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The Textmapping Project
A resource for teachers improving reading comprehension skills instruction
Classroom Teachers: We receive emails from teachers like you every day. They link to us from their classroom pages - like this from Share to Learn and this from Classroom 2.0. And they send us lots of comments as well. We love to hear from you! Here's how you can contact us.
London Metropolitan University: Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.
Georgia Department of Education: Framework for English Language Arts, Fifth Grade.
Teachers.net Gazette: Cheryl Sigmon's June 2008 column, and her May 2008 column on Differentiated Instruction.
Infinite Thinking Machine: first segment, first episode!
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: in Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide for Differentiating Curriculum, Grades 9-12, by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Cindy A. Strickland.
Rossella Grenci: in Le aquile sono nate per volare, published by Edizioni La Meridiana.
Creative Commons: Featured Content of the Week, 8/23/03
National Council of Teachers of English: Hot Topics Spotlight
University of North Carolina School of Education: lesson plan
State of Michigan: MiCLASS training program for middle school teachers
Syracuse University: Tutoring and Study Center
and many more...
Textmapping starts with a scroll. Scrolls are an ancient technology, but they offer clear advantages over books - advantages that are particularly useful in the context of classroom instruction. When you open a book, you can only see two facing pages at a time; when you roll out a scroll, you can see the entire text - the entire length of the scroll - all at once. Here's how it looks:
Open a book, and you see two facing pages...
...but unroll a scroll, and you see the entire text.
Scrolls give you a better handle on comprehension. They enable you and your students to see more information, such as the heading structure, illustrations, captions, key words, and other important pre-reading cues. On a scroll, all of this information is explicit - in the aggregate, in full context. In a book, this information can only be seen in pieces (two facing pages at a time) and must be assembled in the abstract from memory. Unlike books, scrolls enable you to visually comprehend the text as a whole; they make the notion of a whole text concrete and explicit; they set the scene for you to model - concretely and explicitly - the skills and strategies that are the foundation of comprehension.
Scrolls enable the eye to comprehend. The simple act of displaying a text in scroll-form reveals information which often otherwise goes unnoticed. This enriches discussion and understanding.
Unlike school-owned textbooks and library books, scrolls can be marked. Because you can mark them up, scrolls are an excellent medium for teaching and learning. Scrolls enable you to model the process of engaging a text - of actively pursuing meaning. It is not sufficient to describe this process. Students need to see it modeled concretely, explicitly, and repeatedly, on actual course content. Scrolls enable you to do this. Scrolls enable you to teach marking strategies directly on the texts that you are using in your classroom. This is an important advantage.
[Note: This sketch is just an illustration. Your scroll will be assembled from either standard-size or enlarged-size photocopied pages of an actual text, so the text will be real and the words will be readable.]
You can mark a scroll to suit specific instructional purposes - to introduce a new chapter, teach active reading and study skills, clarify a key point, highlight key vocabulary, or review assigned readings - and your students can mark their scrolls to suit specific reading goals, as well as to suit their individual learning needs and abilities.
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Copyright © 1994-2007 R. David Middlebrook