Phillips Summer 2018 Children's Literature discussion

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Twin Texts Discussion

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Phillips | 4 comments Mod
This is where you will post your piece of new learning after reading Camp's twin text article. You are encouraged to respond to other discussion posts as well.


message 2: by Justina (new)

Justina Wemhoff | 4 comments Justina Wemhoff
Children’s Literature
Professional Reading- week 3
18 June 2018

Twin Texts Discussion

I learned that story structures are easier for teachers to teach and students to comprehend becausause the students are used to reading books with that structure. Informational books today even have more conversational tones like fiction books. Children also naturally have lots of questions, so nonfiction books can be used just as well to answer them Text sets are books put together because they have a similar topic or theme. Something that kept sticking out to me was why it was harder for students to understand nonfiction. My conclusion from the reading is that it is because nonfiction has straightforward factual text. However, that text can be about some incredibly varied topics that the students may never have heard of or experienced before. Fictional twin textbooks paired with the factual nonfiction, gives students a contextual setting for the topic. I had never thought of that simple explanation on in all of my educational wonderings. I had never stopped to consider that my own personal non enjoyment of reading nonfiction came about for that very reason. I’d rather read a story and learn about the topic through that story and characters’ experiences.

That being said, there’s obvious value in nonfiction works as well. Something I found that helped me understand nonfiction books was that they often follow similar structures, and the reading discusses that a little. A trend that really seems to work is nonfiction text that is narrative and includes expository text. Similarly to other students, the weighty amount of facts and topical ‘jargon’ and vocabulary can make nonfiction hard to follow or just not interesting to the reader. It makes me wonder if for certain students, reading nonfiction works before the fictional works could be helpful in some learning situations. I had never thought about a challenge with nonfiction text being that it doesn’t have a ‘ready made’ organization. Narrative texts are chronological. Students have to put order to nonfiction text. I thought of it as the student choosing or finding the relevant or needed information from nonfiction texts. I wasn’t sure if that would positively impact their learning or if some consider that partial learning or a topic.

I’d already heard of the KWL method because it has been incorporated so often and in many different ways throughout my education. I enjoy basic models like those because teachers can then create activities and discussions that will follow the model. It’s good to ask students to predict because it helps encourage active reading as the students look to see if their predictions are correct and critically think about why or why they weren’t correct as well as seeking out the correct answers to previously thought about questions and predictions. I had to chuckle as reading about the students and the whale topic. I was definitely a student who would have webbed out to different types of whales, gotten stuck, or missed what information was important. That’s why the role of teacher as director or facilitator is so important. It gives students that boost to help them think more properly about organizing information, especially connection the central topic to related areas.

Activating prior knowledge is also such an important tool. I know that when I was first reading nonfiction, it helped if I could physically experience what I was learning about in some way. For ex., if I’m learning about chickens, doing the science unit in which the class hatches eggs is a great idea. A teacher isn’t always going to get the chance to have twin texts, and that shouldn’t be the only option anyway. Hands on activities work great as well. However, if hands on activity can’t happen, then activating prior knowledge is just as important. The students need to think about what they already know in order to discuss what they might learn and add on to that their prior knowledge.

Source: It takes two: Teaching with Twin Texts of fact and fiction by Deanne Camp


message 3: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 4 comments One thing that I found useful in this reading was how no matter which method of teaching twin texts is used, they all had reading the fiction book first in common. After reading the fiction book, all methods then in some way have the students thinking about the subject and either pointing out important words to look for or add to from the nonfiction reading, or to ask questions about the topic that (hopefully) can be answered upon reading the nonfiction selection. I learned through this reading that twin texts are much more than just finding similar topics, but making connections between the fiction and nonfiction versions to better enhance a student's understanding.


message 4: by Nina (new)

Nina (NinaCox) | 5 comments In Camp's twin text article, she explains that students often struggle with content text material because of the density of facts and several vocabulary terms that are presented in a short amount of text. She makes a really good point that if the students already have background information about that topic, they are better able to focus on the content that they need to learn, as opposed to spending the duration of the book struggling to take anything away from it because it acts as an "overload" of information.
After reading this, I would also like to point out that not only would they focus on the information that they need to learn, but also information that they would WANT to learn. The method of introducing a topic by first exposing the fictional book to students is very clever. The main purpose of non-fictional books is to primarily entertain children, and since the fictional book would have the opportunity to "reel" them in, they would be much more interested in receiving a more in-depth look at the facts behind a story they enjoyed.
I also love the fact that the abundance of recently-published books also includes quality, non-fiction books for children, as well. As a mother, I love this "Twin Text" idea, because of the way it ties together education and entertainment. It helps develop good habits within young children to have the desire to learn.


