Friday, October 14, 2005

Edward the Emu and Metacognition

Edward the Emu
I taught a demonstration lesson in a second grade classroom the other day. The topic I chose for this first lesson on comprehension strategies was "metacognition" - thinking about one's own thinking and learning. When children become aware of the mental processes they're going through as they read, they become better learners. Plus, children love learning new words. They enjoyed saying "metacognition" aloud and practicing how they would answer the "What did you learn in school today?" question they'd most likely hear when they got home that afternoon. I chose the book Edward the Emu as the literature for the lesson, and I used "think-alouds" as I read the book to the class to highlight what I was thinking about as I read the story. We talked about predicting, questioning, and making connections. In the story, Edward kept trying to be something he wasn't. He learns that it is best to be himself. It is an obvious point that is made, but the story and the illustrations take it beyond the typical books that try to teach a lesson. I loved watching the children's faces as I read the story aloud to them. They were so into the story!

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