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Literacy

Toolbox
Kempsville Middle School
Need help incorporating these strategies into your
classes? No problem! Contact your literacy coach
Vocabulary
K3C
Word Burst
Frayer Model
Vocabulary Acquisition
Model
Concept Ladder

Reading
KWL

Learning Logs

Anticipation Guide

RAFT

Probable Passages

Cubing

Probable Passages-Math

Literature Circles
About/Point (Quickwrite
Literature Circles Roles
for Summary)

Say Something
INSERT (bookmark I)
(bookmark II)

Concept Ladder
Example

About/Point

MABE: an Explanation
of the Strategy

SOAPS

Literature Circles Roles

MABE Notebook
MABE Sentences
MABE Cards
Developing ThinkAlouds for Context
Clues

Academic
Conversations

Writing

SQ3R

Subject Area Writing

Literature Circles
Art Charts
Text Structures: How
Text is Organized
Text Structures: Signal
Words
Text Structure Graphic
Organizers for

chronology
compare & contrast
concept definition
description map
episode
generalization
multiple causes and
effect
cause and multiple
effects

Flat Cube

Sample Prompts for


Writing to Learn in Any
Discipline

Five Core Skills of


Academic Conversation

Art
Business and
Information
Technology
FACS (Teen Living)
Health and PE
Mathematics
Music
Science
Social Studies
Tech. Ed.
World Languages

Collaborate with our


Library Media Specialist
and/or our Computer
Resource Specialist to
establish weblogs and
wiki spaces.

Contact our Gifted


Resource Teacher for
the following
suggestions

Socratic Seminars
Philosophical
Chairs
Kaplans Icons for
Depth and
Complexity

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K3C for Unit Terms


Directions for this pre-reading strategy
1. List the vocabulary terms from the unit in the first column at the beginning of the lesson.
2. Check off know, kind of know, or clueless in the next three columns according to your comfort level.
3. Write notes about information gained during the lesson, and then use the chart to reflect and self assess
again at the end of the lesson.

unit vocabulary term

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Know

Kind of
Know

Clueless

Notes

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Word Burst

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synonym

definition

sentence

antonym

synonym

definition

sentence

antonym

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Frayer Model

Definition in Your
Own Words

Facts and
Characteristics

TERM
Examples

Nonexamples

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Vocabulary Acquisition Model


Definition

Roots and
Affixes

Target Word

Related Words

Sentence

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Concept Ladder
From Words, Words, Words by Janet Allen
Additional Concept
Ladder Ideas

Concept:

Also called?
Looks like?
Effects of?
Roots of?
Related to?
Caused by?
Seen in?
Connected to?
Examples of?
Eliminated by?

Also called:

Effects of:

Related to:

Caused by:

Seen in:

Connected to:

Eliminated by:

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Concept Ladder Example


From Words, Words, Words by Janet Allen
Concept:
humiliation
Also called:
disgrace, shamefulness, mortification
Effects of:
tears, loneliness, low self-esteem
Related to:

Caused by:
- poor choices
- doing incorrect things
- the actions of others
Seen in:
- faces
- bullies taunting others
- body language

- abuse
- the actions of self

- relationships
- work environment

Connected to:

Eliminated by:
- doing the right thing
- confidence
- kindness

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-respectful behavior

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MABE
A MABE is a vocabulary strategy developed by Sharon Gray (VBCPS) which takes the student beyond literal denotation
to a metacognitive level of understanding. This is accomplished by linking the word and its literal meaning to a personal
association and justification of that association. B. Enzmann (VBCPS) modified MAB and turned it into MABE by
adding a concrete example. He has found it successful in geometry to use a visual or graphic to extend meaning.
This acronym stands for

M = means
A = is associated with
B = because
E = example

Initially, MABE format is best taught by providing students with a worksheet or in a notebook. Students may elect to use
index cards or notebook paper to create their own notes after becoming comfortable with MABEs format and purpose.
The teacher must model MABE extensively. At first students may only be able to fill in the word blank and what the
word means. Stress must be placed on using the connotation of the word as it is represented in context.
MABEs should NEVER be given in large blocks for independent work. These are high level thinking frameworks that
should be valued by reserving them for important ideas. Independent completion will take time and maturity. MABEs
work well on key vocabulary needed to understand the course. Instructors should always test vocabulary words to be sure
these words are not too abstract for this format.
PROCEDURE:
Enter the word in the first blank and write in the definition of the word after MEANS or IS. Students should be
encouraged to try to write MABEs in sentence form:
An operation is a rule (or body of rules) for processing one or more objects
The class may have to wait to take the MABE to the next level. Further information, research, lecture, etc. may be needed
before students make an association and can justify it. A completed MABE for the term, operation, would look like this:
An operation is (means) a rule (or body of rules) for processing one or more objects and is
associated with addition because you can add numbers from bottom to top-or top to bottom-and
still get the same answer.
Operation is a term that makes a good MABE. All of the information needed could be found in the textbook immediately.
Other terms may need longer. Complete MABEs during the teachable moment.
A completed MABE would look like this
Example
An operation is (means) a rule (or body of rules) for
processing one or more objects and is associated with
addition because you can add numbers from bottom to
top-or top to bottom-and still get the same answer.

1+2+5=8

or 5 + 2 + 1 = 8

(Other examples: Have students develop simple


examples for subtraction, multiplication of whole
numbers, etc.

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MABE Notebook
Page
Number of
Source:
__________

means

Example

and is associated with

because

Page
Number of
Source:
__________

means

Example

and is associated with

because

S. Gray and T. Lenhart, VBCPS: PAHS

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MABE Sentences
______________________________ MEANS ________________________________________________________
_______________________________________is ASSOCIATED with __________________________________________
__________________________________________________________ BECAUSE ________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
EXAMPLE __________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________ MEANS ________________________________________________________
_______________________________________is ASSOCIATED with __________________________________________
__________________________________________________________ BECAUSE ________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
EXAMPLE __________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________ MEANS ________________________________________________________
_______________________________________is ASSOCIATED with __________________________________________
__________________________________________________________ BECAUSE ________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
EXAMPLE __________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________ MEANS ________________________________________________________
_______________________________________is ASSOCIATED with __________________________________________
__________________________________________________________ BECAUSE ________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
EXAMPLE __________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________

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MABE Cards

___________________

MEANS

______________________ ___________________

MEANS

______________________

______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
_______________AND

IS

ASSOCIATED

WITH _____________AND

___________________________________________________
______________________________________

IS

ASSOCIATED

WITH

___________________________________________________

BECAUSE ______________________________________

BECAUSE

______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
____________________________________________.

___________________

MEANS

________________________________________.

______________________ ___________________

MEANS

______________________

______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
_______________AND

IS

ASSOCIATED

WITH _____________AND

___________________________________________________
______________________________________

IS

ASSOCIATED

WITH

___________________________________________________

BECAUSE ______________________________________

BECAUSE

______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________
____________________________________________.

________________________________________.

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Developing Think-Alouds for Context Clues


Clues from synonyms:

Sara had an ominous feeling when she woke up, but the feeling was less threatening when she saw
she was in her own room.
Carly is fond of trite, worn-out expressions in her writing. Her favorite is "You can lead a horse to
water, but you can't make him drink."

