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Organizational Guide


ELA: Reading All Ages Strategy


Working Memory Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Organizational Guide

If you want your student to read more deliberately and ensure they do not miss key information

Instruction And Practice

  1. Objective: To support reading comprehension, provide an outline of assigned reading that includes an overview, key vocabulary, main ideas and details.
  2. Depending on the student's level and your teaching goals, you can provide a fully completed outline for the student. Alternatively, provide a skeleton outline and have the student fill in the details as he or she reads. (See next slide for items to include.)

What To Include In An Organizational Guide/outline:

  1. Overview: Provide necessary context to prepare students before they read. This can include what they should expect to learn or connections to previous lessons.
  2. Key Vocabulary: Highlight important terms you want the student to know. Should the student infer the definitions, look them up, or will you provide them? Give clear directions.
  3. Characters and Themes: Highlight key characters and themes you want the student to notice.
  4. Summary Level: Outline each paragraph, page, or chapter, depending on the goal and the student's reading level.
  5. Details: Highlight the main idea, key supporting details, quotes or characters you want to be sure the student understood.
  6. Format: Consider the format that is best for the reading and for the student's needs. You could provide or include a traditional outline, a mind map, a timeline, graphics, etc.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Providing an outline helps students identify the most important information and themes so they don't get lost in the details. The outline includes the information students should eventually be able to identify on their own, so scaffold the amount of information you provide versus what the student identifies.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Attention, Self-Regulation, Long-term Memory, Working Memory, Metacognition, Processing Speed (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)