Sunday, November 24, 2013

Analyze Text using Keep it Or Junk it

Adding words to Keep it or Junk it List
While writing my post about the Scoot game last week, I stumbled upon a new activity shared by Mrs. White, a fifth grade teacher.  She learned and wrote about a strategy to help students answer focus questions and analyze text using words from the reading selection.  This inspired me to try this with my students.

The activity is called "Keep it or Junk it!"  Here is a great video of another fifth grade teacher showing how she uses it in the classroom.

A small reading group provided me with the perfect opportunity to try it out before forging ahead with the whole class.   Students finished reading and discussing a story called, "Ranches in the Southwest." After re-reading a certain section I gave them the focus question: "How do cattle ranches affect the environment?"

To start Keep it or Junk it, the students should be familiar with the text (having read the selection more than once.)  Using the focus as a guide, students were instructed to select words from the
Final Product
reading that will 'help' them answer THAT question.  Once students created their lists they worked with a partner to make one list of words using their own lists.  Then as a group, they shared their words and we started the "Keep it or Junk it" list.  Each word was shared and students had an opportunity to decided should we Keep the word, Junk it or put it in the "Cloud" to be discussed.  Making an argument why a word should be kept or junked further helps students think about the focus question.

When the list was finalized students got down to actually answering the question.  The great thing was that by the end of this activity (which spanned 2 small group times) they students had seen the focus question many times and discussed the words in relation to the question.  So in essence, they had been answering the question all along!



Listen in as our group works through this activity: (apologize in advance for the noise in background - still worth a listen).

This activity is something I plan to incorporate with the whole class as I really saw the benefits.  Each student was able to correctly articulate the effects of cattle ranches on the environment.  It is my hope that after modeling this enough times that students will transfer that and complete the activity without prompting.

Have you tried this type of activity?   What are some of your strategies for guiding students to analyze text? Please share in the comment section below!






3 comments:

  1. That actually sounds like a lot of fun.

    Teresa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nancy,

    This is a great student-led DOK 3 activity! I'll probably use it in an upcoming post and link to you. Thanks for introducing me to it!

    Kind regards,
    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tracy,
    It really is a great activity (although it is a bit time consuming). I really like the way it makes the kids review the essential question over and over. It helps them focus and and really think about what is being asked. Glad you think it might be useful.

    Best,
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete

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