Clues contained in comparisons and contrasts:


Riding a mountain bike in a remote area is my idea of a great day. I wonder why some people like
to ride motorcycles on busy six-lane highways.
Boniface had always been quite heavy, but he looked gaunt when he returned from the hospital.
(antonyms)
As the trial continued, the defendant's guilt became more and more obvious. With even the
slightest bit of new evidence against him, there would be no chance of acquittal.
The pediatricians attended the conference on the aging process even though they only treat children.
(signal words)
Clues contained in a definition or description:
Manatees, large Nautical mammals (sometimes called sea cows), can be found in the warm coastal
waters of Florida.
Paul is a transcriptionist, a person who makes a written copy of a recorded message.
Clues through association with other words in the sentence.
Brian is considered the most troublesome student ever to have walked the halls of Central High
School. He has not passed a single class in his four years there and seldom makes it through an
entire hour of class without falling asleep or getting sent to the office. His teachers consider him
completely incorrigible.
The children played with a driedal. (inference)
The malicious dog attacked the young girl outside her home.
Clues that appear in a series:
The campers spotted sparrows, chickadees, cardinals, and indigo bunting on Saturday morning.
The dulcimer, fiddle, and banjo are all popular among the Appalachian Mountain people.
Clues provide by the tone and setting:
It was a cool and breezy fall afternoon. Hundreds of fans were gathering for the last game of the
season, and the student jazz band was entertaining the crowd. It was an auspicious event.
The streets filled instantly with bellicose protesters, who pushed and shoved their way through the
frantic bystanders. The scene was no longer peaceful and calm as the marchers had promised it
would be.
Clues derived from cause and effect:
The amount of traffic at 6th and Main doubled last year, so crossing lights were placed at the corner
to avert an accident.
Since no one came to the first voluntary work session, attendance for the second one is mandatory
for all the members.

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Anticipation Guide
Description
This type of guide calls for prediction strategies by students. The guide will capitalize on previous
knowledge as well as help to build background for content area reading. It is useful for students
to have some background and experience with the concepts.

Procedure
The following steps will aid the teacher in producing an Anticipation Guide.
Select and read the content passage carefully to identify major concepts that should be featured.
1. Decide which concepts will challenge or support students' beliefs.
2. Write three to five statements based on these key concepts. Draw on students' general
knowledge to create stimulating and thought provoking statements.
3. Display the Anticipation Guide on a flipchart, electronic slideshow, chalkboard, or individual
copy for student reference.
4. Use the Anticipation Guide to conduct class discussion prior to reading or following the
reading. Students must respond with more than a "yes" or "no" answer. They must reason from
past experiences and explain decisions. The whole class can discuss answers as a group, or
individuals can answer first and then discuss in groups. Prior discussion usually promotes
motivation, anticipation, and a connection point for the assigned reading. Follow-up
discussion provides reflection and closure for the reading and impels the reader to substantiate
claims based on the reading.

Adapted from Dr. Judy Richardson, VCU - R. Reigel and T. Lenhart, VBCPS, PAHS

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Revised Extended Anticipation Guide


Part I: Before Reading

Agree

Disagree

Part II: After Reading

Support in text for


my choice

Yes

No

(A)

(B)

Why is my choice correct?

Why is my choice incorrect?

McRel Blackline Masters, Teaching Reading in the Content Area

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K-W-L + Summary
Description
K-W-L + Summary is a graphic organizer which directs thinking, reading, and writing on a
particular topic. The letter K represents the statement: This is what I think I Know about this
subject. The letter W represents the statement: This is what I Want to know about this subject.
The letter L represents the statement: This is what I have Learned about this subject. The plus
summary extends this organizer into a writing activity that spans prewriting, writing, editing, and
publishing in that each student produces a summary of the information learned on the topic as a
reflection activity. (KWL is the work of Paris, Lipson, and Wixson, 1983.)

Procedure
1. PREPARATION: Before Reading or Exploring the Topic
a. To activate background knowledge, the students brainstorm ideas and discuss what
they know about the topic.
b. After brainstorming and discussing, students note on their individual graphic
organizers what they think they know about the topic in the K column.
c. Students categorize information they have generated and anticipate categories of
information they may find in the reading. By creating a sense of expectation at the
outset, K-W-L enhances student awareness of content and how it may be structured.
The categories also enable them to anticipate and relate information from other texts
that may help future research.
d. Students generate questions they want answered as they read. These are recorded in
the W column on their individual graphic organizers. Questions may come from
discussion of K column information or from anything students anticipate being
covered in the reading.
2. ASSISTANCE: During Reading or While Exploring the Topic
a. The reading selection or topic may need to be divided into manageable segments of a
few paragraphs at a time.
b. Students can stop at predetermined intervals and record responses in the appropriate
column on their individual graphic organizers.
3. REFLECTION: After Reading or Exploring the Topic
a. Students discuss what they have learned while reading. Questions developed before
and during reading should be reviewed to determine how they were resolved.
b. If some questions have not been answered, students can be encouraged to seek further
information by reading additional materials.
c. Students write a summary of the reading or topic using the K-W-L + Summary
graphic organizer as a reference. This exercise can be used with a single reading OR
as a preparation activity to introduce a unit (K), an assistance activity to record and
order information (W), and a reflection activity to summarize the entire unit (L plus
summary).
K-W-L Plus: A Strategy for Comprehension and Summarization. Carr and Ogle, Reading Journal, April 1987.

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K-W-L Chart

What I Know

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What I Want to Know

What I Learned

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Probable Passage for Nonfiction


Directions: Read the words the teacher gives you and then decide where to place
them on the page.
Who or what is this about?

What words or phrases


describe or tell what
happened?

What words explain results


of what happened or show
why something is important?

When did this happen?

Where did it happen?

Which words or terms do I


need to look up?

