The English Classroom

A GUIDE TO IMPROVING STUDENT LITERACY

The Situation

You want your students to categorise information, cooperatively.

The Solution

Organising and categorising information is a classically higher-order thinking task. Sometimes, in English, you will need students to organise information in groups, such as when they are considering the types of characterisation in a narrative (Appearance, behaviours, speech). There are a number of ways that you can complete a task like this, but a Jot Thoughts activity is very straightforward and something a little different for students to complete.

Here are the instructions for Jot Thoughts:

  1. Teacher selects the topic.
  2. Students say their ideas before writing them on a piece of paper.
  3. They place each slip in the middle of the table.

Now, Jot Thought is a great activity but creates a notorious waste of paper. When choosing the Jot Thoughts strategy, be mindful of why you have chosen to the activity. What is your outcome? If you want to review the ideas, categorise them into groups and subgroups, than it might be a wise investment. If not, you may like to a different cooperative strategy.

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