Reading and Writing to Learn: Strategies across the Curriculum

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Search Search. Units of Study in Writing, Grades K Units of Study in Reading, Grades K The Units of Study for Teaching Reading offer a framework for teaching that: Provides a comprehensive, cross-grade curriculum in which skills are introduced, developed, and deepened Supports explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies and offers extended time for reading Provides strategic performance assessments to help teachers monitor progress, provide feedback, and help students set clear goals for their reading work Gives teachers on-the-job guidance in powerful reading workshop teaching Grades K-5 Middle School.

Units of Study in Phonics, Grades K Learn More. Up the Ladder Units, Grades Professional Books and Resources.

Professional Books Professional Development. Why Workshop? Reading and Writing Bill of Rights 1 Above all, good teachers matter. Write a brief dialogue between two or more of the authors you have read this semester.

Reading, Writing, & Thinking: Cross-Curricular Literacy Initiatives | Tech & Learning

This prompt achieves the same effect as E. In order to write a dialogue they need to understand the texts and have a sense of the voice of the authors.

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This does take longer, so you might want to assign class time for it. This may also be a group activity—students can write the parts in pairs or groups. Select one image , example, case study, or quotation from the reading and explain how the author uses it to support the larger argument of the piece.

Do you believe that use was successful? This assignment invites students to unpack a text and see the parts that are used to make up an argument—those images, examples, case studies and quotations come from somewhere else and are drawn into a text to serve a specific purpose. It is important for them to understand that these connections sometimes fail! Select one example , case study, image, or quotation from the reading that could be used to support a different argument, and explain how that would work.

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It is a good idea to ask students to write E. You might suggest appropriate places for them to search or ask your librarian for a list. Include the title of the book or article, who published it, and where and when it was published. What does this list reveal about the author? Does it change your response to what you read? If so, how?

Writing Across the Curriculum

If not, why not? Another opportunity for guided development of information literacy skills. Again, the challenge is to help students think critically rather than simply generating a random list. Class discussion should focus on what the bibliography might teach us or how it might change the way we think about the author. Include the title of the book or article, who published it, where it was published, and when it was published. What does this list tell you about the author? The purpose here is to invite students to engage with sources and see them as resources for further scholarship—as participants in a conversation the students are in the process of joining.

Write-to-Learn Assignments

This kind of bibliographic work will be developed further in WI and WM courses, but maybe appropriate for the College Seminar in some cases. The emphasis of class discussion should be on how this changes our assessment of the source material and how valuable we think it is now we know more about it. Write three short encyclopedia entries a form of summary for the topic we have been discussing.

Students can each be assigned a topic from the class or work in pairs to generate an encyclopedia for the class with three entries per topic. Once they have finished writing, they should be asked to reflect on the process and what they learned about the topic by having to explain it for such different audiences. Focusing on the differences between the descriptions from word choice to sentence length and the decision-process they employed as they wrote will make them more conscious of such decisions in more formal writing This assignment connects with work in the College Writing class by asking students to practice summary-writing and to think about the ways audience and purpose shape our writing decisions.

Write the description for an academic audience. Then write a second description that would make sense to a child. Finally, write about the difference between your two descriptions and the decision-process you used as you imagined each audience and adjusted your description accordingly. A variation of the assignment above, which can be used the same way and with the same outcome.

Write the narrative story of the ways your thinking about this topic or perspective has evolved or nor. What did you first think when you were exposed to it? Then what did you think? Then what?

Why Writing Is Important

Try to get everything down in sequence and include your confusions as well as your understandings. This is a wonderful invitation for reflection, providing the students a space to revisit their thinking process and gain deeper understanding of how they learn. Stage 3: Note-making. Stage 4: Joint construction. These strategies are not in addition to the curriculum but integrated with delivery of the curriculum.


These strategies can be used as a regular part of any secondary class. In general, the class should spend 15—20 minutes in a lesson to prepare for reading. The text is then read aloud and discussed. The final activity in this sequence is an independent writing task in which students read, make notes and use the notes to write a text of their own.

The following lesson plans demonstrate the strategies in action across the four stages.

Four stages in action

Each lesson plan contains:. Lesson planning proforma Word format. Geography sample lesson plan. Geography text. History sample lesson plan.