Monday, August 4, 2014

Contrasts and Contradictions

We frequently begin the school year sharing a majority of the CAFE reading strategies pretty quickly through shared reading, minilessons, and really any time we can throughout the day.  The CAFE strategies were really meant to be primary level strategies, but reviewing them for readers will never hurt.  However, we've found ourselves wondering where to go with upper elementary students once they are comfortable with CAFE strategies.  Kylene Beers and Bob Probst released Notice and Note; these strategies took our readers to the next level!

There are six strategies within Notice and Note which are referred to as the signposts.  The first signpost is known as "Contrasts and Contradictions."  Check out the video below for more information!  (credit to Brent Peterson for video creation)

As I was learning more about Contrasts and Contradictions, I began thinking about some of my favorite books and where I had seen this signpost.  R.J. Palaccio's Wonder instantly popped into my head!


Auggie has a friend, Jack Will, who has always been kind to him.  He befriended him before the school year even began and that has continued throughout Auggie's first year at a public school.  However, when students are dressed up for Halloween, Auggie overhears Jack Will make a malicious comment about him.  This is out of character for Jack Will which is exactly what makes a Contrast and Contradiction.  Identifying the unexpected behavior is the first step in utilizing this sign post.  The next step is, as a reader, asking why Jack Will may have done this.  The answer in this particular situation is that Jack Will was around other students and was apparently trying to fit in by acting the same way the other students were.

After you teach a signpost, you'll notice that you and your students are more aware of that particular signpost.  Your readers will read with that particular lens and be on the hunt for finding opportunities when characters act out of character!

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