super summarization ideas to boost vocabulary learning
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Super Summarization Ideas to Boost Vocabulary & Learning

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 186

Super Summarization Ideas to Boost Vocabulary & Learning - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Super Summarization Ideas to Boost Vocabulary & Learning. Wormeli, 2007. For more information or discussion on any of these topics:. Rick Wormeli [email protected] 703-620-2447 Herndon, Virginia, USA (Eastern Time Zone). The Gettysburg Address.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Super Summarization Ideas to Boost Vocabulary & Learning' - kalei

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
for more information or discussion on any of these topics
For more information or discussion on any of these topics:

Rick Wormeli

[email protected]


Herndon, Virginia, USA

(Eastern Time Zone)

the gettysburg address
The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract…

With hocked gems financing him,

Our hero bravely defied all scornful laughter

That tried to prevent his scheme.

Your eyes deceive, he had said;

An egg, not a table

Correctly typifies this unexplored planet.

Now three sturdy sisters sought proof,

Forging along sometimes through calm vastness

Yet more often over turbulent peaks and valleys.

Days became weeks,

As many doubters spread

Fearful rumors about the edge.

At last from nowhere

Welcome winged creatures appeared

Signifying momentous success.

-- Dooling and Lachman (1971)

pp. 216-222


Summarization is restating the essence of text or an experience in as few words as possible or in a new yet efficient, manner.


The way the brain learns

How many teachers sequence their lessons for learning

Learning Potential

Beginning Middle EndLesson Sequence

The Primacy-Recency Effect

sprenger s suggestions for long term retention
Sprenger’s Suggestions for Long Term Retention
  • Reach
  • Reflect
  • Recode
  • Reinforce
  • Rehearse
  • Review
  • Retrieve

(from Sprenger’s How to Teach So Students Remember,

ASCD, 2005)

New information entering the brain must be manipulated in some way or it will be lost fairly quickly.

(adapted from Sprenger and Sousa)

“Identifying similarities and differences is the number one way to raise student achievement, according to the results of a meta-analysis.”

(Sprenger and Marzano)

Organize information by category, patterns, and connections for long-term retention.

the brain s dilemna what input to keep and what input to discard
The Brain’s Dilemna:What Input to Keep, and What Input to Discard?
  • Survival
  • Familiarity/Context
  • Priming
  • Intensity
  • Emotional Content
  • Movement
  • Novelty

-- Summarized from Pat Wolfe’s Brain Matters, 2001

The brain never stops

paying attention.

It\'s always

paying attention.


Prime the brain prior to asking students to do any learning experience.

  • Priming means we show students:
  • What they will get out of the experience (the objectives)
  • What they will encounter as they go through the experience (itinerary, structure)

Avoid Confabulation

The brain seeks wholeness. It will fill in the holes in partial learning with made-up learning and experiences, and it will convince itself that this

was the original learning all along. To prevent this:

Deal with Misconceptions!

Students should summarize material they already understand, not material they are coming to know.

logical fallacies
Logical Fallacies
  • Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man) -- Attacking the person instead of attacking his argument: “Dr. Jones’ conclusions on ocean currents are incorrect because he once plagiarized an research article.”
  • Straw Man (Fallacy of Extension) -- Attacking an exaggerated version of your opponent\'s position. "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can\'t understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that." *
  • The Excluded Middle (False Dichotomy) -- Assuming there are only two alternatives when in fact there are more. For example, assuming Atheism is the only alternative to Fundamentalism, or being a traitor is the only alternative to being a loud patriot. *

From Jim Morton’s’ “Practical Skeptic” website (  

summarization tips
Summarization Tips
  • Create or activate personal background.
  • Prime the brain.
  • Plan according to the Primacy-Recency Effect.
  • Use varied summary formats – written, artistic, oral, physical, musical.
  • Use summary experiences before, during, and after lessons.
  • Teach students to recognize familiar text structures .
  • Teach students to recognize familiar writing structures.
  • Use analogies.
  • Chunk text and experiences.
chronological order
Chronological Order

Definition and Key words: This involves putting facts, events, a concepts into sequence using time references to order them. Signal words include on (date), now, before, since, when, not long after, and gradually.

“Astronomy came a long way in the 1500s and 1600s. In 1531, Halley’s Comet appeared and caused great panic. Just twelve years later, however, Copernicus realized that the sun was the center of the solar system, not the Earth, and astronomy became a way to understand the natural world, not something to fear. In the early part of the next century, Galileo made the first observations with a new instrument – the telescope. A generation later, Sir Issac Newton invented the reflecting telescope, a close cousin to what we use today. Halley’s Comet returned in 1682 and it was treated as a scientific wonder, studied by Edmund Halley.”

compare and contrast
Compare and Contrast

Defintion and Key words: Explains similarities and differences. Signal words include however, as well as, not only, but, while, unless, yet, on the other hand, either/or, although, similarly, and unlike.

“Middle school gives students more autonomy than elementary school. While students are asked to be responsible for their learning in both levels, middle school students have more pressure to follow through on assignments on their own, rather than rely on adults. In addition, narrative forms are used to teach most literacy skills in elementary school. On the other hand, expository writing is the way most information is given in middle school.”

cause and effect
Cause and Effect

Definition and Key words: Shows how something happens through the impact of something else. Signal words include because, therefore, as a result, so that, accordingly, thus, consequently, this led to, and nevertheless.

“Drug abusers often start in upper elementary school. They experiment with a parent’s beer and hard liquor and they enjoy the buzz they receive. They keep doing this and it starts taking more and more of the alcohol to get the same level of buzz. As a result, the child turns to other forms of stimulation including marijuana. Since these are the initial steps that usually lead to more hardcore drugs such as Angel Dust (PCP), heroin, and crack cocaine, marijuana and alcohol are known as “gateway drugs.” Because of their addictive nature, these gateway drugs lead many youngsters who use them to the world of hardcore drugs.”

problem and solution
Problem and Solution

Definition and Key words: Explains how a difficult situation, puzzle, or conflict develops, then what was done to solve it. Signal words are the same as Cause and Effect above.

“The carrying capacity of a habitat refers to the amount of plant and animal life its resources can hold. For example, if there are only 80 pounds of food available and there are animals that together need more than 80 pounds of food to survive, one or more animals will die – the habitat can’t “carry” them. Humans have reduced many habitats’ carrying capacity by imposing limiting factors that reduce its carrying capacity such as housing developments, road construction, dams, pollution, fires, and acid rain. So that they can maintain full carrying capacity in forest habitats, Congress has enacted legislation that protects endangered habitats from human development or impact. As a result, these areas have high carrying capacities and an abundance of plant and animal life.”

proposition and support
Proposition and Support

Defintion and Key words: The author makes a general statement followed by two or more supporting details. Key words include: In addition, also, as well as, first, second, finally, in sum, in support of, therefore, in conclusion.

“There are several reasons that teachers should create prior knowledge in students before teaching important concepts. First, very little goes into long-term memory unless it’s attached to something already in storage. Second, new learning doesn’t have the meaning necessary for long-term retention unless the student can see the context in which it fits. Finally, the brain likes familiarity. It finds concepts with which it is familiar compelling. In sum, students learn better when the teacher helps students to create personal backgrounds with new topics prior to learning about them.

claim and evidence
Claim and Evidence

Defintion and Key words: The author makes a general statement followed by two or more supporting details. Key words include: In addition, also, as well as, first, second, finally, in sum, in support of, therefore, in conclusion.

“There are several reasons that teachers should create prior knowledge in students before teaching important concepts. First, very little goes into long-term memory unless it’s attached to something already in storage. Second, new learning doesn’t have the meaning necessary for long-term retention unless the student can see the context in which it fits. Finally, the brain likes familiarity. It finds concepts with which it is familiar compelling. In sum, students learn better when the teacher helps students to create personal backgrounds with new topics prior to learning about them.


Definition and Key words: Focuses on listing facts, characteristics, or features. Signal words include to begin with, secondly, then, most important, in fact, for example, several, numerous, first, next finally, also, for instance, and in addition.

“The moon is our closest neighbor. It’s 250,000 miles away. It’s gravity is only 1/6 that of Earth. This means a boy weighing 120 pounds in Virginia would weigh only 20 pounds on the moon. In addition, there is no atmosphere on the moon. The footprints left by astronauts back in 1969 are still there, as crisply formed as they were on the day they were made. The lack of atmosphere also means there is no water on the moon, an important problem when traveling there.”

data retrieval chart
Data-Retrieval Chart

Question 1 Question 2 Question 3 Question 4

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

components of blood content matrix
Components of Blood Content Matrix

Red Cells White Cells Plasma Platelets



Size & Shape

Nucleus ?

Where formed

t list or t chart wilson s 14 points
T-List or T-Chart: Wilson’s 14 Points

Main Ideas











Reasons President Wilson Designed the Plan for Peace

Three Immediate Effects on U.S. Allies

Three Structures/Protocols created by the Plans

cornell note taking format
Cornell Note-Taking Format


[Summarize in

short phrases

or essential

questions next

to each block

of notes.]

Review-- Summarize (paragraph-style) your points or responses to the questions. Reflect and comment on what you learned.

