Thinking Routines as Pre-Reading

Before reading the short story The Cop and the Anthem by O. Henry, I invited my 8th graders to engage in a See-Think-Wonder surrounding a sentence from the beginning of the text. We recorded our thinking in the spirit of a Chalk Talk so we could return to it later. We had never done this kind of close looking at a sentence before, but the kids were up for the challenge. The things that they uncovered were so, so insightful and thoughtful! This set the tone for an engaged reading and entered into our challenging read armed with confidence. They were excited to know the context around the sentence and were more engrossed in a text than I’ve seen in a long time. When we came across our sentence in the story, the kids jumped up with pens and wanted to add to our Chalk Talk. Fun way to begin a reading — will definitely try it again!

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