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“I believe that reading, in its original essence, (is) that fruitful miracle of communication in the midst of solitude. ”. ~ Marcel Proust. Metaphorical Thinking: What is Literacy?. Think of an object or animal that best represents “literacy.” Complete this phrase:

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“I believe that reading, in its original essence, (is) that fruitful miracle of communication in the midst of solitude.”

~ Marcel Proust

metaphorical thinking what is literacy
Metaphorical Thinking: What is Literacy?

Think of an object or animal that best represents “literacy.”

Complete this phrase:

“If literacy were an object/animal, it would be a…this object/animal represents literacy because of its…”

characteristics of high ability readers
Characteristics of High Ability Readers
  • Have large, advanced vocabularies and are able to use them correctly
  • May be self-taught, but in any event read early, enthusiastically, and widely, often above grade level;
  • Select reading material purposefully and enjoy challenging books
  • Can be described as voracious and enthusiastic readers
  • Understand language subtleties, use language for humor, write words and sentences early, and produce superior creative writing (poetry, stories, plays)
  • Display verbal ability in self-expression, descriptive phrasing, and ease in learning a second language.

Brown and Rogan (1983) suggest that gifted readers may be in jeopardy of losing sight of schools as places to find engaging books because they are held back from finding and interacting with materials that are appropriate for their ability levels.

think about this
Think About This…

Academic rigor is not about curriculum or materials. It is, however, about a state of mind and the climate that results from creating and cultivating a state of mind and climate, which is a product of a teacher with high expectations and a repertoire of engaging learning opportunities which support students to find meaning and make sense of the content. Like differentiated instruction, academic rigor is a way to think about teaching and learning and not a formula with a set script.

d levande 1993

“Reading programs for the gifted should take into account the individual characteristics of the children, capitalize on the gifts they possess, and expand and challenge their abilities.”

~ D. Levande (1993)


“An academically rigorous environment is where students grapple with complexity, explore and construct new knowledge, ask more questions than generate answers and have the motivation and abilities to make connections that go beyond the boundaries of what is learned in school to what is learned in life.”

reading instruction for high ability readers should
Reading Instruction for High Ability Readers Should:
  • Be more than a skills-oriented approach
  • Focus on developing higher-cognitive level comprehension skills
  • Foster a desire to read
  • Include a variety of reading strategies which are based on the current needs and strengths of the reader. Instruction must respond

to their abilities.


Therefore, educators must provide challenging learning activities along with advanced texts to truly meet the needs of the high ability reader.

characteristics of books for high ability readers
Characteristics of Books for High Ability Readers

High level of language and vocabulary

Language patterns and vocabulary from other times and places

Utilize the full array of literary devices

Use of descriptive works that stimulate vivid images

The plot creates a sense of adventure and creativity

The structure of the book puts the mind to work

elements of a text that engage the mind
Elements of a Text that Engage the Mind
  • Advanced Vocabulary
  • Complex Sentence Structures
  • Intricate Plot Structure
  • Multiple Perspectives
  • Points of View
  • Ambiguous Endings
  • Engaging Content
bloom would choose books that
Bloom Would Choose Books That…
  • Invite analysis of character, events, and interactions
  • That allow the reader to synthesize ideas from the book using discussion or from reader’s prior experience
  • Evaluate relationships, actions, interactions, consequences, alternatives, and the possibilities.
  • Create meaning.

~ Halsted (1994)

curriculum programs to engage high ability readers
Curriculum Programs to Engage High-Ability Readers
  • Junior Great Books –
  • Center for Gifted at the College of William & Mary - William & Mary Literature Units & Jacob’s Ladders–;
  • William & Mary Novel Navigator Series –
  • National Research Center on the Gifted & Talented at the University of Virginia – “What Works in Gifted Education: Excellence and Equity in the Education of Gifted Students,” 3rd grade literature units research pilot
  • Michael Clay Thompson Word Study Series -

Teachers Matter in Value-Added

  • When growth in achievement does occur in the top 20%ile it is because high achieving students are with highly effective teachers
        • (Sanders & Rivers, 1996)
  • Causes for ineffectiveness in top 20%:
    • “Lack of opportunity to proceed at own pace; lack of challenging materials; lack of accelerated course offerings; concentration of instruction on the average or below-average students”. This finding indicates that it cannot be assumed that higher-achieving students will make it on their own.”
        • (Wright, Sanders, & Horn, 1997; p. 66).