[Write your notes on this side.]

somebody wanted but so fiction
Somebody Wanted But So[Fiction]

Somebody (characters)…

wanted (plot-motivation)…,

but (conflict)…,

so (resolution)… .

something happened and then non fiction
Something HappenedAnd Then[Non-fiction]

Something (independent variable)…

happened (change in that independent variable)…,

and (effect on the dependent variable)…,

then (conclusion)… .

when we summarize we
When we summarize, we:
  • Delete some elements
  • Keep some elements
  • Substitute for some elements.


Ask students to memorize these three actions.

targets based on rules based summaries 1968
TaRGeTS (Based on Rules-Based Summaries, 1968)

T -Trivia (Remove trivial material)

R - Redundancies (Remove redundant


G - Generalize (Replace specifics/lists with general terms and phrases)

TS - Determine the Topic Sentence

topic sentence
Topic Sentence

TS = subject + author’s claim about subject

Subject: Dogs

Claim: Make great pets

TS: “Dogs make great pets.”

narrowing the topic
Narrowing the Topic

The Civil War






Battles of the Civil War






Battles of Gettysburg



Famous People


writing concisely
Writing Concisely

Avoid Redundancies and Saying the Same thing in different ways: 

more additions, absolutely certain/essential/necessary, advance forward, 2:00 a.m. in the morning, baby puppy/kitten, blended together, brief moment, deliberate lie, foreign imports, necessary requirement, old antique, orbiting satellite, preliminary draft, proceed ahead, raise up, refer back, repeat over, tiny particle, true facts, unexpected surprise, violent explosion, visible to the eye, while at the same time.

Cut to the Chase:

“A small number of people” – “three people”

“His whole speech bothered me.” – “His speech bothered me.”

-- William Brohaugh’s book, Write Tight, 1993, Writer’s Digest Books

more summarization tips
More Summarization Tips
  • Use reading notations.
  • Allow students to mark consumable and non-consumable text.
  • Emphasize opinion free summaries – no commentaries.
  • Teach students to evaluate their own summarizations.
  • Set length limit of 10 to 25% original text,

< 1% for longer text.

  • Encourage two or more readings or exposures.
reading notations
Reading Notations

P I agree with this.

X I disagree with this.

?? I don’t understand this.

!! Wow! (‘Elicits a strong emotion)

CL General Claim

EV Evidence for the Claim

(These can be numbered to indicate their sequence, too: EV1, EV2, EV3…)

evaluating our summaries
Evaluating our Summaries
  • Does it convey the information accurately?
  • Is it too narrow or too broad? Does it convey all of the important elements? Does it convey too much?
  • Are the ideas in the right sequence?
  • Would someone else using this summary gain all they needed to know to understand the subject?
  • Did I leave out my opinion and just report an undistorted essence of the original content?
  • Did I use my own words and style?
help with paraphrasing
Help with Paraphrasing
  • Build students’ vocabulary and verbal dexterity. Post word banks. Use vocabulary immersion.
  • Provide repeated experiences with varied sentence combinations and word play.
  • Use repeated think-alouds of a paraphraser at work from both teacher and students.
  • Provide ample opportunities to assess paraphrasings of original text or experience.
  • Allow students to copy models -- They’ll outgrow them.
  • Take a page from the active listening lessons -- “So what you’re saying is…”
  • Provide repeated experiences with encapsulation such as creating newspaper headlines.
  • Play renaming and clue games such as Password, Taboo, and $25,000 Pyramid.
  • What do you see?
  • What number do you see?
  • What letter do you see?

Perception is when we bring meaning to the information we receive, and it depends on prior knowledge and what we expect to see. (Wolfe, 2001)

Are we teaching so that students perceive, or just to present curriculum and leave it up to the student to perceive it?

two mostly wastes of time
Two (Mostly) Wastes of Time
  • Asking students what questions they have regarding tomorrow’s test
  • Assigning students for homework, “Study for the test.”

Students need actionable steps, multiple rehearsals, and strategic spacing of reviews over time. (Sprenger, p. 126)

remember who s doing the learning
Remember Who’s Doing the Learning:
  • Whoever responds to students/classmates is doing the learning. Make sure the majority of the time it’s the students responding, not the teacher.
  • Teachers ask 80 questions each hour on average, while students ask only two during that same hour. (Hollas) Students learn more when they ask the questions. Find ways to make question-asking so compelling and habitual they can’t escape it.
Reading Math[Adapted from Literacy Strategies for Improving Mathematics Instruction, Joan M. Kenney, ASCD, 2005]
  • Math books have more concepts per sentence and paragraph than any other type of text.
  • There is little redundancy in math text.
  • Words as well as numbers and other symbols are used throughout text.
  • Eyes travel in different patterns than traditional left-to-right.
  • There are often have distracting sidebars.
reading math
Reading Math
  • In most text, there’s a topic sentence or key idea followed by detailed supports. In math, we get the details first, then the topic sentence -- the key idea is given in the form of a question or task at the end. Students have to read the text again after seeing this key idea and figure out what material in the text is important and unimportant.
reading math the little words are huge
Reading Math: the Little Words are Huge
  • Of/Off: Percent “of” something, the percent “off” something
  • The, is, a , are, can , sum, less, more, on , who, find, one, ones, tenths, and, or, number, numeral, how, many, how many, what, fewer, around, write, it , each, which, do all, same, different, exercise, here there, has, have, of, at…
reading afflictions some teachers suffer
Reading “Afflictions” Some Teachers Suffer

Symptoms: All young adolescents arrive in our classrooms able to read. No formal instruction is necessary.

Disease:Incompletoliterato Disease

Symptom: Teachers tell students to stop after every section or chapter and summarize. Students learn more when they stop after each section to summarize.


reading afflictions some teachers suffer1
Reading “Afflictions” Some Teachers Suffer

Symptom: A second read-through does not increase comprehension. It’s a waste of time.

Disease: Fast-paced Society

Symptom: Context and personal background play little or no role in the reading comprehension.

Dsease: Cluelesswordcallerism

reading afflictions some teachers suffer2
Reading “Afflictions” Some Teachers Suffer

Symptom: Young adolescent students read faster than

they did in elementary school.

Disease: Oldermeansmore-itis

Symptom: Older students can read to gain information,

understanding, and make inferences by themselves.


Dysdevelopmenta Competenciphooey

reading afflictions some teachers suffer3
Reading “Afflictions” Some Teachers Suffer

Symptom: Defining difficult vocabulary terms in a reading passage will be enough for students to gather meaning from the passage.

 Disease: Boldfaceword-panacea Syndrome

Symptom: Reading instruction is the exclusive domain of the English or Language Arts teacher.

Disease: Literacimonodominpathy

proficient readers
Proficient Readers
  • Use “fix up” strategies when something is confusing
  • Monitor their own comprehension
  • Set purpose for reading
  • Use existing knowledge to make sense of new knowledge
  • Synthesize information
  • Ask questions throughout the reading process
  • Draw inferences
  • Determine what is important

-- Researcher/Educator F. David Pearson

Aren’t these the skills we want students to have in all subject areas, not just reading?

proficient readers another way to look at them
Proficient Readers(another way to look at them)
  • What is the text about?
  • How does this fit with what I know?
  • What is the author trying to say?
  • What’s going to happen next?
  • What does the author mean?

-- Mary Lee Barton, 1997

reading comprehension 16 all time best practices
Reading Comprehension:16 All-Time Best Practices
  • Create personal background where there is none.
  • Set or facilitate reading purpose.
  • Prime students’ minds.
  • Teach students how to monitor their own comprehension.
  • Use frequent and varied summarization techniques.
  • Use think-alouds.
  • Teach students “fix up” strategies to use when confused.
  • Make reading a transformative experience.
reading comprehension 16 all time best practices1
Reading Comprehension:16 All-Time Best Practices
  • Facilitate substantive and personal interaction with text.
  • Teach vocabulary for its own sake.
  • Ask students to write a lot, particularly as they come to know content
  • Teach text structures to students.
  • Teach students metaphors and to think metaphorically.
  • Teach students how to visualize text.
  • Teach reading in context of content studies.
  • Teach students how to adjust reading for different purposes and texts.

“Getting the picture does not mean writing the formula or crunching the numbers, it means grasping the metaphor.”

-- James Bullock, 1994, p. 737

In math, models are the metaphors.

Let’s frame today’s conversation…
  • I’m a bit rusty on this…
  • Let’s peel away the layers and see what lies in the center.
  • It was anarchy in the cafeteria!
  • There was an upturn in the economy.
  • Breaking news…
  • Are you on the fence about it?
  • Attack the arguments, not the person.
  • If x = 2 and y = 4, what does 3x + 6y equal?
  • Toss the idea around.
  • The sinking of the Lusitania was the catalyst for…
  • You need to have parallel structure in this sentence
  • Wouldn’t it be great to harness the power of the sun?
  • What’s our benchmark for this standard?
  • How many main body paragraphs do you have?
  • We’re not on the same wavelength.
  • Can I grab two minutes of your time today?
  • This is a lot to absorb.
  • I was floored by his behavior.
  • Google it.
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum is like the circulatory system of the cell.
  • What’s the root of the word?
  • Do you get the point of this?
Top Ten Metaphors of 2005:

1) (political) fallout - "...political fallout from the scandal."

2) road map (to peace) - "Unfolding the road map to peace."

3) tidal wave - "A tidal wave of generosity."

4) fusion - "A fusion of technology and personality."

5) toxic gumbo - "New Orleans became filled with a toxic gumbo."

6) mix - "Sprite ReMix Aruba Jam."

