comprehending :: making & repairing meaning ::


"In most good children's literature, big ideas lie under the surface of the text, revealing themselves indirectly. For example, Trapani's (1989) retelling of The Itsy Bitsy Spider recounts the four episodes in which Itsy Bitsy tries, in vain, to climb up the water spout, the kitchen wall, and the yellow pail, but finally climbs a maple tree where she successfully spins her web. Nowhere does Trapani explicitly state the big idea 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again,' but that's the unmistakable big idea to which each episode inexorably contributes." (Walmsley, Sean A., 2009, p. 49) 

Working Definition

Making and repairing meaning at the passage level is about comprehending units of text larger than the sentence, typically, paragraphs, chapters and entire texts. Meaning at this level is often built from meaning making at the word and sentence level, but it also works in the reverse order where a sentence or word has additional or deeper meaning after completing a passage than it did in isolation.


Prompts are found in each of the subsets.

© 2014, Robert Pottle
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