Twin Text: A Lesson on Comprehension 
by Chase Young
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Pairing fiction and nonfiction texts is an innovative way to dig deeper into a topic and enhance comprehension (Camp, 2000). The texts chosen for the following lesson on comprehension  are Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and Bats by Celia Bland.  

The fiction book, Stellaluna, will be introduced using the modified version of the KWL made popular by Debbie Miller (2000). Differing from her traditional model, ask students to write down questions about bats, or something they would like to know more about in the story. The anchor chart will be prepared in the same fashion listing: what is our schema about bats, what is our new learning, and what were our misconceptions about bats. When the reading is complete, ask students if any of their questions were answered.

The following day, using the big book Bats, use the SQ3R method of surveying, questioning, reading, reciting, and reviewing. Make sure students use pictures, headings, and other text features to generate questions and make inferences (Laureate Education, 2001). 

A possible extension activity could include an additional paired text reading about birds. Also, review the book Stellaluna and note similarities and differences of birds. Next, create a Venn diagram using a tree format. The left and right side can be used for noting differences of bats and birds while the trunk contains similarities. The facts can be written on cut outs of bats and birds. It is a higher order thinking activity that creates a nice decoration for your room.  

References

Camp, D. (2000). It takes two: Teaching with Twin Texts of fact and fiction. The Reading Teacher, 53(5), 400–408.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2001). Strategies for literacy instruction, part 2 [Educational video]. Los Angeles: Author.

Miller, D. (2002). Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades. Stenhouse Publishers.

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View a picture of the Compare and Contrast Tree
View a picture of the Schema Chart


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