7) catcher\'s mitt - "The Gulf Coast is a catcher\'s mitt for hurricanes."

8) iPod - "I\'ve got a thousand songs in my iPod."

9) housing bubble - "The housing bubble has burst."

10) storm - "A storm of controversy.“

-- As chosen by the Metaphor Observatory []

“Metaphor is often used as a teaching tool, or to convey difficult concepts, ….Since metaphor allows for the substitution of ideas across differing areas of study, it is considered by some to be an

interdisciplinary Rosetta Stone.”

-- from

Students must have a frame of reference to understand the metaphor:

“He flozzled his Website.”

-- Is this a good or a bad thing? We don’t know.

“He flozzled his Website, and the fallout was considerable.”

This is probably something bad because we understand that “fallout” usually refers to bad things, such as the radioactive aftermath of a nuclear detonation. We can gather meaning for the unknown phrase, “flozzled,” because we understand the fallout metaphor.

Ask students to reinforce their metaphors occasionally with associated attributes and verbs. Examples:
  • If students state that debate opponents squared off about a controversial issue, they can continue the metaphor by describing who was in each corner of the controversy.
  • If they describe a particular year in Congress as a three-ring circus, they can identify a particular policy or political party as the ringmaster.
  • Students can observe a herd of classmates stampeding down the hallway.

It helps to make the implicit explicit:

  • What does it mean to triangulate something?
  • If our thinking is parallel to someone else’s thinking, what do we mean?
  • The character said that life was like a carnival Tilt-a-Whirl. What did she mean by that?
  • Kira just said she going to be toast tonight with these grades. Is this good or bad for her?
metaphors gallagher
Metaphors (Gallagher)
  • Iceberg
  • Square Peg, Round Hole
  • Brake Pedal, Gas Pedal
  • Pencil/Eraser
  • Billiards Table
  • Snow Globe
  • _______ is like a _______ because ________.
metaphors analysis chart
Metaphors – Analysis Chart
  • Symbol to Represent
  • Explanation of Symbol
  • How this Symbol Connects to Character/Event
  • Passages Cited to Support this Connection

-- “Seen” and “Unseen” Elements/Characteristics

Great Books on Using Metaphors to Teach:

Deeper Reading (Gallagher) and Metaphors We Live By (Lakoff and Johnson)

use and teach analogies
Use and Teach Analogies
  • Antonyms
  • Synonyms
  • Part : Whole
  • Whole : Part
  • Tool : Its Action
  • Tool user : Tool
  • Tool: Object It’s Used With
  • Category : Example
  • Effect : Cause
  • Cause : Effect
  • Increasing Intensity
  • Decreasing Intensity
  • Action : Thing Acted Upon
  • Action: Subject Performing the Action
  • Object or Place: Its User
  • Noun : Closely Related Adjective
helping struggling readers based on ideas from kelly gallagher
Helping Struggling Readers(Based on ideas from Kelly Gallagher)
  • Teach euphemisms.
  • What does it say, What does it mean chart? (p. 93)
  • Teach denotations and connotations of words. Example: fire, water
  • Compare newspaper’s coverage/angle of same stories.


  • Without my assistance, what will my students take from this reading?
  • With my assistance, what do I want my students take from this reading?
  • What can I do to bridge the gap between what my students would learn on their own and what I want them to learn? -- p. 199
anticipation guides
Anticipation Guides
  • Use summarization techniques normally saved for the end of the unit
  • Use graphic organizers
  • “Agree/Disagree” or “Likely/Unlikely” charts with principles/themes
  • Focus on what is essential for students to know and understand
sample anticipation guide
Sample Anticipation Guide

Theme Me My Group Author

“AQOTWF is not an accusation nor a

confession, and least of all an adventure.”

“War changes people.”

“War forces people to reject traditional values

and civilized behavior.”

“Cruel trainers are the best instructors for

soldiers about to go to war.”

“True friendship endures all.”

“Whole generations are destroyed by war.”

“Nature is indifferent to mankind’s pain and


“To no man does the Earth mean so much as

to the soldier.”

“Every soldier believes in Chance.”


interactive notebooks
Interactive Notebooks
  • Use Interactive Notebooks: Students record information and skills they learn, then make personal responses to their learning, followed by teachers responding to students’ explorations. The notebook contains everything that is “testable” from the lessons, including handouts, charts, graphics, discussion questions, essays, and drawings. In addition to teachers’ insights into students’ thinking, the notebooks provide students themselves with feedback on their own learning.

Notebook Know-How by Aimee Bruckner (2005) ( (Pembroke in Canada) (from the Teachers\' Curriculum Institute

visuals and graphics are powerful
Visuals and Graphics are Powerful!


When students are learning vocabulary terms, significantly more are learned when students portray the words graphically (ex: Shape spellings) instead of defining terms and using them in a sentence.

Students can portray Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle (ethos, pathos, logos) by juggling.

journalistic vs encyclopedic writing
“The breathing of Benbow’s pit is deafening, like up-close jet engines mixed with a cosmic belch. Each new breath from the volcano heaves the air so violently my ears pop in the changing pressure – then the temperature momentarily soars. Somewhere not too far below, red-hot, pumpkin size globs of ejected lava are flying through the air.”

-- National Geographic, November 2000, p. 54

Journalistic vs. Encyclopedic Writing

“A volcano is a vent in the Earth from which molten rock (magma) and gas erupt. The molten rock that erupts from the volcano (lava) forms a hill or mountain around the vent. Lava may flowout as viscous liquid, or it may explode from the vent as solid or liquid particles…”-- Global Encyclopedia, Vol. 19 T-U-V, p. 627

r a f t s

R = Role, A = Audience, F = Form, T = Time/Topic, S = Strong Adverb or Adjective (to set tone)

Students take on a role, work for a specific audience, use a particular form to express the content, and do it within a time reference, such as pre-Civil War, 2025, or ancient Greece.

Sample assignment chosen by a student:

A candidate for the Green Party (role), trying to convince election board members (audience) to let him be in a national debate with Democrats and the Republicans. The student writes a speech (form) to give to the Board during the Presidential election in 2004 (time). Within this assignment, students use arguments and information from this past election with third party concerns, as well as their knowledge of the election and debate process. Another student could be given a RAFT assignment in the same manner, but this time the student is a member of the election board who has just listened to the first student’s speech.

r a f t s1

Raise the complexity: Choose items for each category that are farther away from a natural fit for the topic . Example: When writing about Civil War Reconstruction, choices include a rap artist, a scientist from the future, and Captain Nemo.

Lower the complexity: Choose items for each category that are closer to a natural fit for the topic. Example: When writing about Civil War Reconstruction, choices include a member of the Freedmen’s Bureau, a southern colonel returning home to his burned plantation, and a northern business owner

3 2 1

3 –Identify three characteristics of Renaissance art

that differed from art of the Middle Ages

2 – List two important scientific debates that occurred

during the Renaissance

1 – Provide one good reason why “rebirth” is an

appropriate term to describe the Renaissance

3 – List three applications for slope, y-intercept

knowledge in the professional world

2 – Identify two skills students must have in order to

determine slope and y-intercept from a set of points

on a plane

1 – If (x1, y1) are the coordinates of a point W in a

plane, and (x2, y2) are the coordinates of a different

point Y, then the slope of line WY is what?

3 2 11

3 – Identify at least three differences

between acids and bases

2 – List two uses of acids and two uses

of bases

1 – State one reason why knowledge of

acids and bases is important to

citizens in our community

sorting cards
Sorting Cards

Teach something that has multiple categories, like types of

government, multiple ideologies, cycles in science, systems of the

body, taxonomic nomenclature, or multiple theorems in geometry.

Then display the categories.

Provide students with index cards or Post-it notes with

individual facts, concepts, and attributes of the categories

recorded on them. Ask students to work in groups to place each

fact, concept, or attribute in its correct category. The

conversation among group members is just as important to the

learning experience as the placement of the cards, so let

students defend their reasoning orally and often.

The summarization occurs every time a student lifts an

individual card and makes a decision on where to place the card.

He’s weighing everything he’s been taught as he considers his

options. If others question his placement, the discussion furthers

the impact. If there is great dissent, and it results in students

referencing their notes and textbooks for more information –

‘learning Nirvana. 

change the verb
Change the Verb

Analyze… Explain…

Construct… Revise…

Decide between… Argue against…

Why did… Argue for…

Defend… Examine…

Contrast… Devise…

Identify… Plan…

Classify… Critique…

Define… Rank…

Compose… Organize…

Interpret… Interview…

Expand… Find support for…

Predict… Develop…

Categorize… Suppose…

Invent… Imagine…


unique summarization formats products
Unique Summarization Formats/Products
  • A soap opera about valence among chemical elements
  • A “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster about Preposition Pete (“He was last seen in the OverHill’n’Dale Saloon, at the table, in the dark, under close scrutiny of other scalawags…”)
  • Compose a ballad about the cautious Massasoit tribe coming to dinner with Governor Bradford and his colony in 1621.
  • Interpret the Internet for Amazonian inhabitants that have never lived with electricity, let alone a computer.
  • Argue for and against Democracy as a healthy way to build a country – Provide at least two arguments for each position.
  • Classify the Greek gods and goddesses according to three different criteria.
  • Predict the limiting factors for this habitat twenty-five years from now.
  • Retell a fairytale of your choosing with one of the following concepts as its central theme:
    • “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgment that something else is more important than that fear.” -- Ambrose Redmoon
    • “A setback is preparation for a comeback.”
    • “The one who never makes mistakes takes his orders from one who does.”
unique summarization formats products1
Unique Summarization Formats/Products
  • A comic strip about the mantissa (the decimal-fraction part of a logarithm)
  • A mysterious yet accurate archeological map concerning the quadratic formula
  • A field guide to the asymptotes of a hyperbola (the diagonals of the rectangle formed by the lines x= a, x= —a, y= b and y= -b in the hyperbola: x squared over a squared – y squared over b squared)
  • A coloring book about Amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 to the Constitution
  • A rap song that expresses the order of Presidential succession
  • A grocery list for Taiga biomes
  • A mural that accurately expresses the “checks and balances” nature of our Federal government’s three branches: judicial, legislative, and executive
  • A sculpture or mobile that teaches observers about latitude and longitude
  • A pop-up book on liquid and dry measures
Endless List of Writing Possibilities – Please Add Your Own!