My prediction of what this text is about:_______________________________________________


_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
Things I want to know as I read this text:______________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
Adapted from Kylene Beers (2005) When Kids Cant Read: What Teachers Can Do

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Probable Passage for Mathematics


Directions:

Review the words given by the teacher and place key words in
the appropriate box.

Math Terms

Formulas/Symbols

Things I Understand

Directions

Questions I Have

Probable Passage for Mathematics


Review the words given by the teacher and place key words in the appropriate box.
Math Terms

Things I Understand

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Formulas/Symbols

Directions

Questions I Have

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SAY SOMETHING
Often times, students have trouble focusing on what they are reading. To help students break this habit, Say Something
helps students attend to their reading. This strategy interrupts a students reading of a text, giving the student a chance
to think about what is being read. Students get into groups of two or three and take turns reading aloud. As they read,
they occasionally pause to "say something" about what was read. They make a prediction, ask a question, clarify
confusion, comment on whats happening next, or connect whats in the text to something they know. The reading
partners offer a response to what was said; then a different student continues the reading until the next time they pause
to say something. Teachers can use the chart below as a wholestudents can simply choose a category for response
or they can cut the chart into cards where the kids have to draw one and respond using the bullet stems.

SAY SOMETHING
Make a Prediction
I predict that
I bet that
I think that
Since this happened (detail) then I bet the
next things thats going to happen is
Reading this part makes me think that this
(detail) is about to happen
I wonder if

Make a Connection
This reminds me of
This part is like
This is similar to
The differences are
I never
I also
This character makes me think of
This setting reminds me of
I learned that
I understand that
This character (name) is like (name)
because

Clarify Something
Oh, I get it
Now I understand
This makes sense now
No, I think it means
I agree with you. This means
At first I thought (detail), but now I
think
This part is really saying

Ask a Question
Why
Who is
Why did
Do you think that
I dont get this part
Whats this part about
How is this (detail) like this (detail)
What would happen if
What does this section (detail) mean

Visualize the Scene


I can see _____ when I read this.
I can hear _____ when I read this.
I can feel _____when I read this.
I can smell _____when I read this.
I can taste _____when I read this.

Make an Evaluative Comment


This is good because
This is hard because
This is confusing because
I like the part where
I dont like this part because
My favorite part so far is
I think that

Beers, Kylene. When Kids Cant Read: What Teachers Can Do (2002).

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INSERT
Description
INSERT is an acronym that stands for Interactive Notating System for Effective Reading and
Thinking. INSERT is a strategy that students can use during Guided Reading. It is a study aid
employing a set of symbols which helps the student monitor comprehension of text.
During reading, the student is constantly making decisions about his/her reactions to the text:

I knew that
I dont understand that
I dont agree with that
I must remember that, etc.

These reactions are noted (lightly in pencil) in the margin of the text using a set of symbols. Marks
can easily be erased periodically after completing study and evaluation of the chapter, unit or
semesters work. If this marking cannot be permitted, a strip of paper can be folded over at the top
of the page so that each end lies down the inside margin of the two pages. Marks can be placed on
this strip which can be left in the book until that unit of study is completed.
When introducing this strategy to students, the number of symbols used should be limited to three
or four.

Guided Reading Procedure


1. Tell students that as they read, you want them to think about what they already know about the
topic and the new information they are learning. As they read, you want them to make some
decisions about the text and their understanding of what they are reading.
2. Provide the student with a copy of INSERT symbols and their meanings. Here are two examples
of bookmarks you can provide your studentsbookmark I or bookmark II. These symbols also
could be placed on a wall poster for easy reference. Once students are familiar with the symbols,
a bookmark with abbreviated definitions can help them as they study at home. Key words for
the bookmark are placed in the right column after the symbols.

3. If you wish to have students look for certain types of information in a text, you can use other
symbols to vary the use of the strategy. For example:

C = cause
E = effect
W = important vocabulary word
F = fact
O = opinion

Adapted from Vaughn, Joseph L. and Thomas H. Estes. Reading and Reasoning Beyond the Primary Grades. Boston: Allyn &
Bacon, 1988. (136-141)

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Insert Strategy Bookmark II

INSERT
!

surprised, wow, oh my
goodness

INSERT
!

surprised, wow, oh my
goodness

confused, you have a


question, makes you wonder
something, what happened,
huh?

INSERT
!

surprised, wow, oh my
goodness

confused, you have a


question, makes you wonder
something, what happened,
huh?

confused, you have a


question, makes you wonder
something, what happened,
huh?

passage or line you


particularly liked

passage or line you


particularly liked

passage or line you


particularly liked

new fact, important


information

new fact, important


information

new fact, important


information

personal connection or
connects to something else
you have read

personal connection or
connects to something else
you have read

personal connection or
connects to something else
you have read

[ ]

new terms or unfamiliar


vocabulary

[ ]

new terms or unfamiliar


vocabulary

[ ]

new terms or unfamiliar


vocabulary

teachers symbol for the


lesson

teachers symbol for the


lesson

teachers symbol for the


lesson

your own symbol for


something you wish to share

your own symbol for


something you wish to share

your own symbol for


something you wish to share

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Insert Strategy Bookmark I

If an idea

Use this symbol

= I agree

Confirms what you thought (I knew that)


Contradicts what you thought (I disagree or I thought
differently)
Is new to you and is interesting (Hey, I didnt know that)
Confuses you or leaves something unclear (I just dont
understand)
Strikes you as very important (Thats worth remembering)
Is a new or important vocabulary word/key terms (Thats a new
vocabulary word)

X = I disagree
+ = Thats new
?? = I dont get it
= Important
___ = new word/key term

If an idea

Use this symbol

= I agree

Confirms what you thought (I knew that)


Contradicts what you thought (I disagree or I thought
differently)
Is new to you and is interesting (Hey, I didnt know that)
Confuses you or leaves something unclear (I just dont
understand)
Strikes you as very important (Thats worth remembering)
Is a new or important vocabulary word/key terms (Thats a new
vocabulary word)

X = I disagree
+ = Thats new
?? = I dont get it
= Important
___ = new word/key term

If an idea

Use this symbol

= I agree

Confirms what you thought (I knew that)


Contradicts what you thought (I disagree or I thought
differently)
Is new to you and is interesting (Hey, I didnt know that)
Confuses you or leaves something unclear (I just dont
understand)
Strikes you as very important (Thats worth remembering)
Is a new or important vocabulary word/key terms (Thats a new
vocabulary word)

X = I disagree
+ = Thats new
?? = I dont get it
= Important
___ = new word/key term

If an idea

Use this symbol

= I agree

Confirms what you thought (I knew that)


Contradicts what you thought (I disagree or I thought
differently)
Is new to you and is interesting (Hey, I didnt know that)
Confuses you or leaves something unclear (I just dont
understand)
Strikes you as very important (Thats worth remembering)
Is a new or important vocabulary word/key terms (Thats a new
vocabulary word)
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X = I disagree
+ = Thats new
?? = I dont get it
= Important
___ = new word/key term

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Technique

SQ3R

Procedure

Values

Survey

Read questions and summary at end of


the chapter. Skim-read divisions of
material, which are usually in boldface
type. Read captions under pictures and
graphs.

