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Literacy Strategies Packet from Workshops

Task engagement

Ability to connect the task and new content to existing knowledge, skills, experiences, interests, and concerns.

Advance Organizers
Northeast Texas Consortium
An Advance Organizer helps to organize new material by outlining, arranging and sequencing the main idea of the new material based on what the learner already knows.
Anticipation Guide:

Anticipation Guide:
Guilford, NC

Greece Central School District
Using the Anticipation/Reaction Guide, students will make predictions based upon prior knowledge and evaluate those predictions after exposure to new information.
Saskatoon Schools
Brainstorming is a large or small group activity which encourages children to focus on a topic and contribute to the free flow of ideas.
Carousel Brainstorming
Guilford, NC
To activate students' prior knowledge of a topic or topics through movement and conversation.
Generating & Testing Hypotheses
Northwest Regional Education Research Laboratory
Across content areas and grade levels, inquiry in the classroom turns native curiosity to the learner's advantage
Hot Seat*
Guilford, NC
in this activity, several students will be asked to sit in the "Hot Seat" and answer questions related to the topic of study.
Possible Sentences
Guilford, NC Schools
Possible Sentences takes what students know of a topic and their familiarity with the English language sentence structure to activate prior knowledge of a topic. After new information is introduced through the use of cognitive teaching strategies, possible sentences are re-evaluated for accuracy.
Talking Drawings
Guilford, NC Schools
In this activity, students will activate prior knowledge by creating a graphic representation of a topic before the lesson. After engaging in learning about that topic, students will re-evaluate their prior knowledge by drawing a second depiction of their topic. They will then summarize what the different drawing say to them about what they learned.
Saskatoon Public Schools
In this activity, students will activate prior knowledge by creating a graphic representation of a topic before the lesson. After engaging in learning about that topic, students will re-evaluate their prior knowledge by drawing a second depiction of their topic. They will then summarize what the different drawing say to them about what they learned.
Two Minute Talks*
Guilford, NC Schools
During Two Minute Talks, students will share with a partner by brainstorming everything they already know (prior knowledge) about a skill, topic, or concept. In doing so, they are establishing a foundation of knowledge in preparation for learning new information about the skill, topic, or concept.
Walk Around Survey*
Guilford, NC Schools
In this activity, students are given a topic of study and asked to move around the room for the purpose of conversing with other students. During these conversations, students will share what they know of the topic and discover what others have learned. Teachers can also repeat this activity as a transition to writing to help students evaluate what they have learned from reading.
Setting a Purpose for Reading:
Ohio Resource Center
For maximum effectiveness, setting a single purpose for reading, especially for struggling readers, helps avoid confusion from the overload of multiple purposes.
Figure Previewing and Thieves Strategy

Two strategies for getting students to preview text and think about what they are about to read.

Reading Process

Pre-reading, note-taking, and organizing notes are all part of active reading and can be overlapping aspects of an integrated process. Below are strategies for active reading and writing.
Note-taking: Ability to read purposefully and select relevant information; to summarize and/or paraphrase.
Organizing Notes: Ability to prioritize and narrow notes and other information.

Setting A Purpose For Reading Using Informational Text-
Utah Education Network
Teach students how to create questions by looking at the headings of informational texts
Reciprocal Teaching

Worksheet 1
Worksheet 2
Reading Quests

Reading Rockets
Students learn to predict, clarify, question, and summarize as they read.
Poster 1
Poster 2
Worksheet for SQUEEPERS
Pearson Publishing
Putnum Public Schools
Questions stems that reflect the variety of cognitive processes students need to process text. These were developed for middle school but could be adapted for elementary students.
Double Entry Journal
The Double-Entry Journal strategy enables students to record their responses to text as they read. Students write down phrases or sentences from their assigned reading and then write their own reaction to that passage. The purpose of this strategy is to give students the opportunity to express their thoughts and become actively involved with the material they read.
Think Alouds help students learn to monitor their thinking as they read an assigned passage. Students are directed by a series of questions which they think about and answer aloud while reading. This process reveals how much they understand a text. As students become more adept at this technique they learn to generate their own questions to guide comprehension.
Annolighting a Text
Greece Central School District
"Annolighting" a text combines effective highlighting with marginal annotations that help to explain the highlighted words and phrases
Annotating Text
Greece Central School District
Labeling and interpreting a text actively on the document and in the margins.
Checking out the Framework
Greece Central School District
Students learn how to look at the organization of a text to determine what information they can expect to gleam.
Collaborative Note-taking
Greece Central School District
This is a technique that is used after students have already completed their own individual annotations; it is a great strategy to stimulate a small or large group discussion that engages and honors different perspectives on the same text.
Key Concept Synthesis
Greece Central School District
The process involves identifying the key concepts as they read, putting those concepts in their own words and explaining why the concept is important and/or making connections to other concepts.
Parallel Note-Taking
Greece Central School District
It requires students to first identify the organizational structure of an informational text and then take notes on essential ideas and information in the text using a structure that parallels the organization of the text.
Socratic Seminar
The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. This lesson is specifically for grades 6-12 and will need to be adapted for younger grades.
Various Discussion Techniques i
Word Document
  • Think Pair Share
  • Concept Map
  • Jigsaw Technique
  • Gallery
  • Simulation, Role-playing or Panel discussion
  • “Angel Card” Discussion Technique
  • Feedback or Scored Discussion
  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Pyramid Technique or Snowballing
  • Lineup or “Stand Where You Stand”
  • Fishbowl

103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading
Reading Rockets
Article by Jim Burke with suggestions of activities to use for reinforcing reading comprehension
After Reading Strategies
Seminole County Public Schools

QAR - Question Answer Relationships
Greece Central School District

Seven Strategies to Teach Students Text Comprehension
Reading Rockets


Task Analysis: Ability to understand and explain the task’s prompt and rubric.

Initiation of Task: Ability to establish a claim and consolidate information relevant to task.

Planning: Ability to develop a line of thought and text structure appropriate to an argumentation task.

Development: Ability to construct an initial draft with an emerging line of thought and structure.

Revision & Editing: Ability to apply revision strategies to refine development of argument, including line of thought, language, tone, and presentation.

TAP Worksheet

TAP (Topic, Audience, Purpose) -Students look at the prompt to determine what their essay’s main topic is (topic), to whom they are writing (audience) , and the main idea/thesis (purpose).
OWL Purdue Lesson on Understanding the Prompt

This resource covers responding to the writing prompt, beginning with understanding the prompt and what it is asking you to do.
Understanding Key Words in Essay Prompts
A& M
Texas A & M provides clear definitions of keys words from prompts.
National Writing Project

Writing Fix
Northern Nevada Writing Project
Writing prompts, lessons, and ideas for teachers and students
Meacham Writer's Workshop

Writing mini-lessons for primary grades
Greece Central School District
A great way to integrate reading and writing
Reading and Writing Project

Other Resources

Giggle Poetry

Games, books, lesson plans all centered around writing, reading, and studying poetry