message 5: by Stephen (last edited Jun 16, 2018 12:09PM) (new)

Stephen Adams (Haruhara) | 3 comments To me the main piece of learning I gained from the Twin Text article by Camp was the portion on DL/TA. I preferred this to the DR/TA activity for the same reason the teacher examined did, it makes differences in reading level less of an issue for the lesson. Also, by using DL and guiding the reading and thinking you get more control over where to stop for a think break, things to point out in the text, and what vocabulary you want to highlight without having to use documents and causing children to focus on answer finding than absorbing the actual information. I also liked the aspect of bringing in physical objects that the readings were discussing to bring more options for discussion before and between books. This could also be used with more advanced/older students by connecting it with another subject such as science. Students could do the basic introductory project in their science class, bring the results to the literature class, discuss, predict what may happen in the books based on their findings, and then make conclusions afterwards on what was different than expected and why. This would also activate prior knowledge on the subject from the brief introduction students received from their science class and focus on higher tiers of Bloom's for question generation. Although the fiction book would lose some of it's initial introductory merit from having the introduction being in another class it could still help to solidify the concept if students didn't completely understand while doing their science project.


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 4 comments I remember doing the “Twin Text” method (in the way that after reading a fictional book, you read a nonfiction book to learn more information). It must have worked because presently, I adore reading nonfiction (particularly history). I think pairing fiction and nonfiction books together for children at an early age helps them read the books differently and appreciate nonfiction more.

I had never heard of the K-W-L chart before. After reading about it, I think it’s an excellent idea to help encourage deeper discussions with nonfiction reading. The “What I know” part of the chart can inspire confidence in all the things the students already know. Even if they don’t know much, that’s okay because they’re going to learn things about it soon. The “Wonder” part is good for creating questions and deeper enquiring for the subject. It shows engagement and attention in the mind of the child. Having them show what they actually want to know is crucial to keep them engrossed in the information. Lastly, the “Learned” part is great for students (and for teachers) to show what they learned and understood. It shows whether the reading was successful or not.


message 7: by Joshua (new)

Joshua | 4 comments In the Deane Camp’s article, "It Take Two: Teaching with Twin Texts of Facts and Fiction,” the one piece of new learning that I discovered was the part in the article that stated “Given children’s natural tendencies to ask questions about the world around them, why not focus on both fact and fiction to help answer those questions?” (Camp, 400) I really liked that this “Twin Text” strategy can teach ideas of fantasy, imagination and myths, like using the children’s book, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” by Judi Barrett, and then using that setting and information to teach actual facts to children by reading the text, “Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids” by Seymour Simon. Growing up, I’ve loved science and as I’ve started to teach and work with young children between the ages of five and seven, I’ve started to wonder how I can teach the ideas of “hard science” without going over their heads. This “Twin Text” strategy works perfectly to provide higher problem-solving skills and more critical thinking. It was also interesting, when I read about how nonfiction books “need not be exclusively expository in nature; more and more titles combine narrative and exposition in unique and creative ways” (Camp, 401). After reading that, I realized when I was younger I was unknowingly using the “Twin Text” strategy with one book series called, “The Magic School Bus” by Joanna Cole, since that series combines narrative and expository facts. I’m glad I won’t always have to rely on that book collection every time I want to teach my students science, the “Twin Text” strategy will work just as well, in fact it might even work better.


message 8: by Emily (new)

Emily Caveye | 4 comments I really enjoyed reading this article and all of the different ways to relate non-fiction texts to fiction books. I think that these twin texts offer great ways to get students interested in their text books. As well has help them understand exactly what is going on. I remember in grade school, I thought my text books were the most boring things in the world and I didn't understand why we had to read them. I know if my teachers used some of these methods, I would have gotten a lot more out of class.