Highlights major ideas and emphases of


chapter; helps organize ideas for better
understanding later.

Question

Turn each heading into a question.


(Practice will make this skill automatic.)
Write questions in outline form.

Arouses curiosity; increases


comprehension; recalls information
already known; highlights major points;
forces conscious effort in applying the
reading process.

Read

Read each section of the material to


answer questions from headings.

Promotes active search for answers to


specific questions; forces concentration
for better comprehension; improves
memory; aids in lengthening attention
span.

Recite

After reading entire section, close book


and write the answer to your question
plus any significant cues; use own words;
write key examples; make brief notes.

Encourages students to use their own


words and not simply copy from book;
improves memory and assures greater
understanding.

Review

Study the topical outline and notes; try to


see relationships; check memory by
trying to recall main points; cover
subpoints and try to recall them form
seeing main points.

Clarifies relationships; checks short-term


recall; prepares students for class.

Table taken from Reading to Learn in the Content Areas, Judy S. Richardson and Raymond F. Morgan, 1997

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Literature Circles
Reading Skills

Reading and discussing text


Connecting with text
Taking responsibility as readers and constructing meaning together
Debating and challenging one another
Making drawings and notes that reflect readers ideas
Asking open-ended questions
Reading key passages aloud
Revisiting the text constantly
Proving points and settling differences by using specific passages
Thinking critically

Overview of the Literature Circle Strategy


Literature Circlessmall groups of students gathered together to discuss a piece of text in depthis a
teaching method that allows students to become critical thinkers as they engage in ongoing dialogue with
a book. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they
read, discuss, and respond to the book. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. In classrooms all
across the country, literature circles are helping to create a student-centered learning environment.
Through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response, this strategy guides the
students to a deeper understanding of what they read.
Procedures for Literature Circles Strategy
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Select members for each discussion group.


Assign roles for the members of each circle.
Assign reading to be completed by the circles inside or outside of class.
Select dates for the circle meetings.
Assist students in preparing for their roles in their circle. (Modeling MUST be included prior to
full implementation of literature circles.)
6. Act as a facilitator for the circles.

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Literature Circle Roles


Discussion Director

Your job is to develop a list of questions that your group might want to discuss about
this part of the book. Dont worry about the small details: your task is to help people
talk over the big ideas in the reading and share their reactions. Usually the best
discussion questions come from your own thoughts, feelings, and concerns as you read,
which you can list below, during or after your reading. Try to think of fat questions
that promote interesting discussion. You may want to use the words why, how, or if to
start off your questions

Artful Artist

Your job is to draw some kind of picture related to the reading. It can be a sketch,
cartoon, diagram, flow chart, or stick-figure scene. You can draw a picture of
something thats discussed specifically in your book, or something that the reading
reminded you of, or a picture that conveys any idea or feeling you got from the reading.
Any kind of drawing or graphic is okay as long as it shows time and effort; you can
even label things with words if that helps. Make your drawing on the other side of this
sheet or on a separate sheet
Presentation Plan: When the Discussion Director invites your participation, you may
show your picture without comment to the others in the group. One
at a time, they get to speculate what your picture means, to connect
the drawing to their own ideas about the reading. After everyone
has had a say, you get the last word: tell them what your picture
means, where it came from, or what it represents to you.

Literary Luminary

Your job is to locate a few special sections of the text that your group would like to
hear read aloud. The idea is to help people remember some interesting, powerful,
funny, puzzling, or important sections of the text. Under plan for reading, mention
what the passage is about and how it should be shared. You can read passages aloud
yourself, ask someone else to read them, or have people read them silently and then
discuss.

Cool Connector

Your job is to find connections between the book your group is reading and the world
outside. This means connecting the reading to your own life, to happenings at school
or in the community, to similar events at other times and places, or to other people or
problems that you are reminded of. You might also see connections between this book
and other writings on the same topic or by the same author. There are no right answers
here whatever the reading connects you with is worth sharing.

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Word Wizard

Your job is to be on the lookout for a few especially important words- new, interesting,
strange, important, puzzling, or unfamiliar words- words that members of the group
need to notice and understand. Mark some of these key words while you are reading,
and then later jot down their definitions, either from the text or from a dictionary or
other source. In the group, help members find and discuss these words.

Idea Investigator

The investigator digs up some background information on any topic related to the book.
This is not a formal research report, however. The idea is to find bits of information
that help the group better understand the character, setting, plot, and theme of the book.
The investigator probes into something that really interests him/her.

Super Summarizer

Your job is to prepare a brief summary of the assigned reading. The group discussion
should begin with the presentation of the summary that includes the key points and main
highlights.

Travel Tracer

When you are reading a book in which characters move around often and the scene
changes frequently, it is important for everyone in your group to know where things are
happening and how the setting may have changed. Your job is to track carefully where
the action takes place during todays reading. Describe each setting in detail, either in
words or with an action map or diagram you can show to your group. You may use the
back of this sheet or another sheet. Be sure to give the page locations where the scene
is described.

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Text Structures: How Informational Text is Organized


Chronological or Procedural Sequence: Organizes events according to whey they occur. Good questions
to ask
1. What sequence is being described?
2. What are the major incidents that occur?

Comparison and Contrast: Organizes information about two or more topics according to their similarities
and differences. Good questions to ask
1. What items are being compared? What is it about them that is being compared; what general characteristics of
the items form the basis of the comparison?
2. What characteristics do they have in common; how are these items alike? In what way(s) are these items
different?
3. What conclusion does the author reach about the degree of similarity or difference between the items?

Concept/Definition: Organizes information about a word or phrase that represents a generalized idea of a
class of persons, places, things, and events. Text organized in this way defines a concept by presenting its
characteristics or attributes, and sometimes examples of each. Good questions to ask
1. What concept is being defined?
2. What are its attributes or characteristics? How does it work, or what does it do?
3. What examples are given for each of the attributes or characteristics?

Description: Organizes facts that depict specific persons, places, things, and events. These characteristics
do not need to be given in any particular order. Good questions to ask
1.
2.
3.
4.

What specific person, place, thing, or event is being described?


