Before we tackle Homer's The Odyssey, my students and I are creating background knowledge about Ancient Greece. As we've embarked upon our own journey into our literature books with informative texts (far above most of their reading levels), we've been working together to increase our understanding of such texts. These texts have challenging words, lengthy sentences, and semi-vague ideas that, independently, many of my students would struggle with on their own. And, the ideas within these informative texts are essential in providing context for The Odyssey.
Since we've used The Idea-Details strategy as a prewriting and revising tool, modeling how we can also use it as a reading tool for informative texts seemed appropriate. This, combined with the background knowledge my students have about titles and subtitles, seemed like a natural way to help us comprehend this difficult reading task (see One BIG Change: From Drafting to Revising for a Title).