Here’s an actual classroom experience demonstrating the value my ‘Whole-Part-Whole’ approach. (See number 3 in the Jazzles Advantage Series.)

Whole
I used the Jazzles ELA ‘Fat Fish’ animated song, with its Matching Captions, to teach year 1 and 2 students the structure of a ‘narrative’.
This ‘song’ story clearly demonstrates an ‘Orientation’, ‘Sequence of Events’, ‘Complication’ and ‘Resolution’.

By repeated singing with actions and percussion-playing to the ‘Fat Fish’ JazzleOke 1, students were thoroughly immersed in the vocabulary of the lyrics.
They understood it and could recall it.

Students then had enormous fun, by taking turns miming the human characters, the flies, seagulls, palm trees and ocean waves to the audio backing of the song.

This dramatic performance consolidated the sequence order of the story and its comprehension.

Part
We discussed the structure of a ‘Narrative‘ in terms of this story.
Then in pairs, children were given 4 images to sequence. They discussed and then matched them with ‘Orientation‘, ‘Complication‘ and ‘Resolution‘ labels.

Next, I made 5 sentence strips (only very slightly adjusting the text to include character names).

Together we read them out loud, and I had to smile as the children automatically broke into song. They began singing the familiarized vocabulary they were reading!
Those who may have struggled if they couldn’t read the text, were free to concentrate on the literacy purpose of this activity!

Whole
Again in pairs, students cut out the sentences, arranged them to match the images, and then read the whole text.
Outcome!
I don’t believe that those children will ever forget how to construct a ‘Narrative’.

Importance
“..studies in the 1980s and 1990s have suggested that there is little reading comprehension instruction in schools…. We desperately need to understand why many teachers do not focus directly on comprehension strategies and routines, and we need to learn more about how to help teachers provide good comprehension instruction.”

“The early work documented the significance of attention to text structure, pointing out that students who areā€¦more knowledgeable about text structure recall more textual information than those less knowledgeable…. It also suggested that knowledge is not enough; students must actually follow the text’s structure in building their recall in order for the effect to be realized; not surprisingly, more good than poor readers are inclined to do so.”
(‘Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension’ Duke, Nell and Pearson)

Take-Out!
“A central question is,” asks Duke, Nell and Pearson, “how can and should teachers embed all these research-documented practices into a curriculum?”
As you can see Jazzles ELA is a great start! The basis is all in the Lesson Plans – that’s why we call them ‘Advanced ELA’!

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