What are the most important attributes or characteristics?
Why are these particular attributes important or significant?
Why is this description important?

Episode: Organizes a large body of information about a specific eventthe time and place, specific people,
duration, sequence of incidents that occur, and the events particular cause and effect. Good questions to
ask
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

What event is being explained or described?


What is the setting where the event occurs? When did these events occur?
Who are the major figures or characters that play a part in this?
List, in the order they occur, the specific incidents or events?
What caused this event? What effects has this event had on the people involved?
What effects has this event had on society in general?

Also check out


signal words for
each structure

Generalization/Principle: Organizes information into general statements with supporting examples. Good
questions to ask
1. What generalization is the author making or what principle is being explained?
2. What facts, examples, statistics, and expert opinions are given that support the generalization or that explain
the principle?
3. Are these details written in a logical order? Why or why not? (Provide examples.)
4. Are there enough facts, examples, statistics, and expert opinion included to clearly support or explain the
generalization/principle? Explain why or why not.

Cause-Effect: Organizes information into a series of steps leading to a specific product; or organizes
information in a causal sequence that leads to a specific outcome. Good questions to ask
1. What process or subject is being explained?
2. What are the specific steps in the process, or what specific causal events occur?
3. What is the product or end result of the process; or what is the outcome of the causal events?

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Text Structures: Signal Words


Signal Words - Chronological Sequence

after
finally
initially
now
then

afterward
first
later
on (date)
third

as soon as
following
meanwhile
preceding
today

before
for (duration)
next
second
until

during
immediately
not long after
soon
when

Signal Words - Comparison and Contrast


although
but
even though
in contrast
otherwise
whereas

as well as
compared with
however
in the same manner
similar to
yet

as opposed to
different from
instead of
likewise
similarly

both
eitheror
in common
on the other hand
still

Signal Words - Concept/Definition


definition
refers to

generally
that is

in other words
thus

is characterized by
typically

put another way


usually

Signal Words - Description


above
as in
between
looks like
onto
to the right/left

across
behind
down
near
outside
under

along
below
in back of
next to
over

appears to be
beside
in front of
on top of
such as

Signal Words - Episode


a few days/weeks later
because of
for this reason
since then

around this time


began when
lasted for
subsequently

as it is often called
consequently
led to
this led to

as a result of
first
shortly thereafter
when

Signal Words - Generalization/Principle


additionally
clearly
for example
ifthen
most convincing
second

althoughnevertheless
conclusively
furthermore
in fact
never
therefore

accordingly
consequently
for this reason
in order to
next
thus

as a result of
effects of
how to
is caused by
so that
whenthen

always
first
generally
it could be argued that
not onlybut also
third

because of
for instance
however
moreover
often
truly

Signal Words - Cause-Effect


because
finally
how
leads/led to
steps involved

begins with
first
ifthen
may be due to
therefore

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Chronological or Procedural Sequence

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Compare and Contrast

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Concept/Definition
Example

Characteristic

Concept or Topic

Characteristic

Example

Example

Characteristic

Example

Example

Example

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Description Map
FACT

FACT

TOPIC

FACT

FACT

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Episode

Place
Duration
events

Time
Episode

Cause

Effect

person

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person

person

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Generalization/Principle

Generalization/Principle

Example

Example

Example

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FISHBONE for Multiple Causes and Effect


Fill in the following graphic organizer to show the multiple causes of ______________________________________and its final effect.

Effect
Multiple Causes

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Cause and Multiple Effects


Fill in the following graphic organizer to show the cause of ______________________________________and the final effects.

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Art Chart

ART CHART
Directions: As you read each paragraph, think about the information youre reading,
and draw what comes to mind. Dont worry about how great or bad of an artist you
are; just doodle and absorb the information. Happy Drawing!
Paragraph

Drawing of what you read

1.

2.

3.

4.

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5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

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Learning Logs
Learning Logs are a simple and straightforward way to help students integrate content,
process, and personal feelings. They are especially powerful for developing
metacognitive processing skills. Learning Logs are an effective method for supporting
students capacity to learn from writing rather than writing what they have learned.
The most common application of Learning Logs is to have students make entries in their
logs during the last five minutes of class. Short frequent bursts of writing are more
productive over time than are infrequent, longer assignments. You can join in the writing
process to reflect on your teaching, note thoughts about your students, preserve anecdotes
about their interaction with that days material and their developing capacities.
To stimulate student thinking, question stems can be written on the board, or kept on a
page at the back of their log books. The following types of stems are useful starting point
for the learning log process.

What are some things I learned today?


What still puzzles me about todays content?
What did I enjoy, hate, accomplish in class today?
What strategies supported my learning?
What did I contribute to others learning today?
What can I do to enhance my learning in this class?

Another option is to write four or five key words on the board based on the days lesson.
Ask students to free write about the words for several minutes.
You can collect the logs from time-to-time, read through them and share written
comments with their students. This helps build stronger relationships with students and
provides an excellent way to informally assess how well the class is doing.
You can use these prompts to get started with learning logs.

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Getting Started With Learning Logs


Activating & Engaging

When I think of
, I think about
Some things I already know/think I know about
If I were in
, I might see/hear
Based on
, I predict that

Exploring & Discovering

Some ways in which


and
are both alike are
Some ways in which
and
are both different are
Right now, I think
is more important than
because
My sense of
tells me that
Resources I am using now that connect me to this information are
Some new/other resources I might need are

Organizing & Integrating


Describe
as if you were writing to (fill in role, e.g.: your best friend,
someone from another country, your parents, etc.)
If you were going to a birthday party for (a character in a story, a famous person,
an historical figure) what kinds of gifts would you bring? Why?
Redesign
to (describe criteria)
The most difficult think I am finding about
is
The things that are easiest for me are
Using Metacognition

I am really pleased about


One thing Ill change immediately, now that I know what I know
One thing I would do differently next time
Some personal implications, connections, insights
Compare and contrast how you are feeling about this material now and when we
began learning about it. (Use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast your
confidence with the topic; yourself as a learner, new ways you are thinking about
it, etc.)
Some discoveries I have made today

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RAFT
What is it?
The RAFT strategy (Santa, 1998) employs writing-to-learn activities to enhance understanding of
informational text. Instead of writing a traditional essay explaining a concept learned, students
demonstrate their understanding in a nontraditional format. This technique encourages creative thinking
and motivates students to reflect in unusual ways about concepts they have read. RAFT is an acronym
that stands for

Role of the writer.

Audience.

Format.

Topic.

What is the writers role: reporter, observer, eyewitness?