Correspondence Museum Map and Tour Guides Oral Histories

Books Magazines Radio Plays

Newspapers Scripts Historical Fiction

Commercials Picture Books Journal/Diaries

Science Fiction Mystery Stories Romances

Poetry Autobiographies/Biographies Animal Stories

How-to Books Alphabet books Pop-up Books

Field Guides Mini-textbooks Friendly Letters

Bulletin Boards Choose-Your-0wn Adventures Timelines

Murals Coloring Books Calendars

Annotated Catalogs Travel Brochures Manuals

Games Recipes Personal narratives

Folktales/legends/myths Information Reports Persuasive essays

Book/Movie Critiques Wills Yellow pages

Weather forecasts Wanted posters Vitas/resumes

Satire/spoofs Speeches Songs/raps

CD covers Soap operas Slogans

Sermons Sequels/prequels Schedules

Lab instructions Protest letters Post cards

Pamphlets Flipbooks Odes

Requiems Rebuttals Play programs

Travel posters Movie posters Thank yous

Interviews Telegrams Sports accounts

Scary stories Quizzes/tests Rubrics

Surveys Monologues Jokes/riddles

Menus Metaphors Job applications

Indexes Headlines Grocery lists

Graffiti Comic strips Constitutions

Contracts Conversations Spreadsheets

Definitions Epilogues Evaluations

Fortunes Comparisons Character sketches

Certificates Cereal boxes Captions

Bumper stickers Advice columns Epithets

Codes Informal/formal observation musical score

True or False Book Cookbook Wedding vows

Almanac Inauguration speech Annotated Family Tree

great written summarization ideas
Great Written Summarization Ideas

Analyze how four different students completed the same math problem.

Draft a proposal to the city council for a bridge structure for a river, explaining why it is the sturdiest and most cost-efficient option.

Present a description of the geometry of a basketball court.

Write an autobiography of a right angle

Write a conversation between two historical figures.

Analyze a political cartoon (or create one)

Write the life story of a ____________

Create a science calendar in which the picture for each month conveys ________________

Examine a common science misconception and how it is perpetuated

Explain why another student obtained certain lab results

Develop synthesis writings: “What does blue sound like?” “Describe red through other senses and experiences not associated with what we can see.”

Explain what a piece of art tells us about a particular time period

Explain how four different art concepts are expressed in a gymnasium

Design a Web site or library display that promotes at least four successful ways to get into good physical shape.

Explain the impact of exercise on metabolism, muscle health, and academic learning in a way that’s appropriate for students four years younger than you.


Write about a math discovery that changed the world.

Summarize the interest earned on a savings account in which the interest rate changed twice.

Write a love story between two geometric shapes.

Write a speech advocating the value of math in today’s society

How about a summary of cash transactions for a business over ten years and advice for the business owner based on the data?

Write the directions for solving a problem

Write jump rope rhymes

Create a math dictionary

Write a math autobiography (a student’s experiences with math over time)


Publish a math newspaper: Imagine the play-by-play sports column about last night’s slope and y- intercept game –-- was that rise-over-run a legal move? How about those front-page stories about the possible corruption of number theory by irrational numbers, or an editorial about the confusion over Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures?

Create a blog or podcast for a famous person.

Describe a piece of literature changed an era.

Create a comic strip that retells a famous incident.

Write a response to the question, “If someone from the time period we’re studying were around today, what would he say about modern world issues?”

Create the pledge/anthem/flag/constitution for a historical movement.


Identify one life-important decision you have to make and hold it up to each of the criteria for successful decision-making.

Translate the passage from French to English.

What’s the difference between osmosis and diffusion?

Classify the items according to their origin.

Explain how any whole number with an exponent of zero equals one.

Which part/word doesn’t fit?

Which comments support the Premier’s (President’s) position?

Predict what would happen if we changed the temperature in the terrarium.

Explain how music changed the tone of the film.        


Which comment seems politically motivated?

Defend the character’s decision to ______________.

What’s the logical fallacy in his argument?

Add _________ to the scene in the novel. How would it change?

Design a better inventory system.

Which persuasive essay is most convincing and why?

According to the standards set forth by the Treaty, is the country in compliance? Explain.

Which algorithm is the most efficient and why?

Improve upon the idea in at least one way.

backwards summaries
Backwards Summaries
  • “Make the web from which this paragraph came.”
  • “Here’s the completed math solution. What would happen if I had never considered the absolute value of x?”
  • “Here’s the final French translation of this sentence. What if I had not checked the tense of each verb?”
  • “Here’s a well done concerto. What happens if I remove the oboe’s eight measures on page 4?”
  • “Here’s a well-done lab procedure. What happens if I don’t use distilled water?”
save the last word for me
Save the Last Word for Me
  • Students read the passage, making notations as they go.
  • They identify three or more sentences to which they have a response.
  • Place students in groups of 3 to 5, then ask one member of each group to read a line that he has identified. He reads only; there is no commentary or reason for choosing it given.
  • Each group member other than the reading person responds to that one line – agreeing, refuting, supporting, clarifying, commenting, or questioning.
  • After everyone else has had a chance to make a personal response to the statement, the originator of the line gets to offer his or her commentary – “getting the last word” on the topic.
  • When this round of discussion is done, the next person in the circle calls out his chosen line from the text, and everyone responds to the line before this second person offers his commentary. So it goes with each member of the group.
synectics william j gordon
Synectics(William J. Gordon)

“The joining together of different andapparently irrelevant elements,” or put more simply, “Making the familiar strange.”

  • Teach a topic to students.
  • Ask students to describe the topic, focusing on descriptive words and critical attributes.
  • Teacher identifies an unrelated category to compare to the descriptions in #2. (Think of a sport that reminds you of these words. Explain why you chose that sport.) Students can choose the category, too.
  • Students write or express the analogy between the two: The endocrine system is like playing zones in basketball. Each player or gland is responsible for his area of the game.
4 square synectics
4-Square Synectics
  • Brainstorm four objects from a particular category (examples: kitchen appliances, household items, the circus, forests, shopping malls).
  • In small groups, brainstorm what part of today’s learning is similar in some way to the objects listed.
  • Create four analogies, one for each object.

Example: How is the human digestive system like each household item: sink, old carpet, microwave, broom

Example: How is the Pythagorean Theorem like each musical instrument: piano, drum set, electric guitar, trumpet?

change the point of view
Change the Point of View
  • Tell the story of digestion from the points of view of the bolus passing down the esophagus, the villi in the small intestine that have capillaries receiving and carrying nutrients to the bloodstream, or a muscle in the body that finally receives the nutrients from the food ingested earlier.
  • Re-tell an historical incident from a biased participant’s point of view.
  • Reveal the truth behind a pronoun being a subject or an object based on which one did the action and which one received the action.
  • Re-tell the account of a scientific, mathematical, or manufacturing process, a moment in history, a chemical’s reaction, a concerto’s performance, or a comma’s position in a sentence.
bloom s taxonomy summary cubes
Bloom’s Taxonomy Summary Cubes

These are Posterboard cubes with each side emphasizing one level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking Skills.

Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Recall – Students cite content they remember.

Comprehension – Students demonstrate whether or not they understand a topic.  

Application – Students use knowledge and skills in a different situation.

Analysis – Students break down topics into component pieces and

analyze them in context of the whole.

Synthesis – Students bring together seemingly contradictory aspects or

topics and form something new.

Evaluation -- Students use all the other levels to judge the validity,

success, or value of something, given specific criteria.

You know I don’t lie, I said, al-ka-li.

You ask me why, here I say al-ka-li.

They’re metal with the mettle, they go into action,

they’re soft and white with volatile reaction.

You know I don’t lie, I said, al-ka-li.

You ask me why, here I say al-ka-li.

Quick with temper, high velocity,

Watch the low melting and density.

They’re al-ka-li, they’re al-ka-li.

Like Hansel and Gretal, it’s alkali metal,

Soft and white with a volatile reaction

Soft and white with a quick infraction

They’re Hansel and Gretal, alkali metal,

1, 3, 11, 19, 37, 55, 87

Numbers to alkali heaven

Their al-ka-li, they’re al-ka-li

They’re brothers and sisters, be careful you see’em:

There’s lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium,

cesium and francium. Man, you’ve had enough of them.

Say, al-ka-li, give it a try,

Say al-al-ka-li, al-al-ka-li.

