Introduction to Annotation Techniques

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SWBAT demonstrate their ability to read for comprehension by choosing the best annotation techniques for a variety of text types.

Big Idea

Today students build a tool box of annotation techniques ensure that students will have customizable resources to engage with text.

Opening Activity: Brainstorming

15 minutes

Persepolis falls into the narrative non-fiction category, which means it can meet standards from both reading strands, but it is also important for students to have exposure to truly informational text, such as news articles or primary sources. As such, today we will focus on this specific kind of writing. 

To begin, I will ask students to brainstorm the types of things they might want to mark or highlight when reading a text. I will also ask students to think of all the ways and reasons that we annotate a text. While we do this, I will have student scribes make a list of the ideas shared on the white board. I will also ask the other students to keep a list of ideas that appeal to them so they will have a ready resource available for future readings. I will also remind students that they have already used some of these skills with our graphic novel. I will ask them to think about how different or similar annotation techniques can be used for different genres. 

Modeling Annotation Techniques

10 minutes

Once the class has created a list of 20 to 25 techniques ranging from asking questions to the specific tools (highlighters, sticky notes, etc.) that they might use, I will use a document camera to model my own annotation techniques with the students using our class text, an article from the New York Time Upfront magazine on the Iranian Revolution to practice our annotation techniques.

This article provides specific contextual information about the history that Satrapi alludes to in her graphic novel. As we read, I will ask students to offer suggestions for what should be annotated. Students might chose to highlight themes (RI.9-10.2), historical dates/events, or the author's purpose/argument (RI.9-10.6) as well as any other ideas that stand out to them as potentially important. 

Close Reading and Annotation

20 minutes

Once we've read a few chunks of text together, I will have students continue to read and annotate independently. I want to see how much they absorbed from our discussions today and also to start gathering information about who my on task workers are. 

After about ten minutes, which should be ample time for students to finish reading and annotating, I will ask them to stop and share out any ideas that they think worth noting from this text. I will also ask them to share any vocabulary words that they might not understand so that we can discuss definitions as a class (RI.9-10.4).


Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

I think it is important to spend the last five (or so) minutes checking in with students about what we've done in class each day. This helps them to solidify their thinking/learning for any new topics and, hopefully, allows them to be thinking about what we did in class as they are leaving.

Today I will use this time to ask them what new techniques they might try and/or other applications for annotation they might have in other classes or content areas. I will also collect their annotations to gather data about their technique.