Clues for Comprehension

Students in Ms. Pieters’ Reading Mastery program have been working through literature anthologies, which are collections of fictional stories. In addition to growing in their reading fluency and comprehension, Ms. Pieters’ students are practicing their critical thinking skills and connecting these stories to read-world things.

For example, students recently read a story called “A House with a Star Inside.” In the story, a little boy was bored one day while his mother was baking. To occupy the boy, his mother gave him a brain-teasing task: go find a red round house that had a chimney on top, with no windows or doors, and a star inside. The boy asked different people around his neighborhood about the house, but none of his neighbors knew of such a building. Eventually, the boy realized that his mother had posed a riddle, and that the house was actually a red apple. A red apple is round, has a stem on top (the chimney), and when it is cut in half across its diameter, the core looks like a star. The students enjoyed using clues from the story to figure out the riddle. Afterwards, they cut open different foods, including oranges, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, celery, peaches, and carrots, to explore the different designs and shapes “hidden” in these items. They even came up with their own riddles for these foods based on what they looked like on the inside.