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Using Phonics and Fluency to Bring Characters to Life, Rising Grade 3, Summer 2021

By Lucy Calkins, Teachers College Reading & Writing Project

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This unit focuses on foundational work and supports Rising Grade 3 students in paying attention to characters, using their phonics knowledge to decode, and monitor for meaning. You’ll focus on helping students get to know characters’ feelings and traits, and to use that information to make informed predictions about what comes next in the story as well as to confirm or revise those predictions.

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About the TCRWP Virtual Summer School Curriculum

These all-new, standards-based—and joyful—summer school units/modules were developed around what we observe to be the most important needs of students as they emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for the new school year. We offer the units in a suggested sequence, but, because we know that some schools and districts will wish to plan their own sequence, each module can be purchased a-la-carte as well. See the “Ordering Guidance” section on this webpage for more information.

About this Unit/Module

This unit focuses on foundational work and supports students in paying attention to characters, using their phonics knowledge to decode, and monitor for meaning. You’ll focus on helping students get to know characters’ feelings and traits, and to use that information to make informed predictions about what comes next in the story as well as to confirm or revise those predictions. You’ll also support students in working on fluency. You’ll support students in working to monitor and self-correct, helping them to decode the longer words they are encountering and inviting them to look at prefixes and suffixes to help with vocabulary and meaning. 

This unit helps readers to infer and synthesize as they grow ideas about characters, flagging important pages and parts of books and returning to specific text excerpts as they talk about their theories. They’ll learn to bring a knowledge of story structure to their reading, and to read expecting to learn about a character’s actions and reactions, feelings and thoughts. All of this work will help students to grow more insightful ideas about their stories such as the lessons characters are learning. Finally, you’ll help them to see these ideas as larger than just about one story, showing them beginning ways to think about lessons learned by characters in stories.

For more information about the TCRWP Virtual Summer School Curriculum, visit UnitsofStudy.com/SummerSchool.

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