Coding the Text

Description 

This activity provides an organized and time-sensitive way for students to respond in multiple ways to a text as they are reading. By using a pre-established “code,” students indicate a variety of responses they may have to a text without significantly disrupting their reading. See a student-facing Google Doc template for this activity here >>

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Metacognition
  • Predicting
  • Questioning
Skills 
Assessing Prior Knowledge, Close Reading, Interacting with the Text

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Learning Strands 

  • Reading

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Balancing Informative and Literary Texts
  • Metacognition
  • Staircase of Complexity
  • Text-Based Answers

Preparation 

Identify a text. Choose which codes you want to use for the text. Refer to the work of Cris Tovani for options, or choose some or all of these : T-S = text-to-self connection T-T = text-to-text connection T-W = text-to-word connection ! = this surprises me ? = this is confusing or makes me wonder something V = this makes me visualize something P = this makes me predict something I = this makes me infer something 2+2 = this helps me to synthesize, to put it all together X = I don’t agree with this · (smiley face or check mark) = I agree with or like this

Activity Steps 
  1. Distribute text and code sheet to all students.

    You should initially model this activity as you would with any new or complex task. Think aloud about a text as you read, and code the text as you go. Consider introducing one or two codes at a time as you cover each strategy in detail, and then gradually increase the number of codes available to students as they gain facility with more and more strategies.

  2. Distribute text and code sheet to all students.

    You should initially model this activity as you would with any new or complex task. Think aloud about a text as you read, and code the text as you go. Consider introducing one or two codes at a time as you cover each strategy in detail, and then gradually increase the number of codes available to students as they gain facility with more and more strategies.

  3. In small groups or individually, students read the text. As they read, they code it.

    You will likely need to model this process to students. Read aloud from a text, coding it and verbalizing reactions such as, “Well, THAT’S really surprising,” or “I’m not sure I agree with that,” or “That is perfectly said!” The book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst might be helpful here.

  4. When students are done reading, they should pick several of their most notable codes and expand on these in brief paragraphs. For example: · What did they predict and why? · Did this prediction come true? · What do they not agree with and why? · What

    Modeling this by thinking aloud as you expand on your own coding of the text and/or having an exemplar where you show students what this may look like will be beneficial to this step.

Downloadable Resources 
Login to See More