Understanding the Text 2-Sided Graphic Organizer



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Understanding the Text 2-Sided Graphic Organizer

This strategy was presented by Rochelle Ramay from the Northern California Writing Project as one of the strategies used to improve students’ analytical writing. This strategy addressed the continuum category “Understanding and Use of Text: The writer provides the reader a clear and accurate understanding of the text and effectively uses the ideas in the text to develop the writer’s response.”
The essay prompt is based on the University of California’s placement test—students read an essay and write a response; it is a 2-hour test. The prompt is designed to be creative nonfiction that demonstrates movement and provides a deeper analysis of the issue; students need to use the essay but cannot simply summarize it. The writing placement test is designed to look at what the students think, not what they learned; the expectation is that students will enter into an academic conversation.
The 2-sided graphic organizer was based on one developed by the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project. Scanning the handout did not work well (very small print), so I recreated it in Word. This way you are also able to change the text to fit your essay/response assignment.
The “My Ideas” side is to be completed individually while reading the essay. The middle box is your prompt, which the presenters said should tell the student “How to Read” the essay and then “What to Write” in the response. The top two boxes are for the students to summarize the essay and note the support in the essay. The bottom two boxes are for the students’ responses and examples/connections.
The “Others’ Ideas” side is to be completed in a group. Students are not to swap and copy; rather they are to share/discuss their ideas. As listeners, students should note on the second side ideas they hadn’t thought of so that they can build off one another’s ideas for the response. While the placement test doesn’t allow for this discussion, it should be modeling to help students learn throughout the year to read more analytically. Teachers will need to encourage students to incorporate these notes into their responses.




Theme:

Original text: Cite evidence (quoted or summarized) from the text that supports the theme/literary element/focus lesson.

Artistic medium/Alternate Interpretation: Identify evidence that supports the theme/literary element/focus lesson.

Analysis: To what extent do you think that this artwork/alternate interpretation helps you to understand the original text?

Analysis: To what extent does this artwork/alternate interpretation differ from the original text? How does it help/hurt your interpretation?





Original text: Cite evidence (quoted or summarized) from the text that supports the theme/literary element/focus lesson.

Artistic medium/Alternate Interpretation: Identify evidence that supports the theme/literary element/focus lesson.



Theme:

Analysis: To what extent do you think that this artwork/alternate interpretation helps you to understand the original text?

Analysis: To what extent does this artwork/alternate interpretation differ from the original text? How does it help/hurt your interpretation?


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