more than just the nucleus was the control center. Here is what a finished product might look like.

The important thing about the nucleus is that it is the control center of the cell.

It contains the DNA or genetic code.

It controls everything the cell does and makes.

It is large and round and is located near the center of the cell.

But the important thing about the nucleus is that it is the control center of the cell.

Another example of how it could be used is with the various rock types. Once again, I wanted students to know more than just how they were formed.

The important thing about igneous rocks is that they are formed from melted rock that has hardened.

Some have crystals - big or small.

Some are glassy.

Some have air holes in them and may even float.

But, the important thing about igneous rocks is that they are formed from melted rock that has hardened.

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