Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Smith / Willett 2nd Grade Sentence-Phrase-Word Thinking Routine

Smith / Willett        2nd Grade
Thinking Routine:   Sentence-Phrase-Word
Connect:  “Sentence-Phrase-Word,” is a routine that is text based and used for capturing the essence of the reading as well as identifying themes.  Kids were deeply engrossed in their Non-Fiction research projects and were reading a ton of NF informative articles based on a topic of interest chosen individually.  The kids were in the technical aspect of learning and were digging through information they could use to help them answer their essential questions for their project.  Having a ton of information at the forefront of the mind for weeks upon weeks, I decided to try to mix things up a bit by using the Sentence-Phrase-Word thinking routine.  I thought it would really define the core information each child was gaining from their research.  It was a great synthesis idea as well as evaluative for me as an educator.
What I did:
Kids were given about a week to investigate NF text articles based on a specific topic of interest.  They spent time reading, evaluating, and coding tracks of their thinking on sticky notes inside the articles.  They shared some of their learnings and discoveries with peers in the class throughout the week.  Then, I had the kids come together as a group and asked them to draw a picture of something that really excites them about their topic. After the drawings were completed, students were asked to identify:   a sentence that is meaningful to them or captures the heart of the reading; a phrase that spoke to them in some way; or a word that captured their attention or was powerful in some way or that connects the picture to the writing and the readings done prior.  The power of this routine is in the justification, either through writing or discussion, about why the children chose the way they did.  Kids placed the sticky notes on the back of their drawing and shared their thoughts with kids at their working tables.  Kids described their pictures and why they chose the details in their drawings as well as shared their S-P-W.  It was a very insightful thinking activity that allowed me as an educator to evaluate how the NF research was going for the kids and which kids might need some extra instruction.  I could also collaborate with my partner teacher to have the kids practice this same routine in the weekly Scholastic News in Science and Social Studies.

Student's word choice

Student's thoughts on why he chose his drawing and why he connected his word / phrase.


After the initial activity with the S-P-W, I thought it would be a great idea to have the kids do another drawing at the end of the NF research project to see how their thinking might have changed.  The kids worked on their drawings with the instruction of “Show your thoughts through careful picture choices and details in order to connect with your new S-P-W.  I decided to use both pictures and writings as the front and back covers to the kids’ projects.  Interestingly enough, most of the kids showed dramatically deeper level thinking when it came to the pictures and thoughts.  Kids skills increased and their meaningful connections were extremely strong the 2nd time around.

I think this routine was a creative way to include art and thought into one activity.  Students struggled at first with the thought behind their choices, but over time they began to use words like:  "When I read this part I was worried..." or "This word excites me because..." or "This phrase makes me think... or What I learned most was… or Something important about my research was…"  I plan on considering using this routine to deepen comprehension for read alouds, content area reading, as well as fiction and even poetry.
I added another spin on this activity using leaf art created by the students and had them include the S-P-W on the front of the art to help connect to this routine on a higher level with a lot of choice words instead of just one. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great way to incorporate art into the classroom alongside a thinking routine. You're so creative! I have to agree with you. The conversations that are sparked by sharing sentences, words, and phrases are so interesting. Initially my students thought it was weird that they might have the same word, phrase, or sentence as someone else, but after sharing they realized everyone explanation was different. I too, want to use this routine more in the classroom to support comprehension. I was thinking of playing around with it in the student book clubs since it 'sparks' conversation. Thanks!