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Herringbone Technique Description: The Herringbone Technique develops comprehension of the main idea by plotting the who, what,

when, where, how, and why questions on a visual diagram of a fish skeleton. Using the answers to the wh questions, the student writes the main idea across the backbone of the fish diagram. Text: Particularly suited for expository text. an be used for narrative text.

Focus of Instruction: !. Processing focus " meaning #. $nstructional phase" during and after reading %. &esponse mode emphasi'ed" written response and oral discussion (. )trategy emphasi'ed" elaboration *. )kill emphasi'ed" literal comprehension +. )ource of information" text based ,. Type of instruction" implicit -. Type of cognitive processing" simultaneous, but it is written in a visual way .simultaneous/ Procedure: !. The teacher selects a text at the appropriate reading level. #. The teacher constructs a visual diagram of the herringbone. %. The teacher tells the student to record the answers to the questions on the diagram. He will look for answers to" a. 0ho is the author talking about1 b. 0hat did they do1 c. 0hen did they do it1 d. 0here did they do it1 e. How did they do it1 f. 0hey did they do it1 (. The student reads to find the answers and records the answers on the diagram. *. 2fter the information is recorded, the teacher shows the student how each answer fits into a slot in a main idea sentence. +. The student writes a main idea, using the information from the herringbone diagram. ,. The teacher duplicates sheets with the diagram , and students complete diagram on their own. -. The diagram becomes a tool for story discussion. 3uring the discussion, the teacher and students compare their answers and their rationales.


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Modification: !. The implementation of the herringbone can be changed from finding the facts first to writing the main idea and then looking for the facts that support this main idea. Learner Patterns That Produce a High Success Rate: !. 2 successive learner who has difficulty organi'ing factual info to for a main idea. This technique shows him how the facts fit together to form the main idea.
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2 passive learner who has difficulty identifying the important facts that are used to form a main idea. This technique gives him an active strategy to use while he is reading. 2 simultaneous learner who has difficulty identifying the factual information that he used to construct a main idea. This technique can be modified so that first the student writes the main idea and then rereads the text to find the facts that support the main idea.

Further Diagnostic App ications: Patterns of Strengths and Strategies: The herringbone technique is most appropriate for students who need a visual structure to draw relationships between the facts in a text and the main idea. ;or these students, the technique records the information so that it can be organi'ed into a whole.. !sing the Technique as a Diagnostic Teaching Lesson: ;or herringbone diagram to be effective, a ma<ority of the following statements must be answered in the affirmative. :es 7o !. The student can find the facts and place them into the diagram.. #. The student can construct a main idea from the facts. %. The student is more active in a group discussion after using the herringbone diagram.

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