Minds On

Runny Babbit

Examine the following poem. What do you notice?

Brainstorm

Strategies for decoding

What kinds of strategies can you use to decode the meaning of this poem?

A magnifying glass enlarging a variety of symbols on a paper.

Action

Solving unknown words

During reading, we can make meaning by combining our prior or background knowledge with the use of cueing systems. Cueing systems are essentially different information sources or clues we can use to predict and/or solve unfamiliar words, phrases, and sentences.

There are three main types of cues: semantic (meaning) cues, syntactic (structural) cues, and graphophonic (phonological and graphic) cues.

Press ‘Types of Clues’ to learn and reveal more about the three main types of clues.

  • Semantic (meaning) cues: using familiar words, phrases, sentences, and visuals that activate our existing knowledge (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, base words).
  • Syntactic (language structure) cues: using word order, language patterns and rules (grammar), and punctuation to solve unknown words.
  • Graphophonic (phonological and graphic) cues: using our knowledge of letter or sound relationships and word patterns (e.g., similarities between words with common spelling patterns and unknown words; words within words; syllables).

Let's return to the poem in the Minds On. Use the different cueing systems to solve the unknown or "scrambled" words. Record the cues that you use in a method of your choice.

What other strategies did you use?

Runny’s Heading Rabits

Runny lent to the wibrary

And there were bundreds of hooks-

Bistory hooks, beography gooks,

And lots of bory stooks.

He looked them over one by one

And guess which one he took –

A bience scook? A boetry pook?

Oh no- a bomic cook!

After you finish decoding the poem, click on ‘Bunny’s Reading Habits’ to reveal a rewritten version of the poem.

Bunny went to the library

And there were hundreds of books-

History books, geography books,

And lots of story books.

He looked them over one by one

And guess which one he took –

A science book? A poetry book?

Oh, no—a comic book!

Brainstorm

Think about your decoding

What do you notice about the edited version of the poem? How did meaning, language structure, and letter or sound/word patterns help you to decode the poem? Record your ideas using a method of your choice.

Consolidation

Ready, set, decode!

Examine another poem about Runny Babbit called “The Pancin’ Dartners.”

Review the three types of cues below and use them to decode or "unscramble" the poem.

Press on the buttons below to review semantic, syntactic, and graphophonic cues.

Semantic (meaning) cues: using familiar words, phrases, sentences, and visuals that activate our existing knowledge (e.g., prefixes, suffixes, base words).

Syntactic (language structure) cues: using word order, language patterns and rules (grammar), and punctuation to solve unknown words.

Graphophonic (phonological and graphic) cues: using our knowledge of letter or sound relationships and word patterns (e.g., similarities between words with common spelling patterns and unknown words; words within words; syllables).

As you decode the poem, record the different cues that you use to solve the unknown or unfamiliar words. Then, rewrite the poem in "regular" language. Be sure to also describe the cue and/or other strategies that you used.

Complete the activity using the following fillable and printable template Unscramble the Poem, or another method of your choice.

Unscramble the poem Press the ‘Activity’ button to access the Unscramble the Poem. Activity (Open PDF in a new window)

Thinking about decoding

Think back to the Minds On when you were introduced to, “Runny’s Heading Rabits.” Then, think about how you read through, “The Pancin’ Dartners.”

  • Did you notice any differences in the way you explored the poems?
  • What kind of decoding strategies did you use?
  • How do different cues help you to determine and/or identify unknown words?
  • Did you discover any new strategies that you will use the next time you try to solve unknown or unfamiliar words? Explain your thinking.

Reflection

As you read through these descriptions, which sentence best describes how you are feeling about your understanding of this learning activity? Press the button that is beside this sentence.

I feel...

Now, record your ideas using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.

Press ‘Discover More’ to extend your skills.

Select a poem of your choice and record the different cues (semantic, syntactic, and graphophonic) that you use. What cues do you use the most to solve unfamiliar words? Record your ideas using a method of your choice.