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Literacy in the Content Areas


Literacy in the Content Areas Dr. Jim Greenlaw St. Francis Xavier University What Content Area Reading Involves Reading in content areas, such as science, history ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Literacy in the Content Areas

Literacy in the Content Areas
  • Dr. Jim Greenlaw
  • St. Francis Xavier University

What Content Area Reading Involves
  • Reading in content areas, such as science,
    history, and social studies, implies that
    students can read and understand expository
    texts. Not only are these texts characterized by
    their factual information, but this information
    is often conveyed using multisyllabic technical
    words. Another common feature of expository texts
    is the way they are structured. For example, they
    may rely on cause/effect, compare-contrast, or

  • When students read in the content areas they
    interact with the text before, during, and after
    reading. Before reading, they draw on their prior
    knowledge, set a purpose, and anticipate
    questions. During reading, they use word
    identification strategies (e.g., structural
    analysis, syllabication) to decode unfamiliar
    multisyllabic words and context clues to figure
    out the meaning of technical terms. They read
    between the lines to make inferences. After
    reading, students reflect, synthesize ideas
    across sources, and make further interpretations.

  • Drawing on their diverse abilities and needs,
    readers interact with the text on three levels.
    The first level is the literal levelreading and
    understanding the factual information in the
    text. The second level is inferentialreading
    between the lines to make sense of ideas through
    connecting to past experiences and knowledge. The
    third level is evaluationforming conclusions and
    developing viewpoints based on analysis of the

  • Who the reader isin terms of prior experiences,
    strengths, abilities, skills, needs, and
    difficultiesaffects the individual's
    meaning-making process. For example, a student
    who has visited the Parsboro Museum and collected
    fossil specimens on the beach at Joggins will be
    able to draw on his or her prior knowledge when
    reading a text about the geology of Nova Scotia.
    If this student has read other materials about
    geology, then some vocabulary words might already
    be familiar.

Why Teaching Reading is Important in the Content
  • Although content area teachers might like to
    assume that all students can comprehend texts,
    identify the words in the texts, understand the
    meaning of these words, use information from
    texts to construct knowledge, and demonstrate
    their understanding, this is not always the case.
    If students cannot read, then they are hindered
    in developing content area knowledge. In today's
    educational context, every content area teacher
    has a responsibility to help students
    successfully and productively access, read, and
    understand texts.

How to Help Students Become Strategic Readers
  • All content knowledge teachers can help their
    students become better content readers by using
    reading strategies. Research has shown that when
    students are given instruction in strategies they
    make significant gains on measures of reading
    comprehension over students trained with
    conventional instruction.

  • Reading strategies draw on the different
    approaches that good readers use to read actual
    text in their classrooms. These strategies
    include making connections, questioning,
    inferring, determining importance, visualizing,
    synthesizing, and monitoring for meaning. To help
    students become strategic readers, teachers can
    model different strategies, coach students,
    provide prompts, offer encouragement, and give
    feedback at just the right time.

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Include questions in reading the content that
include all six levels of Blooms taxonomy
  • Before Reading
  • Suggestions for teaching comprehension strategy
    use before reading include providing
    opportunities for students
  • to activate their prior knowledge about the
    content area topic to be studied. Activities
    might include having students tell what they know
    about the topic or inviting them to discuss what
    they want to learn about it
  • to participate in activities, such as mapping
    techniques, that enable students to see
    relationships among their ideas about the topic
  • to participate in activities that introduce
    analogous material to help students make
    connections between the topic to be studied and
    their background knowledge
  • to participate in activities that develop the
    prerequisite background knowledge and vocabulary
    about content area topics. Activities might
    include reading materials, videos, computer
    databases and Web sites, and field trips

  • to participate in vocabulary-building activities
    that teach students the meaning of technical
    words they will encounter as they read
  • to preview and make predictions about the text
    to be read
  • to examine the physical features of the text,
    such as different kinds of typefaces or headings
    and subheadings, to make predictions about what
    they will learn from reading
  • to establish goals, or purposes for reading
  • to generate questions they would like answered
    about the topic of the text. Students might use
    physical features of the text to generate
    questions. They might, for example turn headings
    into questions or question themselves about the
    definitions of boldface or italicized words in
    the text.