Rap Song

or Poetry


‘Played like the party game, except you use concepts from the unit of study.

Consider using it with a “jigsaw” lesson in which each member of a team learns a different aspect a topic, then the group gathers, and students perform their Charades to communicate their piece of the puzzle.

human bingo
Human Bingo

[ Squares filled in with specific skills from the lesson or unit. ]

human bingo1
Human Bingo
  • Give the students ten minutes to get classmates’ signatures on squares. They may sign only if they can do, solve, or respond to the prompt correctly. They will have to prove it later. Classmates may sign only one square per card.
  • Once all squares are filled with signatures, call names of students out of a hat or box. Students place edible markers (sunflower seeds, M&M’s, pieces of popcorn or vegetables) on the squares with the identified students’ names. on it.
  • The first student to get five in a row hollers, “Human Bingo!”
  • Ask winning student to name each square’s prompt and the classmate who signed it. As students’ names are called, students must demonstrate their accurate responses. The rest of the class watches carefully to make sure there are no errors. If all five students demonstrate everything successfully, it’s a “Human Bingo.” Students get to eat their makers as they clear their boards for the next game. If one or more of the five students in the row does not demonstrate an accurate response, then there is no bingo awarded, and the game continues.
Knows 2 products of photo-synthesis

Personal Pronoun, 3rd pers., objectv., plural

Knows formula for area of a triangle

Can list 3 differences between WWI and WWII

Can solve: 2/3 - 1 4/5

Knows 3 conflicts in No Promises in the Wind

Knows 3 basic passes in basketball

Knows the differences between squid and octopus

Can perform “--------- .”

Can demonstrate titration

Knows the capitals of countries in South America

Free Space (student write his own name here)

Knows 5 things to consider when making difficult decisions

Can draw the sequence of energy transfer in ecosystems

Can make into a polynomial: (x+1)(x+3)

Can perform three approved gymnastic moves

Knows the difference between meiosis and mitosis

Can name 24 bones with the proper terms

Can make a strange noise with his or her body

Can define: “-----------.”

Can import a picture from Internet and insert it into a report

Can sing part of any song by CCR

Knows what comes next: J, F, M, A, M, ?

Sample Skills for

Human Bingo Card

human continuum1
Human Continuum

Use a human continuum. Place a long strip of masking tape across the middle of the floor, with an "Agree" or “Yes” taped at one end, and "Disagree" or “No” at the other end. Put a notch in the middle for those unwilling to commit to either side. Read statements about the day’s concepts aloud while students literally stand where they believe along the continuum. Be pushy – ask students to defend their positions.

human tic tac toe
Human Tic-Tac-Toe

Place students into two teams.

Put chairs in a 3 X 3 grid (9 chairs).

As teams successfully answer questions, they get to send one representative into the 3 X 3 grid, using tic-tac-toe strategies to win. Three in a row from one team wins!

line up
  • Groups of students line up according to criteria. Each student holds an index card identifying what he or she is portraying.
  • Students discuss everyone’s position with one another -- posing questions, disagreeing, and explaining rationales.
line up1

Students can line-up according to:

chronology, sequences in math problems, components of an essay, equations, sentences, verb tense, scientific process/cycle, patterns: alternating, category/example, increasing/decreasing degree, chromatic scale, sequence of events, cause/effect, components of a larger topic, opposites, synonyms


Meeting of Minds

at Rachel Carson Middle School

Portrayals of Dr. Sally Ride, Albert Einstein, Josef Stalin, Bob Dylan, Boss Tweed, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, Rosa Parks. In the background: Advisors for each historical figure

meeting of minds
Meeting of Minds
  • Students portray historical figures who’ve been called together to discuss modern world issues and complex ideas. This debate is moderated by the teacher.
  • Each team of students researches the figure and shares a summary of what they discover with the class prior to the debate.
  • Prior to the debate, each team identifies how their figure would probably respond to several the identified modern issues, and what “holes” they can poke in other figures’ responses.
  • Each team has 5 - 6 members: 1 performing as the historical figure, 1 – 3 who design a personalized backdrop for the figure during the debate, 1- 3 who design and prepare an accurate costume and props for the figure.
  • All team members research and discuss responses, citing evidence for how the group determined the figure’s responses to the issues.
meeting of minds1
Meeting of Minds

Potential Topics for Discussion:

  • Should Earth have one language or many? What are the roles of men and women in society?
  • Should students be required to wear uniforms in school?
  • What are the qualities of a good leader?
  • Should rap music lyrics be censored?
  • Should our country have gone to war?
socratic seminar
Socratic Seminar


A.      Shared experiences, chosen for richness of ideas, issues, ambiguity, “discussability”

B.      Students reflect on material

    Group dynamics, ground rules, and courtesy are understood and accepted.


A. Teacher asks a provocative question. Opening, Core, and Closure Questions

B. Students respond to the provocative question and each other.

C. Teacher offers core questions that help students interpret and to re-direct, also evalutes and tries to keep mouth shut.

C. Closing – connect to the real world of the student


Writings, Summations, Artwork, Reflection, Critique, Analysis

debate format
Debate Format

1.   Statement of the General Debate Topic and Why it’s

Important – 1 min.

2.    Affirmative Position Opening Remarks – 3 min.

3.    Negative Position Opening Remarks – 3 min.

4.    Affirmative Position Arguments – 5 min.

5.    Negative Position Arguments – 5 min.

6.    Caucus – Students on both teams consider their arguments and rebuttals in light of what has been presented. – 3 min.

7.    Affirmative Rebuttal and Questioning of the Negative’s Case – 3 min.

8.    Negative Rebuttal and Questioning of the Affirmative’s Case – 3 min.

9.    Closing Arguments Affirmative Position – 2 min.

10. Closing Arguments Negative Position – 2 min.


Dale Seymour Publications

“Education Simulations” on the Net


Toothpick bridges, WWI Boot camp, Mock Trials, Walking through the heart as blood cells, Ionic/Covalent bond dance

statues body sculpture
Statues (Body Sculpture)

Students work in small groups

using every groupmember’s body

to symbolically portray concepts

in frozen tableau.

Where does the learning occur?


‘Played just like the board game, but instead of soldiers and ranks on the back of the tiles, it’s content: fractions, taxonomy, elements and their atomic weight, roman numerals, Greek mythology, or anything with a hierarchy. When pieces meet, the larger value tile takes the place of the smaller value tile. If you tag the other player’s flag, you win.







Don’t forget to have a flag tile for each team. It can be located anywhere in the ranks.


To make game tiles, cut up floor molding into sections.

summary ball
Summary Ball

Provide a soft, tossable item (beach ball, nerf object, stuffed fish, hacky-sack, bag of eyeballs). Ask students to state one thing they remember from the lesson then toss the object to someone else in the room. If student doesn’t respond within three seconds, he tosses the object then sits down.

tic tac topic
Tic-Tac-[ Topic ]

Phases of the Moon

Touching Spirit Bear



Direct and Indirect Objects

Basketball rules

Movies and Television

System of Checks and Balances


Greatest Common Factors

tic tac topic1
Tic-Tac- [ Topic ]
  • Divide the class into two teams, X’s and O’s. One student at a time calls out a topic square and answers a review question. Ask each team to sequence their players.
  • If the student on the responding team answers the question correctly, his team’s symbol (X or O) gets placed across the square. If he gives an incorrect answer, the next person in sequence on the opposing team gets to answer the question. During the first team’s attempt, the other team members are allowed to review their notes, and quietly discuss the answer, getting the next person in line ready to steal the square with a correct answer. If the opposing team member guesses correctly, his team’s symbol gets drawn on the topic square. If he answers incorrectly, the question is thrown out.
  • Teams take turns choosing a square and initiating the question. This means that a team could steal a square from the team that started a topic area and also start the next topic. Three X’s or three O’s in a row win the game.
  • In situations in which no one wins, tally the number of X’s and the number of O’s and apply those numbers of totals for each team.


Microscope Stage


Ellis Island








The Cell

25 000 pyramid
$25,000 Pyramid

‘Played just like the game show in which one player lists objects in a category and the other player guesses the category. How many categories can you get in 1 minute?

Adjust time and number of categories according to students’ needs.


There’s no need to write substitute teacher plans or travel to a conference

  • One of the probable futures of teacher professional development
  • Can be archived
  • Interactive experience with a national presenter who doesn’t need to leave his own home
  • Requires the use of a computer hooked to the Internet
  • A spider’s home tossed like a fisherman would do

Clever Endeavor

cleavor endeavor
Cleavor Endeavor

‘Played like the board game, players are given six clues, one at a time and in any order that the clue-giver wishes to give them. If a player guess correctly in the first clue or two, he earns more points. The total points earned is 7 - # of the clue given. Example: If a player guesses by the second clue, he earns 7-2 or 5 points.

rummy games
Rummy Games
  • ‘Played just like Rummy card games. Instead of a straight such as the four, five, six, seven of spades, however, students get the components of a sequence or set you’ve taught. Examples: steps in photosynthesis, process for dividing fractions, all the elements for a animal’s habitat, four things that led to the Civil War, four equivalent fractions, four verbs in the past perfect tense
  • Students work off a central pile, drawing cards, discarding cards, just as in they would do in a Rummy or Gin Rummy game until they achieve a winning hand.
rummy games1
Rummy Games
  • ‘Alternative: Each hand requires a different configuration -- a winning hand could be a set of three and a run of four, two sets of four, a run of six and a set of three. Decide the escalating configurations before beginning the game.
  • For added learning, let each student make his or her own deck of cards with a unique cover design based on the unit of study.
why english is hard to learn author unknown
Why English is Hard to Learn(Author Unknown)

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to

present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

After a number of injections my jaw got number.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

The Native American took a bow after tying a bow in the string of his bow.

