Between multiple snow days, we are managing to get in some reading workshop time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I found a fantastic resource for investigating informational text: Just the Facts! Close Reading and Comprehension of Informational Text by Lori Oczkus (Shell Education).
Students brought in informational texts related to their self directed learning projects. We used the Text Walk This Way bookmark for this activity. Students worked together to complete the book mark using one of their texts. Then they did the same with another text. Now that they are familiar with the bookmark, they will get a laminated version to use over and over again.
The activity is set up with four "text walkers" but it works well with groups of three or pairs. I would not do more than four in a group for this particular activity. Students needed to clarify what some of the sections were asking for, but were then able to take on the task successfully. They figured out that it is really about discussing prior knowledge and text features with their peers and not about writing a lot on the bookmark. The bookmark serves as a guide and record of their discussion.
As we continue this work, I will post more about our progress. Here's hoping for less snow days in our near future.