During Reading Suggestions for teaching
comprehension strategy use during reading include
providing opportunities for students to
construct mental images of the content they are
reading to reflect on and monitor their
understanding of text as they read to
participate in self-questioning activities that
require them to clarify and monitor their
comprehension as they proceed through text. For
example, students might be taught to ask
themselves questions such as, Do I understand
what I just read? to participate in
activities in which they respond to factual and
inferential questions as they proceed through the
text. To begin, teachers might provide clues
about where to find the answers to these
  • to participate in summarization activities that
    enable students to identify information pertinent
    to sections of text. Students can be prompted to
    ask themselves questions such as, What is the
    most important idea about the paragraph I just
    read? or What is the gist of the paragraph?
  • to keep literature logs and journals, which
    offer students opportunities to reflect on their
    reading through prediction, summarization, and
  • to apply organizational frameworks as a way to
    understand and remember content information
  • to complete note sheets and study guides to
    facilitate their understanding of text and
    improve their ability to deal with information
    presented in various expository text structures
  • to make story maps or use other graphic
    organizers to help them organize information from
    the text.

After Reading Suggestions for teaching
comprehension strategy use after reading include
providing opportunities for students to
review, paraphrase, summarize, and interpret
text to participate in discussions of the main
ideas of the text by summarizing or by putting
information into their own words to answer
questions that pertain both to literal and
inferential comprehension of text to
participate in small-group discussions using
study guides and postreading questions and to
present important information from the text
through oral reports, visual representations,
media shows, or book reviews.
Think Alouds
  • The Think Aloud is a literacy strategy designed
    to help students monitor comprehension and direct
    their thinking as they work through the problem
    solving process. This literacy strategy can be
    implemented effectively in many content areas. It
    is used, for instance, to demonstrate the
    thinking that goes into solving a math problem.
    Through teacher modeling, students are talked
    through the thinking processes. The teacher
    should keep in mind that the comments must
    exemplify metacognitive awareness so that each
    step in the process is modeled for the students.
    Questions are to be encouraged after the problem
    is solved.

Think Aloud Lesson
  • Students turn to the assigned problems for the
  • Teacher thinks aloud through 2 or 3 examples,
    pointing out to the students how the Think Aloud
    reveals how to attack and solve the problem.
  • Students solve each sample problem after the
    teacher does the Think Alouds.
  • Next the children try Thinking Aloud with a
    partner on several problems. The teacher
    circulates and listens to the interaction,
    offering suggestions and modeling for those who
    are having difficulty.
  • Finally, students work on the assigned problems
    using Think Aloud silently as they work.

  • SURVEY First, the students survey the problem
    rather quickly to get a general idea or
    understanding of it.
  • QUESTION Then they come up with questions what
    they believe the problem is asking for.
  • REREAD The third step is to reread the problem to
    identify facts, relevant information, and details
    they will need to solve it.
  • QUESTION Now another question is formulated that
    focuses on what mathematical operation(s) to
  • COMPUTE The students actually compute the answer
    solving the problem.
  • QUESTION The question to be asked at this point
    involves the accuracy of the answer. Is it
    correct? Does the answer make sense?

  • Survey By surveying the chapter titles,
    introductory paragraphs, bold face, italicized
    headings, and summary paragraphs, the reader gets
    an overview of the material. Surveying also gives
    enough information to generate individual
    purposes for reading the text.
  • Question Purpose questions are often provided at
    the beginning of the chapter. It not, the reader
    can turn section headings into questions. The
    main objective is to have questions for which
    answers are expected to be found in the passage.
  • Read The student is to read to answer the purpose
    questions formulated in Step 2, Question.
  • Recite Student should try to answer questions
    without referring to the text or notes. This step
    helps in transferring information from short-term
    to long-term memory.
  • Review Students review the material by rereading
    parts of the text or notes. Students verify
    answers given during Step 4, Recite. This helps
    retain information better and gives immediate

