In some of my literacy groups this month we have been using text sets to learn more about interesting topics like mummies, the state of New Hampshire and elephants.
A Text Set is a multi-genre collection that can include nonfiction books, poetry, realistic fiction, internet sites, and videos all related by a common element, topic, theme, or type of text (Opitz, 1998). Text sets are a great way to engage students. Using a variety of resources about one topic is an exciting and authentic way to teach students how to make text to text connections when they read, as well as to build background knowledge.
We are using graphic organizers to keep track of our thinking as we read. The organizers help us create a record of our connections, summarize important information, and share what we have learned with each other.