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“Writing to Learn” Can Be Sketchy by Paula Bourque

For many of us in our content area classrooms, we are encouraging more writing to learn.  We want our students to research and explore topics and concepts through writing.  I truly believe writing not only reflects our thinking, but it can shape our thinking as well.  As we choose the words we will put to paper we can often discover new threads of thought, more questions to explore, ideas we hadn’t emphasized before.  Sometimes the piece we started writing bears little resemblance to our final product.

 However we all know students in our classrooms who tend to copy down information verbatim, without analysis or interpretation.  They struggle to rephrase the words to avoid plagiarism rather than to reframe it into their own thoughts. They have difficulty determining importance and visualizing the information they are reading or researching. We need to find ways to help these students connect with what they are reading in order to learn more effectively. One approach may be a different kind of writing to learn…sketchnotes. Read more