Concept Maps
  • Concept mapping, among many other things, allows
    teachers and students to organize concepts and
    determine the relations between concepts. This
    enables a teacher or student to work with
    concepts and propositions as opposed to the rote
    memorization of facts.
  • Concept maps are both evocative and generative.
    That is they help evoke prior knowledge and help
    generate or construct new knowledge. Concept
    mapping is particularly useful in the science
    classroom. There are several steps in the
    construction of Concept maps.

Steps in Concept Map
Construction 1. Select several concepts from the
content material (8-12 preferable). 2. Write each
concept on a separate post-it or card. 3. Select
an organizing concept or main idea concept to be
placed at the top of the map. 4. Arrange the
other concepts in a distinct hierarchy under the
organizing concept. 5. Draw lines between related
concepts adding linking words that explain
relationships. 6. Review and Reflect. Once
satisfied with the arrangement of the concepts on
the map, construct a final map.
  • The Jigsaw strategy is designed for cooperative
    learning. The idea is analogous to a jigsaw
    puzzle in that pieces or topics of study are
    researched and learned by students within groups
    and then put together in the form of peer
    teaching between groups.
  • Students work in groups of three to six to become
    experts on a particular topic which is based on
    an overall theme or unit of study. The group
    members are charged with learning everything they
    can about their assigned topics. Each group
    member participates in the research efforts and
    becomes an expert on his or her particular
    topic. The students then leave their groups to
    join expert groups to teach about their
    assigned pieces of the puzzle. Then, the original
    group comes back together to teach each other
    what they have learned. Each student listens and
    takes notes, and at the end of the unit, is
    accountable for the information shared throughout
    the class. Instructional technology can easily be
    incorporated into the jigsaw strategy. Research
    can be accomplished via the internet on-line
    encyclopedias. Presentations can be developed
    with various software packages and enhanced with
    video camera pictures, student voices, music, and
    moving illustrations from other sources in to the

How to set it up
  • 1. Divide class into 4-6 member groups each
    member becomes an expert on a different
    topic/concept assigned by teacher.
  • 2. Members of the teams with the same topic meet
    together in an expert group with a variety of
    resource materials and texts available to explore
    their topic. Also, a single reading from the
    textbook or another source could be used to
    complete the assignment.
  • 3. The students prepare how they will teach the
    information to others.
  • 4. Everyone returns to their jigsaw teams to
    teach what they learned to the other members.
  • 5. Team members listen and take notes as their
    classmate teaches them.
  • 6. All students are given a quiz or exam on the
    overall topic which as been taught in sections
    within each jigsaw group.

  • This strategy was originally intended to be a
    writing strategy to explore topics or subjects
    from a variety of dimensions. A concrete visual
    of a cube is used to consider these multiple
  • It is best to introduce the activity with a
    familiar topic, going through each of the steps
    to model their application to that particular
    topic. Then, students can work individually or in
    groups to go through each side of the cube.

The Six Sides of the Cube 1. Describe it
(including color, shape, size (if applicable)How
would you describe the issue/topic? 2. Compare it
(what it is similar to or different from)Its
sort of like 3. Associate it (what it makes you
think of)How does the topic connect to other
issues/subjects? 4. Analyze it (tell how it is
made or what it is composed of)How would you
break the problem/issue into smaller parts? 5.
Apply it (tell how it can be used)How does it
help you understand other topics/issues? 6. Argue
for/against it (take a stand and support it)I am
for this because/This works because/I agree
  • We know that successful learners link prior
    knowledge to new information, then reorganize it
    to create their own meaning and learning. KWL
    helps students do thisit provides a framework
    that students can use to construct meaning from
    new material. It is a literacy strategy that
    teachers can easily modify to meet students
    learning needs at any level and in any content
    area. The letters stand for the knowledge
    construction process that takes place
  • K What I KNOW begins with students prior
    knowledgebrainstorm and record
  • W What I WANT to learn/know students articulate
    their own questions
  • L What I LEARNED students record what they have

