Patricia M. Sorrentino
This unit's focus is to allow students to directly and concretely practice and master the foundational comprehension skills of making observations, inferences, and connections. High-interest artwork is the medium. Comprehension skills are used not only for reading, but for viewing artwork, reading newspapers, watching films, etc. Students in English classes are already asked to deal heavily with texts, so this unit gives students an alternative while still emphasizing foundational skills necessary to be a successful reader/viewer. The lessons are meant to be taught in very direct, concrete ways, lasting 15-20 minutes. Each lesson focuses on a different piece of artwork. Students are asked to go from making basic observations, to making inferences when prompted with questions, to creating short, creative stories about a piece of artwork. By the end, students will be expected to be able to make observations, inferences, and connections to artwork and then apply those skills to all types of literature.
(Developed for English, grades 11-12; recommended for English/Language Arts, grades 6-12)