Saturday, June 23, 2012

Critical Literacy: 4 Resources Model

Last summer I attended a Summer Reading and Thinking Institute at Oakland Schools (my county Intermediate School District).  The institute focused on critical literacy as well as visual thinking.  The critical literacy model we learned about was the 4 Resources model which was developed by Allan Luke and Peter Freebody.  For more on the 4 Resources models, here at two websites that help to lay it out:
  1. The Four Resources Model of Literacy
  2. Reading Online
Basically, there are 4 main component of critical literacy: Code Breaking (which encompasses decoding), Text Participant (which is where most reading strategies fit in), Text Using, and Text Analyzing.  I like this model because it is deeper and more meaningful than strategy instruction, but yet also pulls in what we know is good about teaching kids to think meta-cognitively.

I tried critical literacy this past year and loved using it with my kids.  However, this group of kids were all such great readers, I think teaching critical literacy was easier than it might be with other groups of kids - so I think that as I taught blindly this year, they just picked things up really well.  This next school year, I think I will need to be more explicit and more strategic in my teaching.

Last year, I spent many, many days teaching each part of critical literacy, when in reality, I think the teaching of each aspect should be quick and then continue to develop it over the year as the model is used with books.  So, I think this year, I plan on spending just one day on each aspect of critical literacy.  This day will include an introduction, and then active engagement with books looking for evidence of that aspect of critical literacy.

While I have not thought about this in great depth yet, here is my thinking so far in terms of code breaking:
  • Introduce Code Breaking - all of the many aspects including vocabulary, decoding, and other aspects like font, pictures, etc. 
  • Create a list of all of the codes/texts we can think of
  • Explore books (maybe with a book pass) in which we look for evidence of how we code break.  I could see the kids use a blog, or ipad to take pictures of what they find, and then typing how this is code breaking.  Then sharing in small groups.  I read about KidBlog.org today and each kid could have their own blog to record their thinking.  Or I could use Edmodo (I'd need to check to be sure they could upload images).  I think this would be a great way to use iPads beyond just games.
  • Share what we found.
I think that in the hopes of spending just one day on each aspect of critical literacy, I could see myself using both my reading and writing time.  Or using a large part of my writing time, and then using the writing time that is left to build up writing stamina and muscle memory instead of using a full workshop time - which means that these lessons would probably be done in the first or second week of school.

I think text participation can be taught without explicitly talking about reading strategies, but I am not fully sure at the moment and will need to think through this a bit more.  My second unit of study is a review of reading strategies, so it will provide us with an opportunity to come back to text participation.


1 comment:

  1. Great post Michelle. I Scooped it and linked it to http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-cenury-literacy-and-learning. Hope you get lots of views. Cheers Les

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