Today I taught a lesson based on Talk Read Talk Write by Nancy Motley. From this point forward I will refer to Talk Read Talk Write as TRTW. TRTW is an instructional method that puts reading in the place of the primary source of information and learning and puts the teacher in the role of facilitator. Doesn't this sound like a lot of proficiency based strategies we discuss all the time? TRTW was designed to help students learn how to build reading stamina when interacting with academic texts, so my argument is, couldn't we use the same strategy to help our students build stamina with reading authentic texts in our classes?
Rather than explain what TRTW is to you, I am going to lay the lesson plan out for you so you can see my interpretation of a Spanish or World Language TRTW lesson.
From this point forward please assume that all instruction was delivered in Spanish and all student interactions were in the target language as well.
Learning Target: I can describe people, places, objects and events in the present tense and in the past.
My Goal: To get level 2 students to acquire new describing words I can use to get them to reflect on their behavior and choices in the past at a later time.
Lead In Activity 1 - Students were given the handout you see below and asked to mark descriptions of themselves that are true now in one color. When that was done, they were asked to do the same thing in another color, but about themselves in the past.
Scaffolding Activity to Prepare for TRTW
Students were asked to get out the handout from yesterday, a pen / pencil and their smart devices. Once they were ready I showed the slide you see here and asked them to mark the following things:
1. Mark with a check the descriptions that describe your favorite superhero.
2. Mark with a star the characteristics you and your favorite superheroe have in common.
TRTW begins now
TALK #1 - Who is your favorite superhero? Why / What are their qualities of your superhero?
Students were instructed to partner with someone near them (shoulder partners) to have a conversation about the questions above. This conversation lasted 2 minutes and was just to get them engaged and excited about the lesson.
READ: WEB QUIZ - ¿Cuál miembro de la Liga de Justicia eres tú? bit.ly/superheroequiz
Students were now asked to use their smart devices to connect to Google Classroom where I had posted a link to the online personality quiz called Which member of the League of Justice are you? You can access the quiz by clicking on the red link above.
I instructed the kids about the purpose of their reading (very important), then asked them to click the quiz link and take the quiz. I told them to take a screenshot of the text when they received their results and to be sure to ask if they needed to understand a word or phrase better, then I let them work for a few minutes in silence.
Once the students received their quiz results, I asked them to read or re-read the text of their results, but I gave them a reading accountability task. This task was designed just to show me they were actually reading and to help me know how much they were understanding in what they read.
You can see the accountability task below:
TALK #2 - What were your results? Do you agree? Why or Why not?
After reading and jotting some comprehension notes, I asked my students to have the following conversation for TALK 2 in the TRTW process. I scaffolded their chat with helpful phrases so they could sustain the conversation I wanted them to have. I let them talk for 3-4 minutes and gauged when to stop by the volume in the room and their body language. You can see the task below:
WRITE - What do you think about your results? Why do you agree or disagree?
The last step in the TRTW process is to have students write about the information you wanted them to acquire in the reading purpose. My reading purpose was for them to discover how someone else evaluates their character, so they had to analyze the results and pose their own argument in response. Here's the writing task they posted on Google Classroom along with a pic of the rubric I will use to grade their compositions. The rubric is a splicing together of 2 of the criteria on my district's normal writing rubric.
This is one of a very few lessons I have designed based upon this strategy. It is highly structured as you can tell, and always based upon a text. I would love to know what your thoughts and questions are on this lesson or lesson style as I am learning how to design and deliver them myself.
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