stopping random lists of facts (or small groups to support standard 2 with informational text)

we know that all teachers have seen the reader who creates long lists of facts when reading an informational text. you know what we mean…it looks similar to this page of notes from a student who has dutifully jotted down “important” facts and details from his informational text:nonfiction literal notes 11_5you get the idea. long lists of facts copied straight from the text. but who cares? what are kids supposed to do with these facts? store them in long term memory just in case they’re ever on jeopardy and this just happens to be one of their categories??

the real work, the work we’re teaching toward in anchor standard 2, isn’t to make long lists of facts, but to take these long lists of facts and analyze and sort them to come up with bigger ideas within the text.

what can we do for our students who are having difficulty getting past listing the facts and never really getting to the big ideas? Continue reading