Why Mary Matters [to Me]
I'm sure I was complaining or something because I wanted to listen to "kid music," and in an effort to get me to be quiet, he told me to listen to the words of the song. "It's like a story," he said.
After complaining that I didn't get it for awhile, he finally started the song from the beginning. I thought this was a punishment, but he stopped the song after 10 seconds or so and asked me what had happened.
We went through the whole song and decoded it phrase by phrase. We started with the first line: "Well I woke up this morning stumbled out of my rack"
What does this mean? What's a rack? he would ask. Well, probably her bed.
I opened up the paper to the page in the back/ It only took a minute for my finger to find/ My daily dose of destiny, under my sign
“Think of a newspaper. What is at the back? Maybe the horoscopes? Could you see this person running her finger down the paper looking for her horoscope? Her “daily dose of destiny?”
We went through the whole song. I was FASCINATED. It was like unlocking a “hidden” part of the song, only available to those who knew to look for it or took the time to figure it out.
I don’t advocate decoding Mary Chapin Carpenter, but I think it illustrates that decoding and reading deeper into texts (or songs) is something we can make accessible for young children.
And this is the reason why I am ecstatic about the new Common Core reading standards. I love the emphasis on close reading.
Here's a quote from an article by Timothy Shanahan @ Scholastic.
Close readers not only grasp an author’s message, but they also take a look under the hood"
Common Core: Close Reading By Timothy Shanahan @ Scholastic.com
I still like "being detectives," too. Along those lines, here's ANOTHER [free] non-fiction shark reading passage & the "detective" worksheet to go with it.
[Please feel free to use this and the previous shark posts to make a nice little "non-fiction shark unit"!