Program Goals & Objectives

  • Goal 1 – To develop inference skills and judging relationships among data provided Goal 2 – To develop deductive reasoning skills, moving from the concrete to the abstract
  • Goal 3 – To develop literary analysis skills, based on understanding literary elements
  • Goal 4-To develop synthesis skills, moving from restating to creative synthesis
  • Goal 5 - To promote learning through interaction and discussion of reading material in the classroom
it s research based
It’s Research-Based
  • Students who were exposed to the JL curriculum showed significant gains in reading comprehension and critical thinking.
  • These same students showed growth on curriculum-based assessments that included the specific ones the JL process targeted.
  • From this group, the students claimed that they have a greater interest in reading and that the ladders made them “think harder.”
  • Teachers reported more in-depth student discussion and personal growth in the ability to ask open-ended questions (Stambaugh, 2008).
golden fawn jacob s ladder
Golden Fawn & Jacob’s Ladder

My name is Golden Fawn. I am a Native American from the Iroquois nation. My family and I live in a village of longhouses surrounded by a wall. We live in the village most of the year except when the men hunt deer or the women go gathering nuts. Our farm fields are outside the village. My family and our dog live with seven other families in our longhouse. It has a frame of tall poles on the sides and two rows of taller poles running down the center inside the house. The walls and roof are completely covered with bark. There are only two doors and no windows. There are cooking fires in the center of the house. There is no hole in the roof, and the house is always very smoky.

~ from DD2 adopted 2nd grade social studies text


D 3

D 2

“Golden Fawn”

D 1

the college of william and mary ela units the integrated curriculum model
The College of William and Mary ELA Units The Integrated Curriculum Model

Process-Product Dimension




Issues/Themes Dimension

- VanTassel-Baska, 1986

research based language arts teaching models
Taba Model of Concept Development

Literature Web

Hamburger/Dagwood Model

Reasoning Model

Research Model

Vocabulary Web

Research-BasedLanguage Arts Teaching Models
concept of change using the taba model
Concept of ChangeUsing the Taba Model
  • Cite examples.
  • Categorize.
  • Cite non-examples.
  • Generalize.





Application to Content


Applications to Other Disciplines

change model

Change may happen

naturally or be caused

by people.

Change may be

perceived as orderly

or random.

Change may be


or negative.

Change is linked

to time.

Change is


Change Model


literature web full form


Key Words





Literature Web - Full Form
elements of reasoning



Point of












Elements of Reasoning

-- Paul, 1992

standards of reasoning
Standards of Reasoning
  • Are there enough reasons to make a convincing argument?
  • Is the evidence correct or right?
  • Are the reasons clear?
  • Are specific reasons or examples included rather than vague generalizations?
  • Are the arguments and reasons strong and important?
  • Is the thinking logical?
reasoning about a situation or event
Reasoning about a Situation or Event

What is the situation?

Who are the


What is the point

of view for each


What are the

assumptions of

each group?

What are the

implications of

these views?

research topic web

What information

resources would be best

to explore for each


What did I find

out from each source?

What did I learn?

What do I want

to know?

(List questions.)

Research Topic Web


vocabulary web
Vocabulary Web


Source (sentence where you saw the word):




Part of Speech:



Word Families:



strategies to engage thinkers make them move think
Strategies to Engage Thinkers & Make Them Move & Think
  • 4 Corners *
  • Metaphorical Thinking *
  • Admit Slips *
  • Graffiti Board *
  • Frozen Tableaux *
  • Who Are You As A Reader? *
  • Socratic Seminars
  • Gallery Walks
  • Tea Party – can be seen in “The Question Mark” SIG Newsletter for Spring 2010
graffiti board
Graffiti Board

Students respond through art and/or writing on a piece of chart paper located at the front of the room or on each group’s table. Students are encouraged to write and sketch their thoughts about the prompt (artwork, open-ended question, etc.) in a graffiti fashion. Their responses, comments, sketches, quotes, and connections are not organized in any manner. The goal is to record initial responses during or right after issuing a prompt. Group members/whole class members can then share their thinking using their graffiti as a reference. These boards can also lead to organizing and webbing student connections to find a focus for further discussion or for post-assessment reflection.

frozen tableaux
Frozen Tableaux

This is a strategy in which students create a scene and freeze the action, then discuss what is happening and their reactions to it. Using physical poses, gestures, and facial expressions, students convey the characters, action, and significance of a moment.

who are you as reader
Who are You as Reader?
  • I read because ______________________
  • I would rather read than _________________
  • The book that I would take to a desert island is ______________________
  • My reading genre preference is (are) ________________________
  • A new word in my life is ____________________
  • I can’t wait to read _________________ !
  • A book that has haunted me ___________________
  • You know that I am a reader because ______________

S. Richards (2005)

more ways to encourage a life long love for reading
More Ways to Encourage a Life-Long Love for Reading
  • Literacy Meetings/Book Chats
  • Book Talks
  • Poet of the Week
  • Reading Picnics
  • Story Analysis Chart
  • Challenge Notebook
  • Book Buddies
  • Literary Feasts
please read and think
Please read and think:
  • Read your strip of paper silently.
  • Reread it, and think (ask questions, make inferences, make connections, etc.). You may write your thoughts in your journal.
  • Reread with your group, and then discuss your thoughts and questions with your teammates.
  • Decide on ONE big question your group has regarding the strip of paper.