The Six Signposts

The Six Signposts INTRO LESSON: Be a smarter reader! * What is a signpost? Turn to a partner and tell what you think a signpost is. * From your examples, Id say that a signpost is something that helps you

know where youre going or reminds you to pay attention to something. Signposts are Everywhere! * Think about places you find signposts. Discuss with your partner and be ready to share your ideas with the class. * Did you know that authors put signposts into their stories? They may not look like signposts you see on our roads, but they are similar because they help us know what to

watch for. Signposts Here are the names of the signposts. Lets discuss what you think each one might be CONTRASTS and CONTRADICTIONS AHA MOMENT TOUGH QUESTIONS WORDS of the WISER AGAIN and AGAIN MEMORY MOMENT

Lets Review! Soon youre going to learn to notice some things that the author has put into a story. What are these called? Lets say it out loud together: SIGNPOSTS! Today we talked about six signposts that authors use. And with each signpost, were Lesson One: CONTRASTS AND

CONTRADICTIONS If a friend who normally eats lunch at your table in the cafeteria came in one day and sat down alone at a table in the far corner, what would you think? Youd probably wonder why he or she was acting that way! As I read, Im always on the lookout for a place where the author shows me a character acting in a way that is a CONTRAST (different) from what I expect or a CONTRADICTION (opposite) of how I would expect the When you see a contrast or

contradiction... ASK YOURSELF: Why did the character act that way? The answer to this question could help you make a prediction As you answer that question... sometimes you might even gain insight into the THEME (the lesson or message) the author is trying to share. AMAZING! Thank You, M'am (clip) - YouTube

Thank You Mam is the story of a boy trying to steal a womans purse. Now look at your copy of Thank you, Mam by author Langston Hughes and follow along as I read it to you. See if you can spot something that looks like a Contrast or Contradiction. LOOK FOR THE UNEXPECTED! Thank You Mam At this point, Im surprised that the woman does what she does! If someone tried to steal from me and I caught them I

dont think I would take him home to wash his face! Shes acting in a way that Contrasts (is different from) what I would expect a woman to behave so Im going to ask myself: Why did the character act that way? I think Mrs. Jones notices the boys dirty face and thinks he looks neglected. Maybe Mrs. Jones is a mother herself and knows what a cared-for child looks like. I wonder if she has a son herself. Lets read the second part... of Thank You Mam. Follow along with me!

Ill stop here because Ive noticed a character acting in a way that is surprising. Roger is Contradicting (acting opposite of) his earlier behavior. At first he wanted to escape. But now, when Mrs. Jones lets go of him and he could run out the open door he chooses to do what she tells him to do. So I need to ASK MYSELF: Why did the character act that way? Heres the third Thank You Mam... passage. Look for Contrasts and Contradictions as I

read it to you. This time Id like you to text-mark any you find. Lets stop here. Ive noticed several Contrasts and Contradictions. On your slate or sticky note, write one down then share with your partner. ASK YOURSELF: Why did the character act that way? Heres the last passage... from Thank You Mam. Text-mark any Contrasts and

Contradictions you find. My head is full of thoughts! First, I want you to look back and find the Contrast and Contradiction you think is the most interesting. Of course you will then ask the anchor question: Why did the character act that way? Share your thoughts with your partner. Lets Review: CONTRASTS and

CONTRADICTIONS Those were great comments about Roger and Mrs. Jones. You were doing what we call close reading...reading deeply and bringing yourself close to the text. You were able to make inferences or predictions because you were reading closely. Today we learned one text clue an author gives us. The name of this clue is

Lets Review! When I see a character acting in a way I wouldnt expect I want to stop right there and ask myself one question: Why did the character act this way? When I can answer that question, I am learning more about the story and more Lesson Two: AHA MOMENT Today were going to learn another signpost you should look for as you read.

This one is called an Aha Moment. Have you ever looked around your bedroom at the clothes on the floor, your unmade bed, the overflowing garbage can and the papers all over and suddenly realized that your room was a disaster? Aha Moments are... when you realize something...and that realization changes your actions! Like when you realized your room was a filthy mess and started cleaning it up or at least decided that it needed to be cleaned! Realizing it

was a mess changed your actions...instead of sitting there just looking at it, you made a decision and eventually took action. Maybe you cleaned it up yourself or paid your little sister to do it for you! Perhaps you asked your parent to help. As I read... I am on the lookout for clues the author gives me that the character has come to an important new understanding about something. The character may say something like:

Suddenly I realized It came to me in a flash I now knew I finally understood that The thought came to me

When I notice... a character suddenly seeing something in a new way I ask myself: How might this change things? The answer to this question can help you understand the CONFLICT in the story or even the THEME (message or lesson). Lets look for an Aha Moment.