  • Allowing students to write in journals gives them
    the opportunity to express their own thoughts and
    opinions in a non-threatening arena. While the
    activity allows them to organize their ideas with
    some freedom, guidelines for how the journal is
    to be set up and utilized is basic to successful
    use of journals. Presenting a general format to
    follow will help to eliminate writers anxiety
    and give structure to journaling assignments.
  • Students are often motivated to go beyond the
    basic requirements of an assignment and explore
    other perspectives and possibilities for
    solutions to problems. Journal entries can be
    inspired by teacher prompts or student-selected
    topics. The information recorded in the journal
    can serve as a study guide or resource for other

Observation Journal (Field Journal)
  • The students and the teacher should negotiate
    about what observations are to made, and what
    guidelines are to be established for recording in
    the journals. The format for entries, information
    to be included, when to record, etc., are topics
    that should be included in the preliminary
    planning for the observation journals. The
    students then visit the experiment and record
    their observations into the journal (or field
  • It is important to remember that journal entries
    do not always have to be charts or narrative
    writings. The use of illustrations in the journal
    is an effective way for students to clarify what
    they are reporting and is an excellent way to
    address different learning styles represented by
    students in every classroom.

Dialogue Journal
  • Dialogue journals offer an opportunity for
    two-way communication between teacher and
    student on-going learning can take place through
    use of this process.

Assessment Journal
  • Students respond to teacher prompts, experiences,
    or self-selected topics. Illustrations may also
    be included. Students exchange journals between
    each other and critique them in a positive
    manner. This helps the students further
    understand the concepts being presented as they
    have an opportunity to see other students work,
    ask questions of classmates, and offer positive
    suggestions to each other. Peer assessment of
    journal writing also helps foster communication
    between students.

  • GIST is helpful for teachers to use when students
    fail to read problems carefully before attempting
    to solve them (Cunningham, 1982). The task is to
    write a summary of the problem in 12 words or
    less. The student identifies the 12 most
    important words needed to solve the problem. The
    words capture the gist of the problem. A chart
    may be prepared with the word problem at the top
    and 12 blanks below to be completed by the
  • This strategy helps students to recognize
    information that is not essential to solving the
    problem. The teacher can model the strategy, then
    ask students to line out information that is not
    necessary to solve the problem. Through the use
    of this strategy, the students learn to distill
    the essence of the problem.

Vocabulary Study
  • Vocabulary knowledge is in constant change as
    students encounter different uses of terminology
    in different contexts. In order for students to
    solve word problems they need to understand the
    vocabulary used in the problem. Some words are
    best learned through direct and visual experience
    and by making connections. An understanding of
    the words contained in word problems is essential
    to finding a solution. This literacy strategy can
    easily be incorporated into mathematics teaching
    whenever word problems are being studied.
  • The teacher selects words in the problem to
    review with the students. Words are decoded, and
    their use within the context of the problem is
    recognized. The teacher guides the students
    through the problem, asking questions that
    require the students to think about what the
    problem is asking. This strategy promotes the
    higher level thinking necessary to interpret word

Knowledge Rating
  • The Knowledge Rating literacy strategy can easily
    be incorporated into instruction in any content
    area (Blachowicz, 1986). It is a pre/during/and
    post-reading activity. Students begin with a list
    of vocabulary words and corresponding columns
    (see sample Knowledge Rating charts). Before
    reading, students analyze each word and note
    whether the term is familiar. If the student
    knows the meaning of the word, a short definition
    is written in the appropriate column. This
    pre-reading activity sets the stage for further
    clarification of the words through discussion or
  • Next, students skim the text to locate the words
    in context. The location of the word is noted for
    later reference (with highlighters, removable
    sticky strips, underlining, etc.). It is
    permissible to have the students highlight a form
    of the word, if the exact word is not found
  • After reading the text completely, the words are
    revisited in context, and definitions are noted
    for each word. Such active participation in
    processing vocabulary is necessary to understand
    the text and to help students construct meaning.