Who will be reading this writing: the teacher, other students, a parent, people in the
community, an editor?
What is the best way to present this writing: in a letter, an article, a report, a poem?

Who or what is the subject of this writing: a famous scientist, a prehistoric cave
dweller, a reaction to a specific event?

The RAFT strategy forces students to process information, rather than merely write out answers to
questions. Students are more motivated to undertake the writing assignment because it addresses
various learning styles.
How could it be used in your instruction?
This writing-to-learn strategy engages students in explaining what they know about a topic and
elaborating on the topic in a fun way.
How to use it:
1. Think about concepts or processes that you want students to learn from reading a selected
passage. Consider how writing in a fun way may enhance students understanding of the topic.
Include fun topics to write about in learning logs.
2. Brainstorm possible roles students could assume in their writing.
3. Decide who the audience would be as well as the format for writing.
4. After students have finished reading, identify the role, audience, format, and topic (RAFT) for
the writing. Assign the same role for all students, or let them choose from several different
roles.
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Cubing
Cubing is a student-centered, active teaching strategy that helps the learner examine content
material from a variety of perspectives. A physical cube is constructed and labeled on all sides with
question stems. (See example below.) During this activity, content area vocabulary and concepts are
discussed or used as writing prompts by tossing the cube to a student who must insert the word or
concept in the question stem and then answer the question posed by the cube. Or the teacher may
show the entire class each side of the cube and ask them to write whatever ideas come to mind. (A
comparison of pre-reading and post-discussion writing can help students become aware of how much
they have learned and of changes in their understanding.) It is recommended that discussion or initial
writing be limited to two to five minutes of response per side. At this point, the student IS NOT trying
to make an in depth comment on each question stem. S/he is making a quick comment based on
his/her perspective and knowledge of the area being questioned.
Cubing can be used as a preparation activity to activate previous knowledge or as a reflection
tool to help bring closure. Consequently, all sides of the cube should be used whenever possible. In
some cases, however, you may find that one or more sides of the cube must be omitted because it does
not "fit" the topic.
Cubing is also useful as a prewriting strategy to explore a chosen topic or narrow a topic for
writing. Writing generated through cubing should not be graded; it should be used as a tool for selfdiscovery. Papers completed after a unit of study can help to determine if there are areas of confusion
or if important ideas have been missed.
Procedure
1. The cube is made by covering a box with light colored paper (five inches tall by seven inches wide
by six inches deep works well). On each side of the cube clearly print in large letters one of the
question stems listed below. Or, cubes can be made by each student and used in pairs or groups (see
the following example template).
2. The questions stems may use other phrases to accommodate different content areas; however, these
are the most commonly used stems.

Describe It: Look at the subject and describe what you see: colors, shapes, sizes, memories

Compare It: To what is it similar? Different?

Associate It: Of what does it make you think? What comes into your mind? It can be similar
things, or you can think of different things, different times, places, or people. Just let your mind
go and see what associations you have for this subject.

Analyze It: Tell how it is made. (You don't have to know; you can make it up.)

Apply It: Tell what you can do with it. How can it be used?

Argue For or Against It: Go ahead and take a stand. Use any kind of reasons you to-want to
whether they be rational, silly, or anywhere in between.

Adapted by T. Lenhart from D. Smith, VBCPS, PAHS

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Flat Cube

Describe It

Apply It

Compare It

Associate It

Analyze It

Argue for or
Against It

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About/Point
This strategy asks the students to restate what the passage is ABOUT and to list the
details or POINTS that support the response. Students can create About/Point study
sheets similar to the following example.
The reading is ABOUT:

And the POINTS are:

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SOAPS

SUBJECT

The general topic, content, and


ideas contained in the text.
Students should be able to state
the subject in a few words or a
short phrase.

OCCASION

The time and place of a piece; the


current situation.
It is
particularly
important
that
students understand the context
that encouraged the writing to
happen.

AUDIENCE

The group of readers to whom


this piece is directed.
The
audience may be one person, a
small group, or a large group; it
may be a certain person or a
certain people. This is a difficult
concept for students. They tend
to think that authors just write,
not that they write for anyone.

PURPOSE

The reason behind the text. Many


students do not even consider this
question. Until they do, they will
not be able to examine the
argument or its logic.

SPEAKER

The voice that tells the story.


When students approach a piece
of fiction, they often believe that
the author and the speaker of the
piece are the same. They fail to
realize that in fiction the author
may choose to tell the story from
any number of different points of
view. In fact, the method of
narration and the character of the
speaker may be crucial to an
understanding of the work.

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How can I help students use writing to learn any

Discipline?

Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied (expressive writing)

write up experiments or projects (technical writing)

write letters to one another examining or explaining a concept (informative writing)

write your own description of a concept covered in the class each day (informative and
expressive writing)

write notes to the teacher asking questions about concepts, homework, class issues (teachers
can respond individually or in a class) (informative and expressive writing)

pose a theoretical question to the class or to the teacher (informative writing)

chart such things as sports statistics, analyze them, and write about them as a sports column,
news report, or a play-by-play analysis (informative writing)

read and write about famous authors, teachers, etc. in the discipline (informative writing)

interview and write about how adults use (your subject area) in their lives (informative
writing)

answer quantitative questions such as What method is better? or What product is better?
(persuasive writing)

write comparison/contrast pieces with the help of Venn diagrams that highlight how
products, costs, etc. are different or how they are the same (informative writing)

select an artifact from the subject matter being studied and write an article from its point of
view or from the objects owner describing what life is or has been like (informative and
imaginative writing)

become a famous person in the discipline and recommend a certain action (such as an athlete
recommending a change in contract negotiations, etc.) (persuasive writing)

write reactions to an editorial cartoon or create an editorial cartoon (persuasive and


expressive)

compose a letter to the editor on real issues in your discipline and send it to an appropriate
newspaper (persuasive writing)

read and write about a current or historical controversial issue in order to make it relevant to
todays students (persuasive and informative writing)

compose a tall tale or super-hero story based on real figures in your discipline (imaginative
and informative writing)

keep a log of front page headlines (from your discipline) to use as chapter titles for a best
seller (imaginative and informative writing)

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How can I help students use writing to learn Mathematics?


