The question that looms over many school districts, schools and classrooms…
How do we get our students to write analytical responses to reading?
Naturally, students have to be able to craft a well written, cohesive piece of writing that conveys a clear message.
Oh…and they must be able to develop their thinking about their reading beyond the text. Again, simple, right?!
So, how do I build student learning through the
school year to compose a text-dependent analysis?
When the school year begins, students must discover, learn and practice taking writing through the writing process.
If students do not understand the process of writing, it will be hard to craft a well written piece of writing that conveys a clear message.
So, with that, we must start preparing students to be thoughtful writers that employ craft strategies to prepare a cohesive published piece.
Now, while students are discovering, learning and practicing the writing process while employing strategies to craft together a well-written published piece, they must also be thoughtful readers that can take their thinking beyond the text.
So, readers must be practicing comprehension strategies that will help to develop their analytical thinking beyond texts—both fiction and nonfiction. Piece of cake—right?
So, let’s get real now…
What does that look like through a school year?
Students must be provided with multiple opportunities to engage in authentic experiences with writing AND reading.
Check out the infographic below that shows a suggested plan for reading and writing across the school year.
It's printable so you can stash it in your lesson planning materials.
Reading instruction must provide experiences to develop thinking beyond the text to create original thinking about text—analysis and interpretation.
When we teach students strategies to help them develop their reading instead of isolated skills instruction, students will be given opportunities to expand their thinking about and beyond texts.
Reading is a continuous braid of comprehension strategies that readers do not separate when they read. Readers employ all the comprehension strands as they read to create meaning.
As teachers, we shouldn't isolate a comprehension strand but rather “spotlight” it to focus student thinking.
Now to writing...
Students must be provided with opportunities to explore writing strategies to practice drafting and crafting written pieces.
Students need to work through different genres of writing to practice different strategies.
When students are provided with a formula, their creativity can be stifled, and their writing becomes flat and lacks voice.
When students are given opportunities to explore their crafting style and voice, their writing moves from flat to dynamic and original.
Until next time...
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