Writers Workshop
  • Writers Workshop involves use of an
    instructional strategy by which students are
    engaged, encouraged, and developed as writers and
    readers. Within the context of Writers Workshop,
    a variety of organizational patterns for
    instruction are used. A whole class session, a
    small group mini-lesson, or a student-teacher
    conference are examples of the various intraclass
    organizational structures. The Writers Workshop
    is devoted to supporting student learning in
    writing. What students need to learn during a
    Writers Workshop is based upon their present
    writing competencies and the English language
    arts standards and benchmarks for each grade
    level. For the majority of the time in Writers
    Workshop, students will be engaged in actual
    writing. This strategy may be employed over a
    period of several days, and has several sub

Mini-lesson A mini-lesson (Calkins, 1986)
provides direct instruction by the teacher which
will help students independently engage in their
own writing. It is a short, focused lesson about
a specific writing technique which is often
thought of as an opportunity for the teacher to
explain and demonstrate a specific technique for
improving a piece of writing. It is an invitation
for students to try a particular technique in
their own writing. Selection of the topic for the
mini-lesson is based on students writing
needs. A variety of topics may be selected based
on the identified need in student writing as the
teacher helps the writer to further refine a
piece of writing. The minilesson may involve
revising a piece of writing based on a need for
organization and clarity, while another
mini-lesson might focus on helping students
generate topic ideas for ones writing. Teachers
may use the writing from one of the students in
the class as the text used to discuss the
mini-lesson topic. Using your students own
writing to help other students develop their
writing skills helps to build a community of
writers. It is important to remember to value
student ownership and seek permission to use the
students writing prior to using it in a
Goal Setting and Peer Conferences
  • Goal Setting Conference A goal setting
    conference is designed to support student
    literacy achievement during Writers Workshop by
    helping students take responsibility for
    determining what they will address in their
    writing and for improving that aspect of their
    writing. It may also serve as a management
    technique. It is a useful strategy or technique
    that is helpful in developing student
    accountability and responsibility.
  • Peer Conferences Conferences between students
    are a powerful means of building community in the
    Writers Workshop setting. They serve to foster
    independence and student responsibility. Peer
    conferences may address prewriting, the content
    of the writing selection, necessary revision,
    editing needs, or just about any aspect of
    writing. Structuring time for peer conferences is
    an important part of Writers Workshop.

  • The idea of using symbols as a literacy strategy
    has it roots in dual coding theory. The dual
    coding theory attempts to give equal weight to
    verbal and nonverbal processing. Human cognition
    is unique in that it has become specialized for
    dealing simultaneously with language and with
    nonverbal objects and events. Moreover, the
    language system is peculiar in that it deals
    directly with linguistic input and output (in the
    form of speech or writing) while at the same time
    serving a symbolic function with respect to
    nonverbal objects, events, and behaviors. Any
    representational theory must accommodate this
    dual functionality.
  • Symbols support a quick recognition system that
    allows for fast translation of presented
    information. Symbols further allow for economy in
    the amount of information presented.
  • Imagine a weather map where all the important
    information about fronts and precipitation is
    represented. If that information were written
    out, the map itself would be obliterated by
    textual material. The important information would
    be obscured. Symbols have always been part of
    human culture and constitute a common visual

