How To Take Students' Stop and Jots to the Next Level: Analytical Written Responses to Reading


What do I do with all these post-it notes?

Your students are reading independently.


They are reacting to the text and jotting their thinking down on post its.

Which of these situations have you experienced...

  1. A student comes to you and says..."I've finished my book, now what do I do with all these post its?"

  2. You see independent reading books and notebooks full of post its and sticky notes are falling all over the classroom floor.

  3. You see students throwing those little treasure pieces of reading thinking in the trash can.

Whether it's scenario #1 or #2 or #3, those post-it notes need to find their way into stretching student thinking about the text.

Now, what do we do with all those sticky notes?

We want students to take their thinking to the next level...


Analytical Written Responses to Reading

Those post-it notes are full of students' original thinking. Your readers have done the reading work!

Now it's time to take that work and use it to craft a longer written reading response full of your readers' original thinking and analysis.

But how do we use that sticky note thinking about reading to write a reading response?

Taking students through the process of using that reading work to craft a response takes several steps.


This process takes place over several days and a series of minilessons designed to help readers review their short jots and annotations, then use those to create an analytical written reading response.


Take your readers through the process with you by using a familiar book that is full of your (& your readers') thinking. Choose a previous read aloud you all experienced together and loved.


Revisit the book as a walkthrough to get reacquainted with the book and to review the post-it thinking you all did while you read it.


You don't have a previous read aloud with thinking notes from you and your readers?

No worries...just choose a book you know they will like and use it for a read aloud BEFORE you start this series of lessons.


Help your readers understand that they will be putting together all they have learned about reading and writing to craft an analytical reading response. They will be drawing on all of their classroom reading experiences.


Key Teaching Points

  1. Sift through the thinking you did and name each kind of thinking.

  2. Categorize those notes into groups such as, reactions, judgments, interpretations, connections and thinking beyond the text.

  3. Take about 3-6 notes to write more about. Stretch your thinking about the text and write more about each short jot or annotation.

  4. Take your stretched thinking to find a focus and connection among all of your longer thinking.

  5. Use that stretched thinking to craft a longer written reading response.


Crafting a written reading response that is full of original student thinking and analysis takes time.


Minilessons should be strung together over a couple of weeks so that students will be able to see how to use the writing process to refine and revise their responses.


Look at the gallery of images below for ideas and steps to take for using stop and jot thinking notes about reading to use the writing process to craft longer written reading responses.

The gallery above takes ideas from a collection of minilessons created for writing reading responses, Text Dependent Analysis: Writing Literary Responses--A Unit of Study.

Check out the gallery below to see what all is included.





Until next time...




Click here to check out this collection of minilessons


#stopandjot #minilessons

My 5 Steps to Crafting Minilessons That Will Ignite and Engage is also included in the FREE Resource Library

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