Instructional Strategies

Reading

On this page I'll cover four strategies that are ready to use in any classroom. All four are beneficial in reading or language instruction and are easily applied across all subject areas.

THINK- PAIR- SHARE

Purpose:to provide students with the opportunity to talk about what they read as they read it
Materials:fiction, nonfiction, and expository text
Procedures:
  1. Students find partners.
  2. The teacher identifies stopping points for discussion and shares these with students.
  3. Students read to the first stopping point and then pause to think about the reading. They might consider such issues as what they found interesting or puzzling, making brief notes about their thoughts.
  4. The pairs will then talk with one another using their notes to remind them of the points they wish to make.
  5. The large group shares, focusing on interesting issues that arose during the paired discussions. Length will depend on students need and interest.
  6. This completes the first Think-Pair-Share cycle. Students can read the next portion of the story and begin the cycle again.

HERRINGBONE

Purpose:to help students summarize and synthesize what they have read; to provide a supportive framework for students to sort through the information provided in expository text and make their own decisions about what is important; to help students think about the main idea, significant details, and the relationships among them.
Materials:fiction, nonfiction, and expository text
Procedures:
  1. Students read and then work with partners to complete the chart.
  2. Together they must decide on answers to each of the detail questions on the chart (Who, What, When, Why, Where, How). This frequently involves rereading and always involves discussion as students identify potential answers and settle on the most important.
  3. Students combine these details to develop a main-idea summary statement for the entire passage.

STORY MAP; GROUP MAPPING ACTIVITY

Purpose:to promote individual response to reading; to provide a framework for discussion; to help readers recall and retain what they've read.
Materials:fiction, nonfiction, and expository text
Procedures:
  1. Students read selected passage; after reading, students create maps.
  2. Maps are shared with and explained to others.
  3. Classmates may ask questions or make comments about each others' maps.
  4. Students' comments lead into class discussion of the text where they will be able to develop further insights into what they have read and realize that text interpretations differ.

These three strategies came from:
Rasinski, T. & Padak, N. (1996).Holistic Reading Strategies: Teaching children who find reading difficult.Englewood Cliffs, NJ:Merrill/Prentice Hall

THEMATIC UNITS

Thematic units stem from the whole language philosophy and help students see the patterns among content areas. The thematic approach appeals to global learners because it puts learning in context. They see the big picture and find it easier to learn and remember information. A commonly used approach to thematic, integrated instruction is the web. The web begins with an idea or theme as the central focus of all instruction. The theme must be broad enough to allow for meaningful instruction of several disciplines without seeming contrived or shallow. One of the aims of the thematic unit is to provide children with experience in a wide range of resources for learning. These resources might include a variety of genres of childrens'' literature and other printed information, many manipulable materials, and resources from the community.
CLICK HERE TO SEE A THEMATIC UNIT ON DEAF CULTURE

For more info on thematic units:
Schrenko, L. (1994). Structuring a Learner-centered School.Palatine,IL:IRI/Skylight Publishing
Pappas, C. C., Kiefer, B.Z. & Levstik,L.S. (1995).An Integrated Language Perspective in the Elementary School: Theory into Action. Second Edition.White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers.
Manning,M., Manning,G. & Long, R. (1994).Theme Immersion: Inquiry- based curriculum in elementary and middle schools.Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
Kucer, S., Silva,C. & Delgado-Larocco,E.L. (1995).Curricular conversations: Themes in multilingual and monolingual classrooms.York, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.