In this excerpt from his memoir, Rodriguez provides a stirring recollection from his adolescence: the first time he experienced racism as a result of being an immigrant in America. As he says, the experience "stays with [him] like a foul odor."
In reading against the grain students analyze the dominant reading of a text and engage in alternative or "resistant" readings. Resistant readings scrutinize the beliefs and attitudes that typically go unexamined in a text, drawing attention to the gaps, silences and contradictions.
Shared reading combines aspects of guided reading and read-aloud strategies. During shared reading, a teacher or proficient student reads the text aloud, pausing at pre-selected moments to discuss content and analyze the text. This strategy facilitates close reading of a complex text in small or whole group settings.
This strategy exposes students to multiple short pieces of a text before they read it in its entirety. Students read selected quotes out of context and comment on both the selection and the comments of other students. The activity ends with students reflecting on their reactions to and predictions about the text.
Readers must refer back to the central text to answer text-dependent questions and provide evidence from the reading to support their answers. Students provide accurate, relevant and complete evidence. To do this well, students will often need to re-read the text several times. This approach privileges the text over prior knowledge, personal experience and pre-reading activities.
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