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Explore Text Annotations_Annotated


What is annotation and how do people use it?
Develop a clear enough understanding of the characteristics and uses of annotation to be able to explain your understanding to others.

Common Core Standards Assessed: CCRA.RL.9, RL.10 

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

I Can Statements 

  • I will know my exploration of text annotation is of high quality when I can identify the elements that define text annotation.

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students to check their understanding of the elements that define text annotation.
  • Provide students an anchor text annotation and ask them to code or otherwise identify the elements of text annotation.
Possible Activities 
  1. Book pass: Gather a wide variety of authentic annotation documents (teacher guides, CliffsNotes, endnotes, footnotes, companion volumes to complex texts, and study guides).  Each student should have a page divided into two columns.  Give each student one document.  Time them for three minutes, during which they record their reactions and observations of each document.  Then switch until each student has commented on each document.  Lead them in a group discussion.  

  2. Group exploration: Provide several exemplars and ask students to select two or three to examine and create a list of similarities in structure, craft, and form. Or use a jigsaw format, where students work in groups, and each group examines examples of authentic annotation and a different exemplar. Reorganize the groups so that the new groups each have one representative from the former group, and each representative shares their learning with the others in this new group, to create a collective understanding of the forms and uses of annotation.                                       

  3. Modeling: Model for the students how you might use annotation if you were reading a challenging text.  Read aloud from a difficult text (e.g., Ulysses or a philosophical text) and then think aloud about a point of confusion.  Think aloud and model finding an annotation, thinking about the annotation, and clarifying the reading. 

  4. Analysis of exemplars—Students receive or create graphic organizers with the following sections:

    • What kinds of information are included?
    • Who would use this? 
    • How would this be helpful?
  5. Then, individually or in groups, students examine two to four exemplars of annotation, and complete the graphic organizers with their observations.



Downloadable Resources 
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