Helping students to improve their understanding of texts through analytical reading.

by Monica Washington

Grades 9-12

In these videos, you see students using the three-column worksheet to analyze a text. This worksheet helps students read beneath the words and serves as the organizing principle for individual, small group, and full class discussion.

Strategies for Persuasive Arguments

In this video, I ask students to read Benjamin Banneker’s letter to Thomas Jefferson and pull out the strategies that the author uses to persuade Jefferson to support the end of slavery.

Reading Beneath the Words

In this video, you’ll see students using the three column technique. The first column lists the strategies; the second column is used to validate the strategy by identifying it in the text; and in the third column, students describe how the strategy is used to best effect. Then we discuss as a group.

Writing Beneath the Words

In this video, I ask individual students to write in their own words, the meaning of what Banneker is saying to Jefferson. Then, I divide the class into three groups and assign each group the beginning, middle, or end of the essay. Finally, we read the final, class-authored essay aloud.