Paired Passages are the new thing in my state, and they look like they are here to stay. I have already shared with you a resource to help scaffold your readers with paired passages. Click here to read it again. Now, I am here to share how I implement rigorous paired passage instruction in my classroom, using one of my new Paired Passage Sets.
First, I use a variety of posters and other instructional handouts to introduce students to the concept of paired passages. Many students are used to reading passages and answering questions in isolation, so I believe this introduction to paired passages is crucial. I go over what paired passages are and how to read them with success. Here are some of printables I use or have used in the past.
Once the students are comfortable with the concept of paired passages, I begin my passage instruction. I start with one passage at a time. I typically spend one or even two days on just the first passage. We read it, discuss it, and answer comprehension questions about it.
After lots of talking and sharing, we tackle the comprehension questions. I have done the comprehension questions in two formats: basic worksheet format and task card format. The task card format is a bit of a novelty which tends to engage them more than the paper pencil part.
After doing this for a day or two, we finally move on to the second passage. We complete the same steps with the second passage as we did with the first. We talk about it, share it, and then answer comprehension questions.
Finally, we are ready to move into the paired comprehension aspect. We pull out both passages again and are ready to analyze the connections between the two.
Just as with the individual passages, we always spend some time talking and sharing before we get down to the comprehension questions. I typically ask these questions:
- What is the connection between the two passages?
- How are the passages similar?
- How are the passages different?
- Which passage did you prefer? Why?
- Which passage provided more interesting facts and details about the topic?
After a lot of discussion, we are finally ready to take on the paired comprehension questions. Here are the steps I follow for these:
Step 1: Read the question and circle/underline key words.
Step 2: Discuss the questions with a partner.
Step 3: Restate the question in your own words.
Step 4: Analyze each passage for evidence that can be used to answer the questions.
I know this seems like a lot of work, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Your students will learn how to automatically complete these steps with speed and accuracy.
In the same manner as the individual passages, I have also used different formats for the paired comprehension: worksheet format and task card format.
The best part about the task card format is that these paired passages can eventually be placed in a center for the students to work through independently.
In the beginning, I complete all the questions as a class or with partners. Then I would release some responsibility and have the students complete more and eventually all of the questions by themselves.
Another thing I love doing with paired passages is text based writing work. Our state is huge on the students writing essays using evidence from passages. The passage set I am highlighting in this passage includes an essay prompt for each genre. This makes it perfect to use in the real world classroom. If I am working on informational writing, I could use the informational prompt with the students as part of my writing instruction. Then I could use the narrative or persuasive prompt in a center.
If you can’t tell already, I love doing centers or some time of extension of what I am doing in whole group. For these paired passages, I have also included a few printables that are perfect to continue having your students analyze the passages on their own.
A Context Clues Printable that requires the students to define words found in both texts.
And my favorite activity to do with paired passages: Find Your Evidence. This requires the students to find and highlight evidence in both passages to support a main point. Then the students paraphrase the evidence in their own words.
By the time your students have completed a few rounds of these questions and activities, they will be paired passage pros! If you need passages, questions, and activities to implement this in your classroom, you can find all of these printables by clicking on the image below to go to my TeachersPayTeachers store. In fact, this set includes FOUR complete sets of the printables you see in this post.
I would love to hear how you instruct your students in the area of paired passages. Let me know in the comments!
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