How to Teach Annotation

Have you ever wanted to unlock the secret sauce to reading comprehension? Of course, you have! Teaching reading in upper elementary is challenging. Providing students with an essential skill to rinse and repeat with every text they read sounds dreamy, right?! Annotation is the key to understanding texts beyond just the words. Honestly, annotation goes far beyond just highlighting and underlining. When reading teachers know how to teach annotation correctly, it becomes a pathway to deeper understanding for students. Let’s dive into how to teach annotation in upper elementary!

How to Teach Annotation in Upper Elementary

Annotating With a Close Reading Model

Annotating is not necessary for everything students read. However, with many important reads, complex texts, or lengthy passages, annotating comes in handy. For students to put genuine effort into annotation, they must truly understand the purpose and benefits of annotating a text. 

Explaining this is simple when you use a close reading model. A close reading model includes three readings of the text, with a specific purpose for each reading. Ensuring the students understand the purpose of each read gives students a task to focus on as they read. Specifically, the three reads target main idea and key details, craft and structure, and integration of knowledge. Thankfully, the Close Reading Passages Bundle has everything you need to walk students through the entire close reading process. 

Studying the text in specific areas is exceptionally beneficial for the student. A few benefits are making deeper connections with the text, thinking critically, slowing down to comprehend, and so much more. Honestly, teaching annotation in upper elementary covers many essential skills to help students become stronger readers.

How to Teach Annotation During the First Reading

The purpose of the first reading is to determine what the text says. Have the students read the text independently and focus on pinpointing the main idea and key details as they read. 

Annotating can be difficult when students first begin the process. However, using an annotating guide can make the process simple. Annotating guides show students what they should be looking for in the text and suggest an annotation mark or symbol they should use to mark their text. Specifically, students will mark unknown words, questions they may have, key details, and more. 

As students become better at annotating, they will create their own version that best suits how they learn. Ultimately, annotating independently is the main goal of teaching students how to annotate.

How to Teach Annotation with Christmas Reading Comprehension Passages

How to Teach Annotation During the Second Reading

During the second reading, students should focus on the craft and structure of the text. This reading can be done with a partner, silently, or even as a teacher read-aloud. Encourage students to pay close attention to how the text says it instead of what the text says. 

Using their annotation marks, students can focus on marking unknown words or phrases. Marking unknown words will help students discover new vocabulary. These new words can lead to a deeper understanding of the text, text structure, and the author’s point of view. Luckily, the Close Reading Passages Bundle on how to teach annotation includes vocabulary questions for each of the five passages. Not only will students identify the meaning of words, but they will use text evidence to support their understanding. 

Close Reading for Upper Elementary

How to Teach Annotation During the Third Reading

As students complete the first two readings, their confidence in annotating will grow. They will feel a deeper connection with the text with each read as they comprehend more. Ultimately, the third reading is all about digging deeper to determine the text’s meaning. While students are reading, ask them to explore how the text connects to their own thoughts, feelings, or experiences. Above all, the third step of teaching annotation is crucial for students to integrate their knowledge with the text. Luckily, you can grab a free annotating guide and bookmarks below!

Close Reading for Upper Elementary

Tying it All Together 

Writing is a fantastic way to end the close reading process! Including a write and respond prompt at the end will help truly showcase learning. Students will be eager to write about the fun new knowledge they gain from each text they have read and analyzed. Using specific details from the passage, their annotations, and the activities they complete, students will love tying it all together through written comprehension!

Honestly, once students learn the close reading model and teachers understand how to teach annotation, reading comprehension will skyrocket! Students will begin to dig deeper into each passage they read rather than just skimming through it. Annotation gives struggling readers a process to guide them through each text. 

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How to Teach Annotation in Upper Elementary

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