Teachers had the opportunity to hear speakers share annotating lessons at NCTE 2012 in Las Vegas. I sat in on one such roundtable session during High School Matters.
With implementation of CCSS in 2014, annotating is experiencing somewhat of a revival as a preferred close reading methodology.
For all the ideas from professionals, including Tom Newkirk's superb discussion of annotating in The Art of Slow Reading, which I reviewed in an earlier post, it's one of my student's method of annotating a recent assignment that inspired this post.
The assignment, which is part of a longer unit: text-code and annotate the poem you selected from the Poetry Out Loud website.
Here's a picture of Treyton's annotation, which he has graciously permitted me to use:
The poem "Dreamers" by Siegfried Sassoon that Treyton chose to annotate is in the center of the page. I like that Treyton added both commentary and images to his annotation. The speech bubble connected to the image of a soldier with a gun seems particularly relevant to the line "Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives." Treyton offers a comment on the line and its relationship to the imagery.
I asked Treyton how he decided to use pictures in his annotation. His response: "You told us to look for images." Isn't it interesting to consider the ways students interpret directions? When I gave the assignment, I also included my usual instructions about annotating and text coding:
- Ask questions in the margin.
- Make connections to other texts, etc.
- Summarize and paraphrase and rewrite lines in your own words.
- Use text coding as a form of shorthand:
- Box or circle new words.
- ! for ideas that excite you or that are new to you.
- * for ideas you find interesting or important.
- ? when you have a question about something.
- ??? when you are confused.
- X when you disagree with something.