Coming up over the next few months we have a number of workshops where we’ll be looking at reading strategies:
- How to teach students to do truly amazing writing in response to Romeo and Juliet
- VCE English text planning for 2018: An introduction to the Year 12 text list and a guide to choosing Year 11 texts to optimise year 12 readiness
- Teaching texts at Years 7-10: Choosing texts, designing units and embedding explicit skill instruction
- The best strategies for improving reading comprehension and inference skills at Years 5-10
One of the things we’ll be emphasising in these workshops is that we need to model for students how to annotate their novels, short stories and plays as they read through them. For example, next week, at our Romeo and Juliet workshop, we’ll be talking about a process of taking notes using these strategies:
A) Read the ‘What the…’ overview and then circle or underline parts of a passage and explain what is happening in the note taking space.
B) Read the information on the right-hand page and then circle or underline parts of a passage you think illustrate something important, then explain what is being illustrated in the note taking space.
C) The icons on the left of the play script are there to direct your attention to important ideas, images and themes, but they don’t identify specific words. Circle the words you think are symbolic or illustrate a key theme and explain this reference in the note taking space.
D) Circle things that don’t make sense and jot your questions in the note taking space.
E) Write a comment about anything else that you find interesting or note-worthy.
A modeled example looks like this:
While some of the strategies modeled above are specific to the resources in our new Romeo and Juliet textbook, most of them can be used in any context. Here are four annotation procedures we could use with any text and easily model to students:
- Circle and annotate things you have questions about (annotate with a ?)
- Circle and annotate things you have an interpretation of
- Underline important quotes
- Circle and connect things which recur or repeat