Ill read you some passages from the book Crash by author Jerry Spinelli. Its a book about a middle school boy named Crash who bullies another boy named Penn Webb. Crash often calls him Webb. Crash Novel Trailer - YouTube The first scene is from the beginning of the book where Crash is outside and Penn Webb comes walking up the sidewalk. Did you spot Crashs Aha Moment? Text-mark that moment if you spotted it! It says: all of a sudden I knew what I had to

do Now we need to stop and think about what that means. Crash has suddenly become aware of something...and thats going to change his actions! Discuss what Crash noticed and ask yourself: Our next Crash passage... finds Crash and Penn Webb about to compete against each other in a school race. Webbs parents and his great-grandfather, Henry Wilhide Webb III, have come to watch. Crash

is looking at all three of them and thinking about his own grandfather, Scooter. Up until now, Crash has continued to bully Penn Webb. See if you can spot the Aha Moment! Did you find it? The Aha Moment appears when the author writes The thought came to me. Now we need to ASK OURSELVES: How might this change things?

(How might Crashs realization that the two grandfathers might have liked each other Heres our next Crash passage: Its still before the race, and Crash is thinking about Penn Webbs great-grandfather. Did you spot the Aha Moment? This one is a bit tricky. Its in the largest paragraph. It says suddenly I saw something: a gift. At first we might think Crash saw

something with his eyes, but if we ? OR Its time to ask: How might this change things? (Crash has realized that he is the only one who can give Penn Webbs great-grandfather a gift, and he can give that gift because hes a fast runner. How might that change what Crash does next?)

Our last Crash passage... is about the race itself. Keep your eyes sharp...look for an Aha Moment! (3rd par.) It occurred to me (5th par.) for the first time in my life, I didnt know if I wanted to win (last par.) I knew How might this change things? Lets review what weve learned

about Aha Moments: Turn to your partner one last time and tell each other what you learned today. Include: What is an Aha Moment? What do you look for in the text to spot one? What is the anchor question you ask yourself when you find one? Lesson Three: TOUGH QUESTIONS We all ask questions like: Whats for dinner? or Do I really have to do my homework?

We certainly want answers to those questions, but they arent tough questions. Tough Questions are those we ask ourselves or someone we trust that seem, at least for a while, not to have an answer. We might ask: How will I ever get over the sadness of losing my pet? What will happen if Mom loses her job and cant pay the rent? Why does my brother pick on me? When you share tough questions...

with a friend, adult--or just yourself--you are really sharing something that bothers you. When something bothers you its called internal conflict, and you can spot it in a story when a character asks Tough Questions of herself or of a trusted person. How to spot Tough Questions Tough Questions often show up in pairs such as: Why wont they talk to me anymore? Why are they treating me this way? Sometimes the character may not actually ask a question but

start a sentence with: I WONDER such as: I wonder if the war will ever end. or: I wonder why my BFF didnt invite me to her party. These are statements, but they Lets look at a passage from A Long Walk to Water by author Linda Sue Park.. Its a novel about an 11-year-old boy in the country of Sudan during a time when rebels are raiding villages. Salva becomes separated from his family after his village is attacked, and hes terribly frightened and running.

A Long Walk to Water Book trailer - YouTube Follow along on your copy and get ready to text-mark any Tough Questions you see. Salvas Tough Questions Salva asks: Where are we going? Where is my family? When will I see them again? These are Tough Questions for an 11-year-old, and Im sure we can feel Salvas pain. ASK YOURSELF:

What do these questions make me wonder about? The answer to this question can tell us about the CONFLICT in I am wondering... Could I have survived at age eleven without knowing where my family was? How will the people Salva is with react to him? Will they ignore him or try to help this young boy? Most of all, I wonder what Salva is going to have to do to survive.

Lets look at the next passage... Were skipping ahead in the story. Salva, who has been on his own for a while, finds a small group of people who are trying to survive. Follow along as I read the passage. Obviously, the Tough Questions are: would he have given water to those men? Or would he, like most of the group, have kept his water for himself?

Its time to... ASK YOURSELF: What does this make me wonder about? With your partner, answer this question and be prepared to share your responses with our class. Wondering about... the questions Salva asks lets us imagine ourselves in this situation, which lets us understand the story better! When we get

curious, we get more involved in the story! One more Salva passage... for us to read, so follow along. Youll easily spot the Tough Questions. ASK YOURSELF: What does this make me wonder about? Share your thoughts with your partner.

