Helping Students Work with Informational Text from A-Z with Alphaboxes

I’m crossposting some short write-ups on my library blog of strategies we used at the Santa Fe inquiry workshop. Enjoy!

The Hooch Learning Studio

alphabox

Recently I was lucky to have the opportunity to attend the multiday institute, “Teaching for Engagement, Inquiry, and Understanding: Beyond the Standards” in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This institute, led by some of the leading literacy practitioners in our field, gave us the hands-on opportunity to model and practice different strategies, learning structures, and approaches to creating a culture of inquiry in our classrooms.

One of the strategies we learned was called Alphaboxes.  This is a very simple but effective graphic organizer that has been around for awhile and interpreted in many ways (see ideas below).  For us, we used it to jot down key ideas, terms, people, places, or concepts related to a topic we were researching as we read informational text.  The Alphabox can be a great tool to help your students build prior knowledge as they begin presearch.  It could be fun to then have students…

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