Purple (Pu)

What is a Pu Reader?

Genre/Form Matters

Pu readers understand that authors use genre/form to organize and communicate ideas.Pu readers learn to identify the genre or form of a new text so they can use their understanding of the characteristics of a genre to anticipate what they will encounter and to scaffold their understanding as they read.

Proficiency and Comfort with New Genres (e.g., Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, or Fantasy)

Pu readers should demonstrate proficiency in at least six very different kinds of text. Encourage students to expand their reading experience through literacy circles, read-aloud, book clubs, sharing time, modeling, book talks, and having enough of the right books in these genres. Proficient Pu-level readers are comfortable in realistic fiction, a variety of traditional tales, informational writing, poetry, biography, historical fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, usually developing in that order. In Pu text, the vocabulary demands are increasing, with 11–15 words and/or phrases on a typical chapter book page not familiar from everyday speech. Pulevel readers already know most of these academic words, and they have developed comfort with a wide variety of organizational frameworks through their wide reading in various genres. Students who have not read widely will have comprehension difficulty because of the academic vocabulary load and unfamiliar genre constructs. These students must go back to the color level where they can define all (or almost all) of the words used, follow the general text structure, and increase their proficiency levels from there. Do not allow students to develop the habit of reading without comprehension. Pu-level readers should finish a Pu chapter book, or its equivalent, each week.

Key Common Core State Standards

Reading Literature 9:
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Reading Informational Text 9:
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another.

Major Characteristics of a Pu Book

Picture books and chapter books with 11–15 “literary” words per full page of text. Complex sentence structure may have lots of embedded clauses. Assumes background knowledge of a proficient 6th grader (e.g., basic knowledge of American history and world geography).

Formative Assessment for Teaching and Learning

The IRLA includes every Common Core State Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success

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