Subject Use of Symbols Language
Arts punctuation, mythology Mathematics
operational and relational signs Science
periodic chart, weather symbols Social
Studies map symbols Health and Safety
warning symbols
World Wide Vocabulary
  • An online dictionary can be used to discover and
    learn new vocabulary in many different content
    area classrooms. To help students feel more
    comfortable with the technology, it is important
    for the teacher to demonstrate how to locate
    sites that will enhance the lesson as well as how
    to navigate around the sites. It is also
    important that students recognize the author of
    the web sites that will be visited or the source
    of the information found.
  • Information software is another way to
    incorporate vocabulary activities. Packages that
    focus on particular subject areas, encyclopedias,
    and software programs that accompany textbooks
    give students an opportunity to search for word
    meanings in a different and exciting way. Online
    word games, word searches, and puzzles can
    reinforce the learning of new words and their
    definitions. Students often enjoy constructing
    their own word puzzles and games using the
  • A guide sheet can be helpful for students to use
    with an online vocabulary activity or with a
    computer software program. Each student can be
    assigned particular vocabulary words to find. The
    words can be known words, unknown words, or a
    combination of words students may or may not be
    familiar with in the context of the lesson.
    Students could also work in pairs or small groups
    of three depending upon the availability of
    computers, a students knowledge of technology,
    etc. Assignments can vary in terms of finding
    definitions, using the words in sentences, and
    restating the meaning of words in context.

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DR-TA)
  • The Directed Reading-Thinking Activity engages
    students in a step-by-step process that guides
    them through informational text. It is designed
    to move students through the process of reading
    text. Questions are asked and answered, and
    predictions are made and tested throughout the
    reading. Additionally, new questions and
    predictions are formulated as the student
    progresses through the text. While the teacher
    guides the process, the student determines the
    purpose for reading. To introduce the strategy,
    the teacher gives examples of how to make
    predictions. A preview of the section to be read
    is given by having the students read the title
    and make predictions.
  • Independent thinking is encouraged as knowledge
    from previous lessons is incorporated into the
    predictions. All student predictions should be
    recorded by the teacher, even those that will
    later prove to be inaccurate. Misconceptions are
    clarified by the reader through interaction with
    the text and in post-reading discussions.
  • After reading small selections, the teacher
    prompts the students with questions about
    specific information. It is important for the
    teacher not to interrupt too often. The amount of
    reading is adjusted depending on the purpose and
    the difficulty of the text.

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DR-TA)
  • The reading is broken into small sections, giving
    the students time to think about and process
    information. The teacher makes sure students can
    identify and understand important vocabulary.
    Words are explained in context.
  • This literacy strategy allows students to ask
    questions or make predictions using their own
    words in a non-threatening environment. Everyone
    is on the same page and has the information
    right in front of them. New concepts and ideas
    are connected to those learned in previous
  • As the reading continues, questions are answered
    and predictions are confirmed, revised, or
    rejected. The predicting-reading-proving cycle
    continues throughout the lesson. The format can
    be varied with different activities and by
    integrating technology.
  • Predictions made at the beginning of the lesson
    should be revisited at the end of the lesson as a
    closing activity. This review offers a
    comprehension check. Questions such as, Were you
    correct? and, What do you think now? help
    students examine the proof of their predictions.

The Pre-Reading Plan (PReP)
  • The PreReading Plan, or PReP (Langer, 1981), is a
    before-reading strategy that helps teachers
    assess students prior knowledge. How students
    prior knowledge is organized can be determined as
    well as the quality and quantity of language that
    students use to express their knowledge about a
    particular topic. There are three phases in the
    PReP procedure
  • Phase One The Initial Associations with the
    concept Students brainstorm what they know about
    the topic or a key vocabulary term and hear their
    classmates associations. This activity helps
    students think about what they already know and
    sets the stage for more critical analysis of
  • Phase Two Reflections on the Initial
    Associations Students are asked to reflect on
    their Initial Associations with questions such
    as, What made you think of? or Why did this
    response come to mind?
  • Phase Three Reformulation of Knowledge After
    the discussion and before reading, ask for new
    ideas. Students have the opportunity to verbalize
    associations that have been elaborated or
    changed. This discussion helps students
    understand how others are constructing meaning.

