Another boost for SL

One of the pieces of Scaffolding Literacy is that we can tell the story in advance, then read it to the students, after having set up the context and using the critical vocabulary so that it won’t be new to students. It really is very similar to asking a story after having set up the structures and playing with them beforehand.

Yesterday, I got to see how well knowing a story in advance works. My advanced students were reading through the new TPRS Publishing Houdini in Russian (excited shriek here from me). Last year they got to be the guineau pigs for this book, reading all the versions until they were completely sick of it. Having a copy of a real book in hand, however, they were delighted to re-read it for the nth time, and they were SO into it! Understanding it easily because they knew it so well made all the difference in the world.

Now I need to take lessons from Bryce and Carol and Jody and inspire real discussions about the content that are interesting to students.


5 responses to “Another boost for SL

  1. Yes!! I love Jody’s ideas for teaching novels. And congratulations on the release of the translation! How very exciting! It is such an easy novel to tie into kids’ lives. We just read Chapter 7–the great cover-up, literally–and have been talking about things that my students have done that they didn’t want to tell their parents. (Thankfully they used discretion in sharing things with me…I don’t know if I could handle the truth!) Some kids shared real things, and other made up some pretty funny events. We’ll have to do more collaboration with that novel within the district–so many of us are teaching it now!


  2. I’ve been using an English version of Robert Harrell’s book in my before school group. You are going to want to get that when he publishes. You may want to talk with him about translating to Russian. It is a great book! k-8 they have been fascinated. And there are some interesting things to talk about in the decision making of the protaganist as well as culture and historical time related. Imagine talking about the North Sea in a Florida setting. Hard for my students to understand without a lot of comparision work. It is also short. Definitely a level 2 or above though.


    • Oh, I imagine that would be great. Still, if I never translate another book, it will be okay. It’s so much easier to think straight in one language. What I really need is some good Russian history mixed into a story like his. I’m not good enough at any one little time of history to do that.


  3. Okay, just to encourage you and send you on another tangent–Alaska and Russia have these historical connections. Why not talk with some of your indigenous students about a oral story they may have from home, research it from all the angles–Alaskan Natives, Russian, English and write your own story in your highest level class? This would give a cross-curricular twist, but may produce just the kind of book that is needed for TPRSing Russian. And then you could adapt to your other level classes after your highest level publishes.


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