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Re-Creating Text


This activity encourages reading comprehension by helping students to engage with text both emotionally and cognitively. Students are asked to re-create a text in another medium: a song, poem, play, film, or piece of visual art. This re-creation process helps students to process both the meaning and the intention of the text in a novel way, and to understand it more richly.

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing
Experience A Text, Writing with Fiction Elements

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Text-Based Answers


  • Identify the text(s) you want students to use or prepare to ask students to choose texts.
  • Identify and gather the materials you will need for students to re-create texts in a variety of media (computers, software, or art supplies).
  • Find several models of texts represented in multiple media.
Activity Steps 
  1. Students read text alone, as a class, or in small groups.

    You can also perform this activity with texts that students have read previously.

  2. Teacher delivers a mini-lesson focusing on texts represented in alternative media. Class engages in a discussion about why and how a text can be represented in another media form.

    Provide multiple examples of texts represented across multiple media. Help students to consider what it means to represent a text in an alternative medium: What is preserved? What is added? What is lost?

  3. Working individually or in small groups, students consider text, and identify the main ideas and essential components of the text that they think should be preserved in an alternative medium. Students write down these ideas and essential components.

    This step may lead to a discussion about what it means to represent a text in a new medium, particularly in a medium that is far removed from the original (like visual art or music without words). Help students to think critically about what constitutes the essence of a text, and how we can recognize this across media.

  4. Students brainstorm ways in which they can re-create the text in a new medium. They may want to organize their ideas in a two-column chart, putting media forms in the left column, and their notes and ideas about that form of representation in the right co

    You may want to create a two-column chart as described on the left to structure this step. Help students to consider a wide range of possible media, including ones that might be more esoteric (a video game, a piano piece, or a step dance).

  5. As you circulate, engage students in a conversation about what each medium would add, preserve, or take away from the text.

  6. Students choose the medium they want to use, and plan the project.

    You may want students to create a formal work plan to structure their upcoming work, or they can do this planning more informally. They should identify the steps they will need to take and the resources they will need.

  7. Students create their alternative representations of the text.

    Depending on the desired scope of the activity, this step could take anywhere from a class period to a week or two. It may be completed all or partially at home.

  8. Students share their alternative representations with the larger class and provide feedback to each other about how the new representation affects their understanding of the original text.

    You will want to arrange this sharing-out step flexibly, to adapt to the media that students choose. For example, students could share online, in class, or by posting in the halls.

  9. Either alone or individually, in writing or in conversation, students reflect on their learning process.

    Students respond to questions including: · How did the process of re-creating this text affect your understanding of the text? How did it affect your interest in the text? · How did seeing your classmates’ representations affect your understanding of the text? How did it affect your interest in the text? · When might you choose to re-create a text again? Why might it be useful to you in the future?

Downloadable Resources 
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