Included in this glossary are definitions of common terms used around literacy instruction. The strategies can be used by teachers in every content area to support literacy instruction. Some of the terms have accompanying word documents with templates and/or examples of the strategy for teacher use.
Using letters of the alphabet, students brainstorm as many ideas relating to a topic as possible.
In this activity, students find similarities, or affinities, by brain-storming details from a reading, and then work as a team to organize the details by main ideas.
A type of study guide that forecasts the major ideas of a passage through use of statements that activate students' thoughts and opinions.
CAUSE/EFFECT (OR PROBLEM/SOLUTION)
Helps students see connections between causes and their effects and/or problems and their solutions.
CHUNKING THE TEXT
Breaking the text into smaller, manageable sections by sense, by numbering, by drawing boxes.
This activity makes predictions about words. Selected words are left out of a text so the reader uses various cueing systems to predict the missing words.
A way to compare 2 or more concepts by looking at similarities and differences.
CONCEPT DEFINITION MAP
A graphic organizer that helps students learn key concepts and develop new vocabulary. Students learn meaning of terms from their text by asking questions about the terms to find meaning, details, comparisons, and characters in the text. The maps then serve as study guides and memory aids.
A graphic organizer that helps students identify the main idea and important details from a reading. It's also a way to take notes on reading assignments and to use in reviewing for tests or class discussion.
DIRECTED READING/THINKING ACTIVITY
The DR/TA is similar to a K-W-L but has four sections. The first 3 are filled out before reading (What I Know, What I Think I Know, What I Think I'll Learn), the fourth is done after reading (What I Know I Learned).
FISHBONE (or HERRINGBONE)
A graphic organizer strategy that helps students identify and organize relationships between causes and effects. The key event (or the effect) is the "head" of the fishbone, and the causes of the event make up the "bones" or categories.
A method of class discussion over readings or topics.
A graphic organizer which contains four compartments for recording information related to a concept. The four are: essential characteristics nonessential characteristics, examples, and non-examples.
The task is to write a summary of the problem in 12 words or less. The student identifies the 12 most important words needed to solve the problem. The words capture the "gist" of the problem.
A way of visually organizing information. Can take many forms, depending on the topic and purpose.
INQUIRY CHARTS (I-CHARTS)
Students examine multiple sources of information and use data charts to record what they know, what they want to know, and what they found from their readings. It allows students to get information from multiple sources and organize it for summary, comparison, and evaluation.
Pieces or topics of study are researched and learned by students within groups and then put together in the form of peer teaching between groups.
An instructional strategy to find out what the students know, what they want to know, and ultimately what they have learned as a result of their study.
A way for students to reflect on what they read, discussed or experienced by writing in a notebook short responses to a question or topic presented.
MARKING THE TEXT
Highlighting, underlining and/or annotating the text to focus students on reading for specific purposes.
Students have one minute to write on significant points, unanswered questions, and new connections from reading. A good way to focus students to see what they have learned about major concepts and to make text-to-self and text-to-world connections.
A strategy to improve recall of main ideas and specific facts. Students read a short passage and rephrase the content, including main ideas and specific facts, in their own words.
Helps students summarize main points and details from reading. A student takes turns with a partner reading aloud, then the other student paraphrases what was just heard.
QUESTIONING (QAR AND RECIPROCAL TEACHING)
Question-Answer-Relationships is a strategy designed to clarify the questioning process. Four levels of questions are used: "Right There", "Think and Search", "Author and You", and "On My Own". Reciprocal teaching helps students monitor their reading comprehension, practice and internalize four cognitive strategies important to reading: questioning, summarizing, predicting, and clarifying.
QUESTIONING THE AUTHOR
Helps students examine how well an author has communicated his/her ideas.
Students formulate questions to guide reading.
Stands for Role, Audience, Format and Topic. Asks students to take on a role as a writer, speaker, and/or to problem solve. Makes Text-to-world connections to show understanding of reading.
Students work together or individually to understand the content of a selection. Students take on roles as summarizer, questioner, clarifier or predictor.
ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK
Helps students focus on the main idea, significant points, new insights and key terms in reading. Students work in teams to read then prepare a presentation for the class on their findings.
SEMANTIC MAPPING/ WORD SORT
A visual tool that helps readers activate and draw on prior knowledge, recognize important components of different concepts, and see the relationships among these components.
A way for students to outline the major features of a reading selection.
Incorporates graphic organizers and helps students take notes so as to select, organize, and remember key points from reading.
Deciding what is most important in a text and putting it in your own words.
SURVEY, QUESTION, READ, RECITE, REVIEW (SQ3R)
A study strategy that helps students construct meaning while reading, using the elements of questioning, predicting, setting a purpose for reading, and monitoring for confusion. SQ4R adds reflect as a last step.
Explicit modeling in which teachers share with students the Cognitive processes and thinking they go through as they read.
A discussion strategy to involve students.
A graphic organizer to help students organize information by comparison and contrast.
VOCABULARY IN CONTEXT
Builds on knowledge of signal words in a text (i.e. "for instance", "in other words", "similarly") to use as cues in figuring out unfamiliar words.
A vocabulary strategy for visually mapping key elements associated new vocabulary.
A strategy for visually mapping key elements associated with new vocabulary. Students write: 3 things I found out, 2 interesting things, 1 question I still have.