Thursday, June 5, 2014

My FAVORITE Strategy for Digging Deep into Text

Text Mapping! I happened to find this strategy while surfing the net. I was a bit skeptical at first, but decided to give it a try with my fourth graders. I'm so glad I did! It is fabulous and my students loved it! They also were very good at it! :) We did this several times during the year and my students were always excited to work on this skill.

The short version of text mapping is that students can have a deeper understanding of the text if they can see it all at once (as opposed to having to flip pages). This is great for the students who need to see the "whole" picture before they can understand the "parts".

I always write the focus questions on the board and we "UNRAAVEL" (this is another wonderful strategy I'll blog about a little later)  these questions as a class before they begin their group work. (Ignore my sloppy handwriting on the board :)  We were in a hurry due to end of the year activities and I usually display my standards in a more appropriate way as well. End of the year chaos and packing had already begun by the time I remembered to take pictures of this skill. :)

It is a little extra work for the teacher due to the fact you have to run off every page of text you plan to use and leave enough white space around the text for student to write.  You can see how the text is shrunk, copied and attached as a "scroll".

The students will then use markers and color coded key to mark specific text features. They do all of this BEFORE reading the text, but I encourage mine to discuss what they are marking and why with their group. They can even read the captions for the pictures or diagrams as they mark it. You can use any color-coded key of your choosing, but this is they one I did.

This is displayed on the Smart Board so students can use it as they work in their groups.

When they have finished marking each text feature, they will read the text as a group and work on the focus questions. (Sometimes they have already found an answer or the part of the text where the answer should be from their text-mapping). I also encourage them to write the question number down beside the part of the text they "think" might have the answer as they text map.

When they have finished text mapping, reading, and answering the focus questions we discuss the text as whole group. This is a sample of a finished text map.

For a more detailed explanation of  Text Mapping  go here.


  1. Hey Tamelia! I found your blog through TBTS and noticed I had also seen your name in the TpT forums. Nice to meet you! I love your new name, logo, and changes you have made!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

  2. Thank you Carol! I'm trying to streamline everything.. A bit of a slow process, but I'm getting there. LOL.. :)

  3. Hi Tamelia. Thanks for blogging about my work! -- (scrolls and textmapping). Here's a piece about scrolls that you might find interesting:

  4. May I use your photos on my site? You'd get a copyright, and a link back to this page. Let me know. Thanks!


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