Important Terms for Vocabulary Study
  • Acronym -- A word formed from the initial letters of a name or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words. Ex: SCUBA – Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
  • Affix -- A word element, such as a prefix or a suffix, that is attached to a base, stem, or root. Also means to secure or attach. Ex: Reappearance has two affixes: re- and –ance.
  • Coinage -- The invention of new words. Ex: The word, “hobbit” was a coinage of J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Colloquial -- Used in or suitable to spoken language or to writing that imitates speech; conversational, informal in style of expression. Ex: Joe suggested to Mildred that he substitute “narrow escape” for his colloquial expression “a close call.”
  • Malapropism -- The use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but humorously wrong in the context. Ex: “polo bear” rather than “polar bear”
Onomatopoeia -- The formation or use of a word that imitates or resembles what it stands for. Ex: buzz, hiss
  • Palindrome -- A word, phrase or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. Ex: radar, noon, “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama”
  • Portmanteau word -- A word formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two different words. Ex: slithy (from lithe and slimy) in Jabberwocky
  • Simile -- A figure of speech in which two essentially unlike things are compared, often in a phrase introduced by like or as. Ex: hungry as a bear, sly like a fox
  • Spoonerism -- An accidental but humorous distortion of words in a phrase formed by interchanging the initial sounds. Ex: “the tons of soil” rather than “the sons of toil”

Words and definitions come from Houghton-Mifflin’s Vocabulary for Achievement, Fourth Course, 1993; Margaret Ann Richek, Arlin T. McRae, and Susan K. Weiler, authors.

Some Great “Silver Bullets” from Janet Allen:
  • Vocabulary development is directly proportional to time spent reading.
  • Three avenues to effective vocabulary instruction: integration, repetition, and meaningful use. (Nagy et al., 1988)
  • Teach no more than 8 to 10 new words outside of reading per week.
  • Don’t ask students to write sentences with the vocabulary terms until they’ve studied them in depth.
Use words over and over in natural flow of conversation – model, model, model – normalize their use. Have students practice saying the words – even choral recitation – just to visualize themselves saying it.
  • Definition approach is ineffective by itself. (Baumann and Kameenui, 1991)
  • Relying solely on context clues is often ineffective, but knowing the definition with context clues can be very effective. (Baumann and Kameenui, 1991)
great vocabulary acquisition ideas
Great Vocabulary Acquisition Ideas

Shape spellings

Restaurant Menu

Wanted Dead or Alive Posters

Taboo Cards

Vocabulary Rummy Cards

Competitive Conversation using vocabulary

Word Walls

Only 8-10 words per week!

word morphology teach prefixes roots and suffixes
Word Morphology:Teach Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes!

Mal – badly, poor

Meta – beyond, after, change

Mis – incorrect, bad

Mono – one

Multi – many

Neo – new

Non – not

Ob, of, op, oc – toward, against

Oct – eight

Paleo – ancient

Para – beside, almost

  Penta – five

  Per – throughout, completely

  Peri – around

  Poly – many

  Post – after

  Pre – before

  Pseudo – false

the frayer model frayer frederick klausmeier 1969
The Frayer Model[Frayer, Frederick, Klausmeier, 1969]

Essential Characteristics

Non- Essential Characteristics

< Topic >



concept ladder j w gillet c temple 1986 as described in inside words janet allen
Concept Ladder(J.W. Gillet, C. Temple, 1986, as described in Inside Words, Janet Allen)


Causes of:

Effects of:

Language associated with:

Words that mean the same as:

Historical examples:

Contemporary examples:

Evidence of:

Literature connections made:

word link
“Word Link”
  • Each student gets a word.
  • In partners, students share the link(s) between their individual words.
  • Partner team joins another partner team, forming a “word cluster.”
  • All four students identify the links among their words and share those links with the class.

-- Yopp, Ruth Helen. “Word Links: A Strategy for Developing Word Knowledge,” Voices in the Middle, Vol. 15, Number 1, September 2007, National Council Teachers of English

sda subtle difference analysis
SDA - Subtle Difference Analysis

Identify words/concepts that are close in meaning, but not an exact match. Identify how they are similar and what makes them “just off” the match. Example pairs:










summarization pyramid
Summarization Pyramid







Great prompts for each line: Synonym, analogy, question, three attributes, alternative title, causes, effects, reasons, arguments, ingredients, opinion, larger category, formula/sequence, insight, tools, misinterpretation, sample, people, future of the topic

one word summaries
One-Word Summaries

“The new government regulations for the meat-packing industry in the 1920’s could be seen as an opportunity…,”

“Picasso’s work is actually an argument for….,”

“NASA’s battle with Rockwell industries over the warnings about frozen temperatures and the O-rings on the space shuttle were trench warfare….”

Basic Idea: Argue for or against the word as a good description for the topic.

exclusion brainstorming
Exclusion Brainstorming

The student identifies the word/concept that does not belong with the others, then either orally or in writing explains his reasoning:

  • Mixtures – plural, separable, dissolves, no formula
  • Compounds – chemically combined, new properties, has formula, no composition
  • Solutions – heterogeneous mixture, dissolved particles, saturated and unsaturated, heat increases
  • Suspensions – clear, no dissolving, settles upon standing, larger than molecules
categorizing games
Categorizing Games

Any game in which students categorize items according to identified criteria. No one category can have less than three items. Individuals or teams can compete to be accurate and first.


  • Categorize the Greek gods and goddesses three different ways (domains/powers, relationships, chronological appearance, frailties, uses…)
  • “Word Sorts”
  • Sort these student essays (products) into “Proficient,” “Good, but in need of improvement,” and “Struggling”
word mastermind
Word Mastermind

Clue Key:

½ sq - right letter, wrong place

Full sq - right letter, right place

Empty - not in the word






_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____






Choice of letters: mutually chosen five consonants, plus all vowels


If neither team can guess the word after the fifth clue, throw out the word and start with a new word.

  • Choose a player from each of two teams. Ask these players to turn around and face their respective teams while you write the Password on the front chalkboard. Let the audience see the word, then erase it.
  • Choose a player to start and ask if he wants to pass or play. If he passes, he will have the benefit of two clues before guessing the word, if the other team doesn’t guess the word in the first clue. If he chooses to play, he can guess the word in the first clue, earning a higher number of points.
  • Allow all seated team members to use their notes/textbooks to look for one-word clues. The clues cannot be proper nouns, sound effects, or gestures. Each player takes turns calling upon members of his team as they offer one-word clues to the Password. If a player cannot guess the word after his team’s clue, then the other team can offer another clue to their own player – but the point total is now lower.
  • Let whichever team misses the word earn five points by spelling the word correctly.
60 yard triangle relay
60-yard Triangle Relay

The other half of the match

One half of the match

[ 20 yards ]

[ 20 yards ]

[ 20 yards ]


60 yard triangle relay1
60-yard Triangle Relay

When the stopwatch begins, team members race one at a time to the far corners, pulling off equivalent values or matching items, then returning to their starting point. The winner is the team with accurate matches in the shortest time.


‘Like Bingo, teacher calls definition, students covers word that matches

Teacher: This is the Spanish verb, “to write.”

Student: [‘places a marker over, “escribir.”]

taboo cards
Taboo Cards









  • Make up forty or more Taboo cards about a unit of study or several units of study. To make a Taboo card, turn an index card vertically and write a vocabulary word at the top. Place a thick line underneath that word. In the remaining space under the line, write four or five words/concepts your students would normally associate with the vocabulary word. Place all the cards in a stack face down.
  • Call a representative up from each of two teams. The two sit at a table in the front of your room. Set a clock for one minute (two minutes, if necessary). Ask one player flip over the first card and give clues to her teammates. Her goal is to get them to say the vocabulary term at the top of the card without using any of the related terms listed below the line on the card. She is not allowed to use any gestures, rhymes, sound effects, or any portion of the vocabulary word or Taboo words below. If an teammate says one of these words, however, the player can use the term in her clues.
  • The team can call out the answer at any point. If the team members guess correctly, their representative puts that card to one side, pulls up the next one, and starts giving clues. The process continues until time is called.
  • The opposing team has a buzzer (or squeaky toy) which team members can use if the person accidentally uses a Taboo word or any portion of the intended vocabulary term in her clues. When that happens, the card is given to the opposing team’s card pile and a point is awarded to the opposing team (the one with the buzzer). If a player can’t communicate a term successfully, she can pass on the card, but a point is awarded to the other team for each card passed. Keep playing until both teams have had the same number of opportunities to give clues or time runs out. Throw in a few cards relating to students’ interests, just to add a little more pizzazz.
to use or not to use a game
To Use or Not to Use a Game?
  • Does the game involve enough substantive content to justify the use of classroom time?
  • Is the game set up to maximize participation?
  • Are the rules of the game simple enough to understand?
  • Is it developmentally appropriate?
to increase engagement
To Increase Engagement:
  • Allow contestants to receive help from their teammates
  • Wait until the last moment to choose the person who must respond
  • Rotate everyone through the “hot seat”
  • Make the game something in which everyone must contribute for the team to advance
  • Have all students participate at their seats, but one response at random is selected
  • Have all responses considered
adding jazz
Adding Jazz
  • Wear a crazy hat or a coat
  • Play the theme song from the television version of the game
  • Provide small prizes
  • Lead crazy cheers for points earned
  • Add buzzers – Poor Man’s version: pet squeaky toys
  • Build suspense: “Will he answer correctly?” “Is that your final answer?”
adding jazz continued
Adding Jazz(continued)
  • Let students race across the room to get to the chalkboard
  • Keep a tally sheet of scores for class periods
  • For team names, use students’ names: Sensational Serena’s versus Jazzy Geena’s or Mighty Manuel’s versus Cowabunga Carrie’s. Use the names of students who usually don’t get much attention in class.
additional ideas for success
Additional Ideas for Success:
  • Invite staff members to stop by and join one of the teams
  • Play the game once with yourself
  • Borrow formats and insert your own content
  • Make sure the game advances students. [Ex: Word Searches do not help students learn how to spell]
  • The game is less important than the players.
additional ideas for success1
Additional Ideas for Success:
  • Any player may suggest a rule change to improve the game at any time.
  • Try to avoid games of purely calling answers like Trivial Pursuit
  • Make visible some kind of scoring – football across a field, example
  • Have students “Emcee” and the teacher play the game with students
sponges and warm ups definition
Sponges and Warm-ups:Definition