I found three of the methods very interesting but the one I think I learned the most about was the Directed-reading Teaching activity, DR-TA method. I find this really interesting because I had never thought about it before. I think this is important because it really makes the students think about what they are reading. I always read the texts and then forgot about what I read. I think predicting about the book is a very fun and interactive way to get kids excited about reading. If they are able to voice their predictions then they will be more likely to pay attention to see if their predictions came true. It also causes the students to think while they are reading to enhance their predictions. I really like the idea that the article's author used about having the children bring in their own stuffed bear. Kids love to show off their toys and it really gets them engaged and excited to learn. This method also gets all of the kids on the same page and ready to learn.


message 9: by Nyapot (new)

Nyapot Hogan | 4 comments What I got out from the article by Deanne Camp "It takes two: Teaching with Twin Texts fact and fiction. Was that I was taught this strategy in school, but just didn't know it had a name to it. Twin Text works because it truly does help kids make those connections between factual books that don't always make sense right away, from fiction books that are easier to grasp and understand. For a child, it's easier to imagine a story and make sense of it, than to receive a lot of information about something then try to process it. In the article, "Cloudy with a Chance of meatballs," By Judi Barret was compared to "Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids," by Jeymour Simon. Cloudy with a chance of meatballs is a fun read. I've read it to my pre-K kids before and they loved it. The other book would be a little harder for them to understand, but by twin text-ing, the two books together would help them understand comets, meteors, and asteroids better. Something else that stood out to me was the DR-TA, I've never heard about it before, but it sounds pretty cool. It encourages readers to think and predict about the reading selection. You can ask questions like, "What do you think this story/chapter is going to be about?' and "Why?" Overall this article did a good job explaining Twin Text and how to help students make those connections between fiction and nonfiction books.


message 10: by Brandie (new)

Brandie | 4 comments What i learned from this article is that there is many different ways for kids to compare fiction and nonfiction books to help them better understand what they are reading. When reading fiction sometimes kids ask a lot of questions about the truth of what they read. When they learn how to compare they will get into reading the non fiction books in order to answer many of their questions. I have heard of a KWL chart and i love it because it gives the kids a way to show what they know before reading and what they want to know while they read and after they are able to show everything that they have learned. I think that the KWL charts are a great way to help a child expand their thinking before and after reading. I don't really care for nonfiction but the information that you are given helps you when you need more information that what a fiction book would give you.


message 11: by Curt (new)

Curt | 4 comments Pairing a fiction and nonfiction book to help students understand course material is a new concept to me. When I was in K-6 grade, we only stuck to the text books. To help us understand the text, the teacher had us find all the bold vocabulary words and write down the definitions. Another method was making timelines for historical events. This was helpful to an extent. It was easy to memorize the material and get what I needed for the tests. I would do well, but when it came time for the next chapter, the previous was out of my mind. By investing time to get children better acquainted with the subject and ideas through twin texts encourages interest which, in turn, helps the knowledge stick. This also shows children how diverse literature can be which helps for their life long reading. Getting the information down kids throats so they can spit it back out for a good grade is one thing, but getting children to have interest, question, and want to know the information is another.


message 12: by Starla (new)

Starla | 4 comments What I learned from the article is all the different ways to approach getting a student to understand/comprehend the material. I had never learned or thought about pairing a nonfiction book with a fiction book to have a student better understand the subject/book. Nonfiction books can be hard for some students to comprehend, so pairing them with a "fun" fiction book can definitely be beneficial. Students tend to have a better understanding of material when it is something that they can relate to vs. just reading the words in a textbook or book in general. If I would have been taught this in school a lot of the material I could have understood better.
I also had never heard of DL-TA as a reference. Though, my teachers would do direct listening especially when it came to any history class. Another new learning was the K-W-L chart. This is another good method to help students understand a book. All methods that were discussed are a good way to help students break down the books/material to ensure a proper understanding. All the new learnings from this chapter will definitely be beneficial in my future classroom.


