Educator: Susan Brunner [Email Susan] School: Colony High School, Palmer
Appropriate for Grade Levels: 6–12 Content area(s): English Language Arts
How does this lesson or technique improve student learning?
Students make choices about which parts of their reading connect most with their own lives, and they share these connections with their peers.
What does it look like in my classroom?
Timeline: 1 class period plus time for reading
After reading a significant block of content, students work to create a response that captures the big ideas, themes, and personal connections to the book.
The key to this activity (why it works so well for this component):
This works well with many reading assignments because it mixes necessary elements of deep thinking along with creativity and individuality. It also combines elements of discussion and questioning. The guide also provides clarity and anticipates student questions and difficulty. Finally, the response has cross-discipline possibilities depending on the reading assignment.
This meets a distinguished level in the Danielson Framework because the guide is clear and anticipates possible student misunderstanding. It is straightforward to explain and can be scaffolded through multiple examples. The element of questions is easily adapted to have students extend the content by explaining their upper level concepts. Basics of literary analysis can be scaffolded prior to the lesson in other methods.