These are learning experiences that “soak up” dead or transition time with something substantive and related to the day’s lessons. They are not “fluff” activities with little or no educational merit or subject connection. They are inserted anywhere in a lesson in which there is a lull in the lesson’s momentum such as when we distribute papers or supplies, clean up, move from one place to another, wait for other students to finish, or wait in line. Warm-up activities can be done as “early bird” work to review material or prime the brain for new learning when students first enter the room, but they can also be done in the middle of class to get students’ minds ready for what is to come.

how to create them
How to Create Them

Break down the day’s topic into its basic components or subsets of

skills. For example, if we’re teaching students to add fractions with

different denominators, great sponges and warm-ups would include:

  • Write the first three numbers that 6 and 8 both go into evenly.
  • If someone were stuck finding the lowest common multiple between two numbers, what two pieces of advice would you give him?
  • Draw a quick mindmap or flow chart of the steps needed to reduce a fraction to lowest terms.
  • Translate three mixed numbers into improper fractions.
  • Identify two situations in which it is better to turn fractions into decimals before adding them.
  • Rank the following fractions in order: 3/10, 3/5, 1/2, 2/9, 1, 12/20
  • What’s a quick way to tell whether or not 88,050 is divisible by 6, and is it?
  • Kendall poured ¾ of a gallon of hot salsa into Gerard’s 2/3 of a gallon of lime Jell-O solution and mixed it up. Then she poured all of the spicy mixture into our class’s drinking cups. If every cup holds 6 fluid ounces, then how many cups did she use?
some of the best ones are based on specific skills within a larger topic
Some of the best ones are based on specific skills within a larger topic:

Great opening lines

a piece of evidence

one claim in a thematic essay

samples of well crafted and not-so-well-crafted hypotheses


Add flavor to some of these -- “Give me a great opening line to this thematic essay if Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie) were saying it.

Look at sponges used in other subjects, too: We can write an ode to the Monroe Doctrine, but we can also write an ode to graphing inequalities and to the almighty verb.

  • Using only base numbers with exponents, generate five equations that all equal 24.
  • Give evidence to support or refute “capitalist” as an appropriate description of the main character.
  • Create two great test questions on this topic we could use for tomorrow’s test.
  • Categorize the 26 elements in three ways with no one category consisting of less than three elements.
  • Rewrite these four measures to express a different dynamic.
  • Explain to your partner why integers are also rational.
Using your hands and arms, demonstrate the difference between diffusion and endocytosis (pinocytosis and phagocytosis) in a cell.
  • With a partner, identify three arguments against what I just taught you.
  • Ask students to identify content/skills that weren’t on the test, or ask students to come up with a great additional question for the test and to call on someone to answer it.
  • Announce to students: “Be ready to say three ways in which the Civil War and Revolutionary War are exactly the same...” [Insert whatever topics you’re about to study for the comparison]
Ask students to come up with alternative titles to a book or event, or, “If [insert a real person under study] were to write a book, what would its title be?
  • Ask students who they would cast in the role of ________ in this book and why?
  • Use a new term in two situations, one correct and one incorrect. Students discern which is which.
  • Ask students to generate as many words as they can think of that mean the opposite of ________.
  • Give students five vocabulary terms but make sure one of them doesn’t fit the category or theme of the terms, and ask students to identify which word doesn’t belong and a reason why it doesn’t belong.
  • With content, play Charades or Pictionary
  • Ask students to identify one word that best describes something under study and to defend that word as a good word to describe it. Ask others to argue against the word as a good word to describe the topic.
In-Out Game: Students determine the classification a teacher’s statements exemplify, then they confirm their hypothesis by offering elements “in the club” and elements “out of the club.” They don’t identify the club, just the items in and out of it. If the students’ suggestions fit the pattern, the teacher invites them to be a part of the club. The game continues until everyone is a member.

Example: She is in the club but the class is not. They are in the club, but the penguins are not. You are in the club, but the donuts are not. Give me something in and out of the club.” A student guesses correctly that the club is for personal pronouns, so she says, “We are in the club, but moon rocks are not.” To make it a bit more complex, announce the club’s elements and non-elements in unusual ways that must also be exemplified by the students, such as making all the items in and out of the club alliterative or related in some way. This can be as obvious or as complex as you want it to be.

physicalizing the abstract and symbolic
“Physicalizing” the abstract and symbolic:
  • Gets oxygen and nutrients to cognitive centers of the brain via the bloodstream
  • Relieves bone growth plate stress
  • Relaxes students and improves their perspective/attitude – creates mild euphoria
  • Supports cognitive theory regarding how students best learn
  • Makes abstract content vivid and thereby illuminates it
  • It’s fun and intrinsically motivating

There is not any curriculum so symbolic or abstract that we cannot “physicalize” it for better student learning.

physicalizing process
Physicalizing Process:
  • Identify essential components, pieces, or definition of whatever we’re teaching
  • Physicalize those pieces and present them to the class.
  • Class critiques the physicalization in terms of accuracy, comprehensiveness, appropriateness, and clarity. ‘Makes suggestions for improvement.

All three steps are learning experiences that help students internalize the knowledge.

  • “a lot” – Running to each wall to shout, “a” and “lot,” noting space between
  • Comparing Constitutions – Former Soviet Union and the U.S. – names removed
  • Real skeletons, not diagrams
  • Simulations
  • Writing Process described while sculpting with clay
Have students write tall tales on floor-to-ceiling length adding machine tape, then display them with illustrations.
  • Don’t have students pass their papers to you. Have them get up and turn in their own papers to a basket in the back of the room. Try creating basketball hoops or homework hangars into which they send their homework papers.
  • Take in-school field trips. Example: Demonstrate in the library to teach demonstrative pronouns.
  • Play Adult Simon Says – ‘just like the childhood game except it’s fast paced and uses the correct anatomical names for bones.
  • Do stretching activities every 20 to 30 minutes. Traditional stretches are excellent, but so are more creative ones. Example: Snow ski in the classroom.
Encourage healthy snacking during class. Young adolescents need to re-stoke their fires every 90 minutes hours in order to stay focused on the lesson and not on their hunger.
  • Ask students to go to the chalkboard for demonstrations and competitions.
  • Ask students to use manipulatives at their desks.
  • Use the walls, floors, ceilings, hallways, parking lots, and sidewalks for graphic organizers. Classroom walls are merely suggestions.
  • Have students create a rap about the concepts taught with a defined beat they keep with their bodies.
  • Have students represent concepts and terms artistically through performing or the fine arts. They can draw science cycles, they can dramatically portray the relationships of atomic interactions, and they can sculpt with clay while describing their process using writing/revision process terms. Example: Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle
concrete or shape spellings
Concrete or Shape Spellings

Ask students to spell words in ways that demonstrate their meanings. For example, if the word is “tall,” the letters will be very tall on the page. If the word is “analysis,” the letters will be broken into smaller pieces, showing their essential elements. If it is “synthesis,” students will write the letters coming together and forming something new as a result.


Ides of March

44 BC


Mark Antony


Word Splash!

  • Students try to guide the words on pieces of paper into coherent connections.
  • Provide the learning experience.
  • Now students re-arrange the words in light of the new evidence and understanding.

