Lesson 1 |
When asked to highlight the important parts of
text, many students underline or highlight the entire article.
The Cross-out Strategy teaches students to focus on the important
words because they cross out the unimportant words. Once these
words are eliminated, students are asked to do something else with the
leftover words such as put them into Cornell Notes by synthesizing the
important ideas. Students may then be asked to write a summary
of the information.
Short piece of text, preferably non-fiction (2 to 3 paragraphs)
copied for each student; pencil or 2 highlighters of different colors;
binder paper for Cornell Notes; overhead of the article.
Read the piece to the students, as they follow along. Model the
cross-out process on the overhead by “thinking aloud” as you cross out
the non-essential words in the first paragraph. Depending on the
sophistication of your students' skill level, you may wish to alert
students that you are crossing out most of the prepositions,
adjectives, adverbs, and articles. Leave most of the nouns,
proper nouns, and verbs.
the first paragraph, ask them to help you with the second paragraph,
asking them for the words to cross out.
complete the remainder of the article on their own. After
completion, students can be asked to transfer the remaining
information into Cornell Notes format, placing the important words to
the left of the line, and an explanation or definition in their own
words to the right.
students are ready to write a summary at the bottom of their Cornell
or all of the Cornell Notes and summarizing procedure may need to be
modeled with the students, depending on their level of competence.
students become more familiar with the strategy, less scaffolding and
modeling will be required.
Importance – Vertical Arrow Graphic Organizer
After you have
front-loaded the vocabulary associated with your lesson, students may
be prepared to determine the important facts or ideas about a piece of
text. One way to accomplish this is to ask students to answer
questions about the information, and place the information into a
graphic organizer. By using the same graphic organizer with
several different subjects, students become accustomed to asking about
the five W’s and the H when they encounter new material in any
subject and establish a thinking pattern that can assist them in
comprehension. Having students answer questions about a piece of
text creates curiosity in the material for the students. Once
they have answered the simple questions of the Five W’s, they have a
mindset to create their own questions and dig deeper into the
arrow for each student, overhead for the teacher, or, if doing in
groups, large butcher paper arrows to be hung around the room.
(Publisher Vertical Arrow,
PDF Vertical Arrow)
rulers, copy of the text for each student. Once students
have done the process once, they can create their own arrows using the
first one as a template as a model.
To begin, choose a relatively short non-fiction piece (two or three
paragraphs is fine)
As part of the
Springboard to Literacy Manual that our PRIDE leaders are creating for
your use next year, we are choosing strategies that will be useful for
many subject areas and that can be adapted for your use in different
ways. This Graphic Organizer will help students ferret out
important information you want them to know, in addition it will
assist in your teaching them to make questions (self questioning) that
will hopefully engage them with the material at hand. In
addition, we are looking for the "Magic 7" strategies that
can be used by the greatest number of teachers in the greatest number
of classes and grade levels - so that students will come to you
knowing something about a particular strategy. I have used this
Vertical Arrow in many different ways over the years, and find it to
be very successful with even lower level learners. Done in
groups, it can even be used with different events to teach a
particular topic, such as events of the Civil War. Students
given an event can create the arrow on large chart paper, which can
then be displayed around the room or the activity can be done in
Jigsaw format, where one student takes the group's arrow to another
group and explains the event to other students. I have designed
this in publisher, so that you can modify it to meet your needs, as I
have done here. I know many of the 6th and 7th grade
teachers use a concept called PERSIA. I have changed the prompts
to PERSIA before, with great success. Since it was created with
Windows XP, it may not be adaptable to your PC without some
modifications. Let me know if that is the case, and I will have
Charlene work on it for us.
What: In order to make sense of both fiction and
nonfiction text, students must be able to determine the important
ideas and information. Determining importance is a
reading-to-learn strategy best learned using nonfiction text.
"Simply put, readers of nonfiction have to decide and remember
what is important in the texts they read if they are going to
learn anything from them." (Harvey, Goudvis p. 118)
Before attempting to determine the importance of any material,
students must be equipped with the vocabulary of the material
needed to facilitate understanding.