  • The literacy strategy Listen-Read-Discuss helps
    students comprehend text. Before reading,
    students listen to a short lecture delivered by
    the teacher. A guide or graphic organizer can be
    used to help students follow the information.
  • The students then read a text selection about the
    topic. This explanation is compared with the
    information from the lecture. The passage from
    the textbook should cover the same information
    introduced in the lecture. Long reading
    assignments that bring in other topics are not
    appropriate. The teacher should let the students
    know that the purpose for reading is to
    experience another explanation of the topic and
    to compare it to the information they have just
  • After reading, there is a large group discussion
    or students engage in small group discussions
    about the topic. Questions should be encouraged.
    Students may be asked to complete an information
    sheet or a writing activity to further develop

Anticipation Guide
  • Anticipation Guides consist of the following
  • Planning
  • Select major concepts and supporting details in a
    text selection, lecture, or other information
  • Identify students experiences and beliefs that
    will be challenged and, in some cases, supported
    by the material.
  • Create statements that reflect students
    prereading beliefs and that may challenge and
    modify those beliefs. Three to five statements
    are usually adequate.
  • Arrange the statements on paper, transparency, or
  • Prereading
  • Have students respond to each statement
    individually. You may ask them to justify their
    responses for a reference point during a later
  • Engage the students in a prereading discussion
    asking them to justify their responses to the
  • Notes
  • You may include an Im not sure response, for
    students who do not feel comfortable with a
    definite answer. This will help determine the
    students prior knowledge. Let the students know
    the statements are designed to make them think
    about topics and to make them think about what
    they will be learning.

Reaction Guide
  • The Reaction Guide is a post-reading strategy
    that serves as a review of the learning.
    Post-reading reactions to the same statements
    from the Anticipation Guide allow students an
    opportunity to reassess their original responses.

Discussion Groups
  • Teachers need to model the process of how a small
    group should function. To introduce the roles
    within the group, a small group should be formed
    for the entire class to observe. The teacher and
    students can assume assigned roles within the
    group and demonstrate the process, with the
    teachers direct guidance. Examples of how a
    discussion can be used to solve a problem, answer
    questions, or accomplish a task can be modeled.
  • Groups should be made up of five, four, or three
    students. It is important that group members have
    specific responsibilities in order to complete
    the assignment and to know exactly what is
    expected of them. For instance, roles can
    include facilitator, recorder, clerk, and

Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS)
  • The purpose of the Vocabulary Self-Collection
    Strategy is to help students generate a list of
    words to be explored and learned and to use their
    own prior knowledge and interests to enhance
    their vocabulary. This strategy can be used to
    stimulate growth in word knowledge. Because the
    list is self-generated, an internal motivation is
    utilized. This strategy can help students become
    fascinated with language and thus, increase their
    enjoyment of the subject.
  • Students are put into cooperative groups and
    asked to go through the assigned reading (for
    example a chapter in their book) to identify
    words that they think ought to be studied
    further. Students are to find words that are
    important to understanding the content of a
    particular text selection. The meaning and
    importance of the words can be discussed in
    cooperative groups prior to sharing them with the
    whole class.
  • Next, a class list of words is developed. Each
    team submits one word from their list to the
    class, giving its meaning and why they consider
    it important. The word is recorded for display.
    Each other group then submits a different word.
    This action is repeated until all selected words
    are on display. The teacher can also submit a
    word to the list. The teacher then leads a
    discussion for clarification and expansion of the
    meanings of the terms. A dictionary or the index
    of the text can be checked for word meanings
    when necessary. Students prior knowledge is
    applied in the discussion.

Three-Level Study Guides
  • The three-level study guide is one form of a
    study guide that helps students develop multiple
    levels of understanding when reading a text. This
    literacy strategy is extremely useful in helping
    students become critical thinkers as they develop
    independence in reading comprehension. The
    following steps facilitate developing and using a
    three-level study guide
  • Step 1 Analyze content and identify major
    concepts important details
  • Step 2 Develop questions at multiple levels of
  • EXPLICIT LEVEL - Right on the Page
  • IMPLICIT LEVEL - Think and Search
  • Step 3 Assign the study guide and engage
    students in small group discussions

Plan for the Afternoon Session
  • 100 230 Break into discipline area teams to
    plan a lesson using one of the strategies
  • 245 330 Sharing lessons, making plans, and
    question period