I've searched the internet to find examples of each of the types of reading/questions with the theme of Heroes. I printed them out and then, as a class, we'll read them and answer the questions to help make meaning. For this first time through, I'm just going to focus on the author's MAIN IDEA...what is he/she trying to get us (the reader) to understand?
We started with the article, "A Helping Hand" from the TeenInk website. This is clearly an EXPLICIT piece so I had them underline/circle the "Who? What? Where?...etc" information. Then I had them write the main idea in one to two sentences on the back of the paper.
The next piece was a short story called, "The Hero Without a Name" I found on the Wattpad website. (I assume this is teen writing as well.) We read through it and then looked for answers to the IMPLICIT questions and had them write down the main idea.
The last piece is a poem called "Paul's Wife" by Robert Frost. I love Frost's writing and find it easier to interpret than other poets' writing is. I've explained to the classes that I have a hard time reading/interpreting poetry because it is so ABSTRACT; it can mean many different things depending on personal background. (I looked for some poetry written by teens but found them too easy to interpret which defeated the focus on ABSTRACT. If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know!!)
We're going to be spending a couple of days with these examples making sure they understand them. I'm also going to give them the handout for "Reading With Your Pen" so they've got a reference for the different ways they can interact with the text (instead of standard study guides, etc.). So far...so good!! :)