- Students are more aware of their thinking processes and can direct them to understand claims in texts
- Students distinguish between claims of fact, value, and policy as laid out in Section 2.2: Types of Claims to Look out for
- Students distinguish between what they understand the text to say and what reactions and questions come up in their own minds in response.
Background on the Approach
This lesson plan emphasizes a reading log, a metacognitive routine that can be applied to other chapters and texts. A reading log is a core metacognitive Reading Apprenticeship. It has the following benefits:
- Provides practice putting names to cognitive activities that help students build comprehension and think critically.
- Encourages students to notice and say when they are confused and use each other as resources to build meaning and problem solve the claims evaluation process.
Connection to Equity Pedagogy
Engaging students in strategic metacognitive conversations, thinking about and talking together about how to become increasingly strategic in directing higher-order thinking, is a core equity pedagogy strategy. This rigorous and scaffolded approach builds student capacity in critical thinking and complex academic literacy. Metacognitive conversations are culturally responsive in that they are supportive, empowering and they engage all four areas of classroom life (described in Reading Apprenticeship as the personal, social, cognitive, and knowledge building dimensions). For more on equity and this book's approach, see How Arguments Work and Equity-Centered Pedagogy.
- Have students read Section 2.2: Types of Claims to Look out for and Section 2.3: Making Notes on the Writer's Claims on their own or (listen to the audio versions by clicking the play button at the top of each page).
- Ask them to also read a sample argument of your choice, perhaps from the Suggested Short Readings.
- Model identifying types of claims and logging your own reactions by sharing a *sample reading log.
Model for the students how you, as an expert reader, would read the text, focusing on evaluating the claims (using the terminology in Chapter 2.2 - claims of policy, claims of fact and claims of value).
Be authentic. Share the contents of your thinking in a spontaneous way. Describe what and why you are using particular thinking strategies. Do not turn your model into a lecture in disguise! The goal is to authentically model the thinking processes you use to evaluate claims and build comprehension of texts.
- Give students the opportunity to practice on their own and share their notes in pairs
In a synchronous in-person course, students can pair up and sit together. In an online synchronous course, pairs can work in breakout rooms. In an asynchronous online course, ask students to share their note document with a partner and comment on their partner's notes.
- Whole class discussion of student observations both about the text's claims and about the active reading process
Lead a whole group metacognitive conversation - a discussion about the notetaking experience and what kinds of thinking and evaluation strategies it revealed. Focus not only on the text (evaluating the types of claims) but also on the thinking/problem solving processes of the students.
Express to your students your own faith that their metacognitive conversations will build and become richer with time as will their capacity to understand and evaluate claims in texts.
Additional Resources on reading logs in college classrooms
- General information on the WestEd Reading Apprenticeship framework and downloadable Reading Apprenticeship Teacher Resources.
- The book Reading for Understanding: How Reading Apprenticeship Improves Disciplinary Learning in Secondary and College Classrooms, 2nd Edition describes Think Aloud and other core Reading Apprenticeship metacognitive routines for college readers.
- A lesson plan for Talking to the Text from Leading for Literacy: A Reading Apprenticeship Approach.
Original content by Sarah Sullivan, licensed CC BY-NC 4.0.