Lets review Tough Questions. REMEMBER: Authors show us Tough Questions to give us insight into the struggle (internal conflict) the main character faces. When we see those questions we should ask ourselves: (Lets read it out loud together) What does this make me wonder about? Lesson Four: Words of the

Wiser When I was about your age, my mom was always giving me advice! If you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all. You dont have to be friends, but at least be friendly. And my favorite! Always wear clean underwear because you never know if youre going to get into an accident! Authors are kind of like...

my mom. They like to include wise their stories. I am always on the lookout for scenes where the main character has a serious talk with a wiser character. Who might that character be? Often: grandparent teacher parent brother or sister kind neighbor employer

When we notice Words of the Wiser... we want to pay attention to that scene, because the wise character is giving advice that is helpful at this moment, but could also be helpful throughout life. When we notice Words of the Wiser we want to ask ourselves this anchor question: Whats the life lesson and how might it affect the character? When you can answer this question you have probably found a THEME for the story!

Lets practice finding Words of the Wiser! Riding Freedom is a book about a young girl named Charlotte who lives in an orphanage in the 1800s. She loves horses but is not allowed to work with them simply because shes a girl (UGH!). Charlotte decides to run away, and she tells a trusted older man at the orphanage that she must escape. The mans name is Vern,

and he cares for the horses at the orphanage. One of the horses names is Justice. What advice... did Vern give to Charlotte? I know, I know Miss Charlotte. You gotta do what your heart tells you. Now that Ive noticed the advice I will stop and ASK MYSELF: Whats the life lesson and how might it affect the character? I think Verns advice might help Charlotte muster the courage

to follow through with her plan to run away. It may also help Second Riding Freedom Passage Charlotte follows Verns advice and leaves the orphanage. She finds a nice older man who lets her live in his barn and begins to teach her to drive a six-horse stagecoach. Learning to drive a stagecoach is challenging! Follow along as I read the passage and be ready to text-mark the Words of the Wiser.

You will also need a sticky note or Did you find the Words of the Wiser? Vern said: Every time you fall, you learn somethin new bout your horse. You learn what not to do next time. Now ASK: Whats the life lesson and how might it affect the character? Jot down your answer on your slate or sticky note. Last Riding Freedom Passage

As the story continues, Charlotte has become a good stagecoach driver, but on this day someone from her unhappy past wants to ride on her stagecoach and this upsets her. Ebeneezer, the man who taught Charlotte to drive the stagecoach, sees she is upset and says: (Follow along as I read to you) we are at the end of the scene and I spot another signpost! Look for it and text-mark the Words to the Wiser. Now ask yourself the anchor question and answer it on your Lets review Words of the Wiser

Today we learned to look for scenes where a wiser and usually older character gives advice to the main character to help him or her through this moment in the story, but also through much of his or her future life. When you find that scene, be sure to ASK YOURSELF: Whats the life lesson and how might it affect the character? When you can answer this question, youre learning about whats very important in the story, and that might help you think about the THEME (message or lesson) of the story.

Lesson Five: AGAIN and AGAIN Much of what we learn about our friends (and our enemies!) we learn by noticing patterns in their behavior. This lesson, Again and Again is about spotting those patterns. A pattern is when something is repeated--happens--Again and Again. Lets say youre on the playground with your two best friends, and a third friend named Shayna arrives. One of the best friends suddenly grows quiet and soon after leaves your group. It happens again the next day. Finally, on the third

day your friends leaves AGAIN. Youve spotted a pattern! Youve spotted a pattern. So now what? Noticing the pattern isnt quite enough. You have to ASK YOURSELF: Why does this keep showing up again and again? Youll have to really think about it and perhaps compare it to other incidents to see if you can figure out the meaning of the pattern. Eventually youll figure it out! Maybe these two friends had a

recent argument or they could be in competition for the same First Hatchet Passage Hatchet is a popular novel by Gary Paulsen. Its about a boy named Paul Robeson who survives a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness, but hes left to fend for himself. Hatchet - Book Preview - Gary Paulsen - YouTube Follow along as I read the first passage. I am looking for something that happens Again and Again. Brian is seated next to the pilot

as they fly over the Canadian forests. The Again and Again Signpost I notice right away that Gary Paulsen is using the Again and Again signpost because he has Brian speak the word divorce twice. He emphasizes it too, by letting it stand alone as a one-word sentence. And Brian tells us that he is always thinking of that word, so we know its a pattern in Brians life. Im not sure yet what part divorce plays in this novel, but I have noticed it and can tell it will somehow be important. I dont know whether it has anything to do with the situation

