Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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History/Social Studies

Reading and Analyzing Texts

Annotating Text

Annotating text, or marking pages with notes, is an excellent way for students to interact with a text, to become active readers, and to track their thinking. By annotating text, students can ask and answer questions of the source, make connections to ideas or other texts, and summarize critical points. However, not all annotations are equal: to be effective, they have to help the learner elaborate or organize the information. Linking certain annotations to specific reading strategies (e.g., circling the author and date) can make these strategies concrete since it provides students with “to-do” items. Finally, annotating texts is a form of pre-writing that supports the writing process.

Explore: Read Writing to Learn History: Annotations and Mini-Writes [PDF] for information on pre-writing strategies. The following handouts provide guidelines and samples for annotating documents and doing a mini-write.

Reflect: How might such handouts be useful for students? How might they be used to support students who are learning to annotate documents?