message 13: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Ibarra | 4 comments This article is a great source for teachers that want to learn a new method of teaching content to students. I understood how using the twin text strategy might be helpful in getting the students' attention on the subject they will learn about, but I didn't understand why it would be important beyond that. After reading this article, I completely agree this would be extremely helpful for students because they can become aware of what the content is, create questions within themselves or as a class so then they can look for answers in the non-fiction book. I don't recall ever doing that in any of my classrooms, but it definitely would've been beneficial because reading a non-fiction book without the guide of teachers was always my least favorite experience. Even now I tend to read the main text and look at the pictures, but ignore the finer details because it (can be) is boring. I think this way of teaching will intrigue children to read more non-fiction books and perhaps teach them a way to better learn and understand what they are reading about.
I also found the different interactive diagrams to be helpful because I was familiar with the popular ones like a Venn Diagram, but I didn't know how the KWL or DT-TA worked before reading this article. I think knowing the different methods would be helpful in the classroom as a new teacher because I will be able to try multiple strategies to find the ones that will benefit my students the most as Deanne Camp mention in her article. I didn't think different strategies would help students more than the other, but I do understand students learn very differently from each other and this could be one of those moments. I think introducing different methods will enhance a student's learning as well because they will know what works best for them and they can use it to learn the content matter the best they can.


message 14: by Carmen (new)

Carmen | 6 comments Carmen Preslar
Childrens Lit
Twin Text discussion


Before reading this article, I had never been introduced to the term Twin Text. I have used the Venn diagrams, webs, and KWL methods before, I just wasn’t sure why my teacher was having me do them or what they were called. I chose to pick out a method that I would like to use in my future classroom. The method I agreed with was the DR-TA. I have never heard this method be called the DR-TA. This encourages readers to think and predict the outcome. I like this because then at the end of their reading, they can check their predictions, this is also a good way for the teacher to asses if the student read their book. Something that I learned from the DR-TA method is to ask enough questions but not too many. Stopping too many times might interrupt the student’s comprehension. I also learned that this method can be used from kindergarten throughout high school. I do like the other methods as well, but this certain method I think really gets the students thinking and engaged best.


message 15: by Carmen (new)

Carmen | 6 comments Nina wrote: "In Camp's twin text article, she explains that students often struggle with content text material because of the density of facts and several vocabulary terms that are presented in a short amount o..."


I completely agree with you Nina. I think that not only do the children need to learn certain materials, but the teachers should also take time to teach materials that the children WANT to learn. This way the students take interest and have fun. When they have fun learning they will trust that the teacher is teaching them beneficial material, but also material that they might take a large interest in.


message 16: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Marshall | 4 comments I think that the first thing that I have to say is that this article was very enjoyable for me because I LOVE graphic organizers! I have heard of Venn Diagrams, Webbing, and K-W-L charts, but I have never hear of DR-TA/DL-TA before. While reading, I thought it was a really great idea that Mrs. Steinert knew her students well enough to adjust the DR-TA so that it could be a listening activity rather than a reading activity so that all students would gain knowledge and critical thinking skills from the same text. I also like her strategy because sometimes just would really like being read to. While reading to or with students, one of my favorite questions or discussion points is getting the students to try and predict what will happen, or what they think is behind that certain door, etc., so this strategy would be really useful to implement in my classroom and it would be a very easy strategy to use considering I already love having students try and predict or guess what will happen next. With older students, especially in the fiction books, I think another aspect of the critical thinking that I could implement during the DR-TA/DL-TA is asking them to critically examine or think about the characters. An example of this would be asking them to think about or predict what a certain character is going to feel about this upcoming situation. This will still have the students thinking critically, but it also would add in the aspect of thinking of others or thinking with empathy.


message 17: by Riley (new)

Riley Thomas | 4 comments Twin Texts

I remember my elementary teachers using this strategy a lot when they were introducing something new, or something hard to understand. I think that KWL charts are a simple way to activate prior knowledge, engage the student in thought about the topic, and then review the information at the end. I also liked the idea of webbing (like we did in class). This strategy makes sure that students are thinking about what the already know about the topic, and then makes them recall information they learned after hearing or reading the books. As quoted in the Camp article, Mr. Roseman once said, "Students who activate prior knowledge in preparation for literacy tasks have advantages over those who do not." I think that it is important for students to be able to retrieve that information they have stored away in order to hold a brainstorming session before reading the book(s). This also helps the teacher know where the students stand with their knowledge on the topic and will help the teacher gauge what needs more or less explaining.


message 18: by Dani (new)