Students can

keep a learning log or journal of their work and understanding (expressive writing)

write letters to one another explaining a concept (informative writing)

write about where and why they made a mistake in problem solving (informative writing)

write their own descriptions of concepts (informative and expressive writing)

write notes to the teacher asking questions about concepts, homework, class issues (teachers
can respond individually or in class) (informative and expressive writing)

compose story problems (informative and imaginative writing)

pose a theoretical question, such as, What would happen if there were no zero?, and ask
students to write about the ramifications

write about the history of mathematical concepts (informative writing)

chart sports statistics, analyze them, and write about them as a sports column, news report, or
a play-by-play analysis (informative writing)

write numerical equations in a sentence or paragraph and trade with a partner to test the
correctness of their instructions (informative writing)

read and write about famous mathematicians (informative writing)

interview and write about how adults use mathematics in their lives (informative)

answer quantitative questions such as What method is better? or When is this method
better? (persuasive writing)
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How can I help students use writing to learn Science?


Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied (expressive writing)

write up experiments, keeping notes about procedures and writing reflections about the
process and results (technical writing)

compose autobiographies of the elements (informative and imaginative writing)

become an animal and write about the animals existence (informative and imaginative
writing)

report what has been learned about the environment in a class newspaper (printed or recycled
paper, of course) filled with facts (informative and persuasive writing)

read and write about famous (or not so famous) scientists (informative writing)

interview and write about adults who use science in their lives (informative writing)

compose science fiction to project possible futuristic worlds based on todays research
(informative and imaginative writing)

compose travelogues to celestial places (informative and imaginative writing)

write and send letters taking a stand on specific environmental issues (persuasive writing)

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How can I help students use writing to learn Social

Studies?

Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied (expressive writing)

compose autobiographies of their own counterparts for a different historical timee.g., the
life of a middle-class teenager who lived in India 200 years ago (informative and imaginative
writing)

write comparison/contrast pieces with the help of Venn diagrams that highlight how things
today are both different and the same (informative writing)

select an artifact from the time being studied and write an article from its point of view or
from the objects owner describing what life is or has been like (informative and imaginative
writing)

become an historical or political figure and recommend a certain action (persuasive


writing)

write reactions to an editorial cartoon or create an editorial cartoon (persuasive and


expressive writing)

write letters to historical figures, posing questions and exploring past events

compose a letter to the editor on real social issues and send it to an appropriate newspaper
(persuasive writing)

read and write about a current or historical controversial issue in order to make it relevant to
todays students (persuasive and informative writing)

compose a tall tale or super-hero story based on real political figures (imaginative and
informative writing)

keep a log of front page headlines to use as chapter titles for a best seller (imaginative and
informative writing)

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How can I help students use writing to learn Art?


Students can

keep a sketchbook/journal about the artistic process and the material(s) being used
(expressive and informative writing)

keep a sketchbook/journal and explain the artistic process, keeping notes about the process
and writing reflections about the process and results (technical and informative writing)

write a critique about their artwork or that of another artist (informative and imaginative
writing)

become an artist and write an artists statement about their work of art (informative and
imaginative writing)

complete the following prompt: Art is (informative and persuasive writing)

read and write about famous (or not so famous) artists (informative writing)

interview and write about artists who live in their community (informative writing)

become an art critic and write a review about a famous or not so famous work of art
(informative and technical writing)

explain the art criticism process and record their analysis and interpretation of a work of art

explain how the creative process in art is similar to the creative process in science
(informative writing)

write and send letters taking a stand on specific aesthetic/philosophical issues (persuasive
writing)

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How can I help students use writing to learn Family and Consumer

Science (FACS)?
Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied

observe a child for an hour, and write a reflection about what you observed

write a foreign foods report about the customs, social trends, food history, geography,
indigenous cuisine, etc. of a certain country, area, or culture

shadow a chef, child care worker, teacher, interior designer, seamstress, etc., and write a
reflection about what you learned during the shadowing experience

write an evaluation of a product you created during a lab (foods, design, child care, etc.).

write a client scenario for interior design

create a marketing plan, advertising packet, press packet, etc. for a product

create a portfolio for a career in the FACS field

write a resume and cover letter for a career in the FACS field

write questions for guest speakers about their position, educational background, work-related
tasks, etc.

write a what I learned journal entry about a guest speakers presentation

write a review for a piece of childrens literature

create a childrens book for a specific age group

create an Internet safety brochure for a target audience or age group

take on the persona of a food critic, and write a restaurant review for some type of periodical
or Internet site

write an article review about an FACS industry topic

interview someone in the FACS industry and write an article about what you learned in the
interview

write descriptive entries each item on a self-created themed menu

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How can I help students use writing to learn Tech.

Ed.?

Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied

write up projects, keeping notes about the procedures and writing reflections about the
process and results

write detailed (step-by-step, materials, parts, etc.) instructions to classmates explaining a


concept covered in class

write notes to the teacher asking questions about concepts (teachers can respond individually
or in a class

write how they will respond to a customer who is not pleased with the work they have
performed (choose something related to this class)

read and write about a well-known person in the discipline

interview and write about how adults use woodworking skills in their lives

explain what type of credentials (license, courses, etc.) are needed to become qualified to
work in this field

write about a relative or someone they know who works in this trade or industry

write about the amount of money they would need to start their own business

keep a log of front page headlines to use as chapter titles for a best seller

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How can I help students use writing to learn Health

& PE?

Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied

create a magazine on a health topic that must include at least a feature article and an editorial
on the article

create a book jacket for a lifetime health book that will persuade potential readers to buy the
book

write a stretching routine for an activity or game as well as the benefits of each exercise

write about the similarities and differences between the striking patterns found in two
different sports skills

write an ad for a new exercise machine that connects to the improvement of all the healthrelated fitness components and how that connection will change an individuals body
composition

interview and write how family values and beliefs influence health practices and behaviors

conduct a survey on health-related apps and write about the benefits of their use

write how the Internet has affected mental and physical health

take on the persona of a famous doctor who has found a cure for a disease and convince a
pharmaceutical company to market the cure

survey what breakfast foods students are eating and write about which of those foods are
healthier

write about the vaccines that sixth graders are required to have to enter middle school and the
importance of those vaccines

research their familys medical history and develop a lifelong plan of action to combat the
risk factors

compose a letter to a student who struggles with conflict and give advice on conflict
resolution strategies

write about a concern students face in regard to substance abuse and send it to the school
counselor

write a persuasive piece about whether alcoholism is a disease or a personality weakness


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How can I help students use writing to learn Music?


Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied

write mini-process papers explaining how to play an instrument

write a mini-process paper explaining how to tune an instrument

write a mini-process paper explaining how their instrument (or voice) makes a sound

write mini-process paper explaining the proper posture on their instrument (voice)

write a paragraph describing what the piece is about

write a review of performancesrecordings or from live performances

read and write about famous composers

write satires or parodies of music

write using this prompt: Youve been hired by the local newspaper as a music critic. Write
about a concert, or one of the many TV shows that feature musical performances, and
critique the musical acts.

write descriptive papers or word pictures as a reaction to listening to a new piece of music
o describe in words the mood created by music
o convey the mood and the emotions created by the music

write a description or script for a specific piece of classical music (substitute classical for
any other genre)

change the lyrics of a song into a short story or dramatic scene

write an exchange of letters between two composers who represent different types of periods
or schools of music

write a paper/paragraph discussing the value/influence of music


o value/influence of music videos
o value/influence of using music for background entertainment

study the theme song of a TV show or movie and write about how it fits the show or movie

keep a listening journal, writing about their daily experiences of listening to music

Reflection after a performance

write about the groups performance from the previous day

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Write about the most important things the ensemble needs to work on to improve for the next
performance.

Evaluate your own performance, contribution to the overall performance.

Write about two specific things you will commit to work on to improve your next
performance. Yes, practice, but how, what will you practice, how will you figure out what
you do not yet understand?

Write about what the piece (selection, solo, melody, and rhythm) is about
1. Have students listen to a piece of music and then write a description of what they heard, the
instruments that were heard, the melody line, and what the music sounded like. This helps
students with their listening skills, which are important because they need to hear what the
group. Students need to be able to listen so they will come in with their own part at the right
time, at the right tempo, and with the right volume and intensity.
2.

Use questions to help students organize their writing:


a. What instrument/voices did they hear?
b. Who had the melody?
c. Describe the melody (angular, flowing, rhythmic)
d. What did the music sound like?
i. The mood of the piece
ii. The form of the piece
iii. The purpose of the piece
e. How do they fit into the passage or piece? What will their contribution be to the
music?

3. Once these questions (or more) are answered, students will organize their sentences into
paragraphs in a logical sequence.

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How can I help students use writing to learn World

Languages?

Students can

blog or respond to questions, statements, photos, or videos on discussion boards (for


example, Edmodo, wikis, or websites) (sample blogging procedures)
create an OSMOSIS statementone short mantra, one sentence in supportafter reading or
listening to an authentic source
use the RAFT strategyrole, audience, format, topic (example prompt: You are an exchange
student at a middle school in Moscow and have been asked to write an article for the school
newspaper comparing school subjects and schedules in the United States and Russia.)
write Yesterdays Newsat the beginning of class, students spend a few minutes writing a
letter to a real or imaginary student who missed the previous class explaining how one of the
things learned last class is important in her/his life; this can also be done as a one-liner, one
sentence regarding the importance of something they learned last class
compose their Last Wordsstudents spend the last ten minutes of class writing a letter to
the teacher about something they need help with or do not understand
create photo essays and digital story telling, combining images, audio, and text from the
lesson
journal daily on class topics
write dialogue bubbles for a comic strip or cartoon (may use online comic strip generators)
using the target language
write dialogue bubbles for video snippets (for example, Bombay TV) using the target
language
write detective stories (great for narration and mastery of past tenses)
write a childrens book using the target language
utilize K-W-L strategy (what we know, what we want to find out, what we learned and still
need to learn) for lesson activities
write a Crystal Ball statementstudents predict what will happen next in a scenario
use the What is the Question strategystudents generate a question based on information
in a text
participate in circle writing where students gather in a circle and pass around one or more
sheets of paper on which they write a sentence that continues a story
utilize the Anticipation Guides strategybefore discussing true/false answers, students
select one of the statements to write about for five minutes, defending their position for that
statement
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How Can I Help Students Use Writing to Learn Business

Information Technology?

and

Students can

keep a log of personal reactions to the material being studied

write a reflection on the need for keyboarding skills at the beginning of the course and at the
end of the course.

compose, at the keyboard, a letter of request

exchange letters with other keyboarding classes (or other classes in general, thinking crosscurricularly)

create a resume and letter of application

shadow a businessperson and write a reflection of what they observed

interview a businessperson and write an article about what they learned

research a career of interest and write a reflection of what they learned or create a portfolio
for the career

develop questions for guest speakers about their position, educational background, workrelated tasks, etc.

write a what I learned journal entry about a guest speakers presentation

create an Internet safety brochure for a target audience or age group

write a review of an article on technology trends

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Five Core Skills for Academic Conversation


(with Symbols, Prompt Frames, and Response Frames)
Core Thinking Skills

Elaborate and Clarify

Support Ideas with Examples


(from this text, other texts, the world, and
life)

Sample
Prompt Frames

Sample
Response Frames

Can you elaborate on?


What do you mean by?
Can you tell me more about?
What makes you think that?
Can you clarify the part about?
Can you be more specific?
How so?
How/Why is that important?
Id love to hear more about
How does that connect to?
I wonder if
How so?
Can you unpack that for me?
I am a little confused about the part

I think it means that

Can you give an example from the text?


Can you show me where it says that?
What are the examples from other texts?
What is a real-world example?
What is an example from your life?
Are there any cases of that?
What is the evidence for that?
Like what?
Why do you justify that?
What does that look like?
Such as?
What would illustrate that?
Why is that a good example?

For example,
In the text it said that
One case showed that
An example from my life is
For instance,
According to
An illustration of this could be
On one occasion
In this situation
To demonstrate,
In fact,
Indeed,
such as
Have you ever?

In other words
I believe that
An analogy for this might be
It is important because.
Its similar to when

continued on the
next page

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58

continued from
the previous page

Build On and/or Challenge


a Partners Idea

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What do you think about the idea that?


Can you add to this idea?
Do you agree?
What might be other points of view?
What are other ideas?
How does that connect to the idea?
I am not sure if this is relevant, but
How can we bring this back to the question
of?

I would add that


I want to expand on your point
about
I want to follow up on your idea
(To challenge)
Then again, I think that
Another way to look at this could
be
Yet I wonder also if
If
, then
What struck me about what you said
is

Im not sure that was clear


I cant remember all that I said.
How can we relate what I said to the
topic/question?
What do we know so far?
What is your take on what I said?
I dont know. Did that make sense?
What are you hearing?

So, you are saying that


Let me see if I understand you
Am I right in hearing you say that?
In a nutshell, you are arguing that
In other words
What I am hearing is
Essentially, you think that
It sounds like you are saying that

Paraphrase

Synthesize Conversation Points

Concept

What have we discussed so far?


How should we synthesize what we talked
about?
How can we bring this all together?
What can we agree upon?
What main points can we share?
What was our original question?
What key idea can we take away?

We can say that


The main theme/point seems to be
As a result of this conversation, we
think that we should
How does this sound?
What if we?
The evidence seems to suggest that

Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings (2011)
by Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford

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