Brian is in right now or if his parents are divorced but I now ASK MYSELF: Lets read on in Hatchet. Follow along with me in the next short passage. What have you spotted? Discuss with your partner and see if you can answer the anchor question. ASK YOURSELF: Why does this keep showing up again and again? You all spotted that divorce was repeated several more times, and most of us noticed the repeated mention of the

Secret. We are beginning to see that Brian knows something about his parents break-up that hes never Last Hatchet Passage Brian may feel a heavy burden about his parents divorce...something he blames himself for. He seems to feel burdened with this big Secret. Think about what you are learning about the character of Brian Robeson and lets read on! As I read, follow along and text-mark anything you see thats repeated.

What did you notice Again and Again? That was a long passage. Take some more time to text-mark anything you saw repeated, then discuss with your partner. What happened Again and Again? divorce the Secret (Did you notice the author capitalizes the word secret?) Why does this keep showing up again and again? (Discuss with your partner.) I wonder if Brian feels responsible for the divorce because he

knew a secret he didnt share. Or maybe he is haunted by Lets Review Again and Again The Again and Again signpost reminds us to be alert to things that are repeated in a story. These repeated things can be: WORDS SITUATIONS PHRASES ACTIONS

When we see these, we need to stop and ASK: (Lets read out loud together!) Why does this keep showing up again and again? Lesson Six: MEMORY MOMENT A Memory Moment is the point in a book when the author interrupts whats happening in the story to show us the main character as he or she remembers something important.

How do you spot a Memory Moment? I remembered In that very moment the memory came flooding back He was remembering when The memory of that day Sometimes the clues are more subtle and tricky to spot: This picture always reminded me of My dad likes to tell the story about When we spot a Memory Moment... we want to ASK:

Why might this memory be important? The answer to this question will tell us about THEME (message or lesson), CONFLICT, or might FORESHADOW (give hints about) events that will happen later in the story. First Hope Was Here Passage Lets look at a passage from Hope Was Here by author Joan Bauer. Hope is a girl who is moving to a new home...again. She and her aunt are getting into their car to begin their latest move.

As always, follow along and Ill pause to give you thoughts after the first part. I found a Memory Moment... when Hope sees Morty stop in his cab. She remembers the first time she waited on him at a restaurant where she worked and has fond memories of Morty. So I will ASK MYSELF: Why might this memory be important? I think it helps me see how Hope is feeling about leaving home. She is going to miss Morty and others

like him. Hope is leaving a warm, friendly town and is filled with uncertainty and anxiety not knowing what Mulhoney, Wisconsin will be like. Our second Hope Was Here passage... is from about the same point in the book. Addie is Hopes aunt, and shes trying to reassure Hope that everything will be ok. See if you can spot Hopes Memory Moment. Follow along and get ready to text-mark the Memory Moment!

Hopes Memory Moment... has her thinking back to memories of the three times shes been visited by her mother. So now that weve located the memory we want to ASK OURSELVES: Why might this memory be important? Please think about this question and share your thoughts with your partner. Hopes memory... is very emotional for her, we can infer. Her mother has

abandoned her, so Aunt Addie is her security in life. Aunt Addie is Hopes substitute mother and Hope may be expressing how important Addie is to her because she provides the security Hopes mother wouldnt or couldnt. Lets read one more passage about Hope. After I read I will give you time to text-mark any Memory Moments you find and discuss with your partner the answer to this question: Why might this memory be important? Ill bet you found the Memory Moments!

They were pretty easy to spot because the author wrote: Enter memories, sweet and sour. Lets share your thoughts Now heres what I am thinking...Hope mentions the pleasant times she had with Harrison such as when they baked enormous cookies, watching his fighting fish, and when he made funny, sarcastic comments about Hopes mother that showed he supports Hope. I realize this is a powerful way for Lets Review Memory Moments! Tell your partner what a Memory Moment is.

A Memory Moment is when the author interrupts the story and has the main character experience an important memory. Tell your partner what the anchor question is when you find a Memory Moment. Why might this memory be important? Great Job! Are you ready for the test on all six signposts? Go to the next slide...get your slates ready! There are 58 multiple choice questions Just Kidding ! Theres no test! Hey , teachers have a sense

of humor too!

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