Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Write Around for Reading

Write Around
This strategy can be found in the Characters Unit of Study.  A “Write Around” is a strategy to engage students in silent conversation.  It helps students share their opinions, debate or discuss.  It also fosters critical thinking because they have to consider other opinions.       

We participated in one as a pre-reading activity.  A photo or image was put in the center of a piece of chart paper.  Groups of four are ideal but we had a few more.  Everyone uses a different color marker and takes turns responding to the image. You can write what you think about the photo, your questions, your inferences or theories.  Groups members are to start new ideas or respond to yours already written there.

She encouraged us to respond to what other people wrote by elaborating on their writing and taking turns as well.   Zoom in on one portion of the photograph and write about it.  What are you now noticing about just this part?  Move around the table or rotate the chart  Read what another reader has written and respond.

You could begin:
I agree with...
I disagree with..
One question I have is...
What have you learned in other parts of your life that you can relate to this?
What’s an idea you are now having?
I think...

The Babe & !
The activity we did was old black and white photographs during the depression era.  Then she went straight into reading aloud a picture book with us (The Babe and I) that had the Depression era as a setting.  It really gave a deeper level to the understanding of the book as she modeled interactive read aloud.

The "Write Around" strategy is a great pre-reading activity but it can also be used as a debate format about a controversial issue.  Sharing their ideas and building on others' ideas.  Or you can use it as an end of unit activity for a read aloud or content area.  Students take turns write and responding to each other about what they learned or how their thinking has changed at the beginning of the unit or read aloud.  Can you see using "Write Around" easily in your classroom?

Cross posted on Once Upon a Teacher


dayle timmons said...

Have never used this strategy but would love to try it! PLease let me know if anyone at Chets tries it. I'd love to know how it goes.

Jenny Nash said...

Just saw a related/similar strategy called "table texting". Drawing the analogy to texting was meant to encourage the conversation aspects, as opposed to just adding their own, unrelated comments. Love it! :)

Christine Montero said...

I think it would be a good idea to have students do this activity before a read aloud, then again after they have learned more about the topic. For example, in fourth grade, students learn about civil rights. It would be fun for students to notice how their ideas/opinions have changed or they have deeper thoughts about a topic after reading a book.

Anonymous said...

Christine, another strategy to add to our Before and After reading strategies! I like it! - Dorry

Chascinc said...

I'm also thinking that this would be a good writing activity. Looking at a picture and describing/inferring what is happening and what clues helped us to figure it out. Then students could use similar clues in their own writing to show rather than tell. For example, what is the character feeling in this picture? How do you know this? What clues could you provide your reader to give them an idea of what your character is feeling?

Mrs. Stolpman said...

What a great pre-reading activity! I can not wait to try this in our classroom. Thanks for sharing!