Julius Caesar

49 BC

civil wars






carousel brainstorming
Carousel Brainstorming
  • Post newsprint or posterboard pieces with quotes, questions, or concepts related to the week’s learning around the room. Divide the students into groups of four to six and give each group a different color marking pen, crayon or pencil. Place each group at one of the posters.
  • Set a time limit for each group’s response to the poster at which they’re standing. One to two minutes is good for younger grade levels, but high school and older can be at one poster for seven to eight minutes. Tell groups to begin the task, and start the clock.
  • In the space provided on the posterboard or newsprint, each group adds its own thinking on the topic written at the top. It may ask them to list attributes of something, consider an issue and form an opinion, or compare one thing to another, but whatever it asks, it’s requiring groups to review information about the week’s learning. As different groups arrive at each posting, they see and consider other group’s contributions. They can respond to those in addition to responding to the prompts.
  • Keep things moving. Immediately at the time limit (if not before), get students moving to the next poster and start the clock again. Continue until all groups have visited all posters.
  • Once done, ask each group to take one poster and summarize the information for the whole class.
build a model
Build a model
  • Consider your essential and enduring concepts, facts, and skills you’re teaching. Identify those that could be expressed through a model of some sort. Open your mind to the model idea, even if you can’t think of a specific model right now. Yes, even abstract ideas can be expressed through models.
  • Assign the model or give students a choice to summarize via a model, but make sure there is time to plan, build/draw, and explain the model to classmates. Without these three features, we dilute the model’s effectiveness as a summarization technique.
  • As they work, don’t hesitate to ask guiding questions of your students. It’s a time to monitor closely, not let them fly solo. If we wait until the students present us with their models, we missed the prime learning windows. We need to maximize every moment.


proper stretching


food pyramid






Yellow Journalism

  • Write answers to questions in separate spaces on an overhead transparency sheet. Project those answers on the screen or wall in your room. Let competing students stand near to the projection, holding the flyswatters.
  • Read a question aloud. The first person to slap the correct answer with her flyswatter wins a point for her team.
  • Have several different transparencies with different layouts for variety’s sake.
  • Examples: call out definitions, students slap matching words; call out sequences, students slap next items in sequence; call out incomplete analogies, students slap best choice for completing the analogy.
resources for games
Resources for Games
  • Mindware: (1-800-999-0398)
  • Fluegelman, Andrew, Editor. The New Games Book, Headlands Press Book, Doubeday and Company, New York, 1976
  • Henton, Mary (1996) Adventure in the Classroom. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt
  • Lundberg, Elaine M.; Thurston, Cheryl Miller. (1997) If They’re Laughing… Fort Collins, Colorado: Cottonwood Press, Inc.
  • Rohnke, K. (1984). Silver Bullets. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt.
  • Rohnke, K. & Butler, S. (1995). QuickSilver. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1991). The Bottomless Bag Again. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1991). Bottomless Baggie. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt
  • Rohnke, K. (1989). Cowstail and Cobras II. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt
Highly Recommended Resources for Vocabulary Instruction:
  • Allen, Janet, 2000. Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12, Stenhouse Publishers,
  • Allen, Janet, 1999. Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12, Stenhouse Publishers
  • Allen, Janet, 2007. Inside Words, Stenhouse Publishers
  • Bear, Donald R., Invernizzi, Marcia, Templeton, Shane R., Johnston, Francine, 2007. Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (4th Edition), Prentice Hall
  • Beck, Isabel L., McKeown, Margaret G., Kucan, Linda, 2002. Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction The Guilford Group
  • Beers, Kylene, 2003. When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, Heinemann,
  • Blachowicz, C, and P.J. Fisher, 2002. Teaching Vocabulary in all Classrooms, 2nd ed. Pearson Education
  • Burchers, Jr., Samuel A., Burchers III, Samuel A., Burchers, Bryan, 2007. Vocabulary Cartoons: Sat Word Power (Vocabulary Cartoons) New Monic Books
Burke, Jim, 2001. Illuminating Texts: How to Teach Students to Read the World, Heinemann
  • Graves, Michael. 2005. The Vocabulary Book: Learning & Instruction, Teachers College Press
  • Greenwood, Scott, 2004. Words Count: Effective Vocabulary Instruction in Action. Heinemann
  • Hyerle, David, 2000. A Field Guide to Visual Tools, ASCD
  • Kame\'enui, Edward J., 2003. Vocabulary Instruction: Research to Practice (Solving Problems In Teaching Of Literacy) The Guilford Press
  • Robb, Laura, 2000. Teaching Reading in Middle School. Scholastic
  • Marzano, Robert, 2004. Building Background Knowledge For Academic Achievement: Research On What Works In Schools, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Nagy, William E., 1988. Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension, International Reading Association
  • Pittelman, S.D., J.E. Heimlich, R.L. Berglund, and M.P. French, 1991. Semantic Feature Analysis: Classroom Applications, International Reading Association
  • Stahl, Steven A., 1998. Vocabulary Development (From Reading Research to Practice, V. 2) Brookline Books
Specifically from Crystal Springs Books:
  • Callella, Trisha Prefixes and Suffixes Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading ComprehensionCallella, Trisha More Prefixes and Suffixes Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading ComprehensionCallella, Trisha. Greek and Latin Roots Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading ComprehensionCallella, Trisha. More Greek and Latin Roots Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading ComprehensionBrassell, Danny, Flood, James Vocabulary Strategies Every Teacher Needs to Know
  • Brand, Max. Word Savvy: Integrating Spelling, Vocabulary, and Word StudyCollins, Cathy, Mangieri, John N. The Vocabulary-Enriched Classroom
  • Jarnicki, Harold. Vocabulary - No Boring Practice, Please!
  • Morris, Alana. Vocabulary Unplugged: 30 Lessons That Will Revolutionize How You Teach Vocabulary
great websites for vocabulary instruction
Great Websites for Vocabulary Instruction

highly recommended for summarization ideas
Highly Recommended for Summarization Ideas
  • Allen, Janet. Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12, Stenhouse Publishers, 2000
  • Allen, Janet. Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12, Stenhouse Publishers, 1999
  • Allen, Janet. Tools for Teaching Content Literacy (flipbook), Stenhouse, 2004
  • Billmeyer, Rachel, Ph.D.; Barton, Mary Lee. Teaching Reading in the Content Areas: If Not Me, Then Who? 2nd Edition McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, 1998
  • Barton, Mary Lee; Heidema, Clare. Teaching Reading in Mathematics, ASCD, McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, 2000 (Also distributed by ASCD)
  • Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can’t Read: What Teachers Can Do, Heinemann, 2003
  • Beers, Kylene and Samuels, Barabara G. (1998) Into Focus: Understanding and Creating Middle School Readers. Norwood, Massachusetts: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
highly recommended for summarization ideas1
Highly Recommended for Summarization Ideas
  • Buehl, Doug. Classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning (second Edition) (2001) Newark, Delaware, International Reading Association, Inc.
  • Burke, Jim. Illuminating Texts: How to Teach Students to Read the World, Heinemann, 2001
  • Burkhardt, Ross M. Writing for Real: Strategies for Engaging Adolescent Writers, Stenhouse Publishers, 2003
  • Frender, Gloria. Learning to Learn: Strengthening Study Skills and Brain Power, Incentive Publications, Inc., 1990
  • Forsten, Char; Grant, Jim; Hollas, Betty. Differentiated Instruction: Different Strategies for Different Learners, Crystal Springs Books, 2001 [This is great for K-8]
  • Forsten, Char: Grant, Jim; Hollas, Betty. Differentiating Textbooks: Strategies to Improve Student Comprehension and Motivation, Crystal Springs Books
  • Glynn, Carol. Learning on their Feet: A Sourcebook for Kinesthetic Learning Across the Curriculum, Discover Writing Press, 2001
  • Harvey, Stephanie (1998) Nonfiction Matters: Reading, Writing, and Research in Grades 3 – 8. Portsmouth,Maine: Stenhouse Publishers
  • Harvey, Stephanie; Goudvis, Anne. Strategies that Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding, Stenhouse Publishers, 2000
  • Hyerle, David. A Field Guide to Visual Tools, ASCD, 2000
highly recommended for summarization ideas2
Highly Recommended for Summarization Ideas
  • Marzano, Robert J.; Pickering, Debra J.; Pollock, Jane E. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, ASCD, 2001
  • Robb, Laura. Teaching Reading in Middle School. Scholastic, 2000
  • Robb, Laura (editor). Reader’s Handbook, Great Source Education Group, Houghtoun-Mifflin (Same group that does Write Source 2000 and Writer’s, Inc.)
  • Sousa, Dr. David A. How the Brain Learns. Corwin Press, 2002
  • Spandel, Vicki; Stiggins, Richard J. Creating Writers: Linking Writing Assessment and Instruction, Longman Publishers, 1997
  • Stephens, Elaine C. and Brown, Jean E. (2000) A Handbook of Content Literacy Strategies: 75 Practical Reading and Writing Ideas. Norwood, Massachusetts: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.
  • Strong, Richard W.; Silver, Harvey F.; Perini, Matthew J.; Tuculescu, Gregory M. Reading for Academic Success: Powerful Strategies for Struggling, Average, and Advanced Readers, Grades 7-12, Corwin Press, 2002
  • Tovani, Cris. I Read It, But I Don’t Get It. Stenhouse Publishers, 2001
  • Tovani, Cris. Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? Content Comprehension Grades 6-12, Stenhouse, 2004
  • Vacca, R. and Vacca J. (1999) Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum. 6th ed. New York: Longman
  • Wood, Karen D.; Harmon, Janis M. Strategies for Integrating Reading and Writing in Middle and High School Classrooms, National Middle School Association, 2001
  • Wormeli, Rick. Summarization in any Subject, ASCD, 2005
  • Zinsser, William. Writing to Learn (1988)New York: Harper and Row Publishers
“I was put on earth by God

in order to accomplish

a certain number of things…

right now I am so far behind…

I will never die!”

-Calvin and Hobbes

With all of these ideas, you are now immortal! 