Review by Brandy Pihlgren, RRVWP Teacher Consultant and Book Club Facilitator
The Forest AND the Trees: Helping Readers Identify Important Details in Text & Tests contains useful information, including numerous reproducibles, for any content area teacher. Although the book targets 4th-8th graders, RRVWP teacher consultants found that most activities can be adapted to any grade level. Kissner thoroughly explains how we can use big and little details to increase student understanding. We especially liked the sections dealing with visualization, making inferences, flag words, using and/or increasing prior knowledge, genres, and attention to important details. One teacher successfully used the “Specific or Not Specific?” activity (p. 157) with her high school students, which prompted them to differentiate between specific and general ideas of a text. We give the book two thumbs up!