Dani Kraft | 3 comments This article was very interesting! I have never heard of the idea of using “twin texts” until this class. I am assuming it was used in my younger years at school, but I really did not remember it. It makes so much sense to use one book that has facts and one book to keep the children intrigued. The different strategies used for twin texts are K-W-L, DR-TA, activating prior knowledge, webbing activities, and other forms of graphic organizers. All of these seem like they would work great in a classroom. One that I really enjoyed reading about was the web. The web is one main idea in the middle with a bunch of supporting words all around it. You eventually then group the supporting words together into groups that match together. This piece of new learning was explained in the article and demonstrated in class. Something totally new that I learned from this article was that you can use both fact and fiction books to teach children productively. I earlier stated that I do indeed, think it is a good idea. I just did not know it could be done! With the use of these different twin text teaching strategies everyone can learn in a factual and fictional way!


message 19: by Huyen-Yen (new)

Huyen-Yen Hoang | 3 comments This article thoroughly explains different strategies a teacher could use to facilitate critical thinking and class discussions in an engaging and effective manner. There were many pieces of new learning for me with this article. Although my teachers had used these methods in the past, I did not realize this until I read about them. For example, my early elementary teachers made a habit of starting every lecture using the K-W-L model, however, they had done so smoothly that I had not even noticed. One activity struck out to me the most. I had never heard of DR/TA before, and thought this was also a clever way to help guide students develop a strong reading strategy. I noticed that what all these activities had in common was that in one way or another, it encouraged students to activate prior knowledge, inquire upon the subject, and use critical thinking skills to discover more. The different formats are useful for catering towards each students' different learning styles, making these particularly effective when paired with the twin texts strategy, which already helps to guide students to find the similarities between the texts.


message 20: by Brian (new)

Brian Duffy | 4 comments What stuck out to me was how convenient narrative was to young readers as opposed to exposition. Fictional narrative allows an easily followed organization where as nonfiction provides facts that a reader can organize themselves. I think by providing fiction and nonfiction texts readers can "test out" their newfound knowledge in a fictional world. I was already familiar with Venn diagrams and K-W-L but DR-TA, Webbing, and Activating prior knowledge was new to me. All of these serve to find similarities between the texts and get readers make connections between the books.


message 21: by Caleb (new)

Caleb R | 4 comments I found this article very interesting to read. I never had seen webbing until I saw it in class. I liked how you started with a general broad topic and then found connections with words around it. I feel like it would allow children to use their knowledge to find connections to a more difficult topic. I will definitely use this method in my classroom and feel it is very useful in a bunch of different ways.


message 22: by Maritsa (new)

Maritsa Vazquez | 4 comments Twin Texts is a new concept to me. After reading the article "It takes two: Teaching with Twin Texts of fact and fiction,” by Deanne Camp, I learned the value of pairing nonfiction and fiction books to help students comprehend the content material. Nonfiction books/text can be challenging, especially if you are not interested in the subject. Reading nonfiction can be a challenge for me because I get bored and begin to zone out. So, I spend more time rereading to make sense of the material. Reading nonfiction is essential and exposure to informational texts at an early age can help students develop their reading abilities and comprehension in preparation for more difficult nonfiction material in the later years. Introducing students to new content using fiction books is an excellent way to help spark their interest so they are engaged and excited about learning. I also liked learning about the different teaching strategies that could be used when working with Twin Texts. My favorite strategy is the KWL chart because it helps activate prior knowledge and students are engaged as they create and research their own questions. By the end of the activity, students demonstrate their learning by reflecting on or discussing what they learned. KWL charts are a great way to keep information organized and can be used in individual activities, small groups, and whole class work. Overall, I found the information in this article very useful and will find ways to include Twin Texts and KWL charts in my future classroom.


message 23: by Caurie (new)

Caurie Kuzelka | 4 comments One thing I learned from this Twin Texts article is that by using the fiction part of the twin texts and reading it first, it better helps the students pay attention and understand the non-fiction book. This twin texts concept is kind of new to me so i found it interesting that reading a fun fiction book could help get the students minds flowing with ideas and concepts. Then, when they are listening to the non-fiction book be read, they aren't so focused on vocabulary and facts while trying to figure it all out. Rather than spending the whole time trying to comprehend, they are engaged and listening because they already have some insight and warning about the books content. I found this to be very interesting and seems like a very useful method that I will be sure to try with my classes.


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