Yesterday, teacher Meghan Everette wrote an excellent post on Scholastic about her school’s version of this kind of scaffold, which they call “RACE” (Restate, Answer, Cite the Source, Explain/Examples). In her post, Responding to Text: How to Get Great Written Answers, she shares helpful examples.
I’m going to have students read it (after first making sure the understand what the word “entrepreneur” means) and then have them respond to this writing prompt:
What does Adam Grant say about failure? Do you agree with him? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your readings.
I just learned another today from his email newsletter:
Last fall, a Wharton student named Lauren McCann came to me with a wonderful idea: what if seniors wrote letters to freshmen about what they wish they had known earlier in college? She took the initiative to make it happen—the website had over 10,000 hits in the first 24 hours alone, and other schools are now adopting it. Join me in congratulating her, and feel free to check out the letters here.
He’s talking about college seniors and freshmen, but the idea could easily be applied to high school.
I have students at the end of the school year write letters to students who are taking my classes next year, and I’ve had my Theory of Knowledge students write about how they’ve handled self-control issues so that other students could read them. However, with the proper scaffolds, something like what they’re doing at Adam’s school could be used to great effect in a school like ours.
I’ll certainly be talking to our teachers about it.
Storium is a free collaborative storytelling platform that has just opened itself up to the general public, and which I learned about from my colleague AJ Sisneros.
Unlike most other tools on The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling list, Storium lets you choose who you want to write with, which obviously works best for teachers and students. However, it seems that many of the free “worlds” you can use in the stories can only have a limited number of writers (you have to pay to increase the numbers).
The video below explains it more in detail. It’s probably too complicated for English Language Learners, but I think it could have potential for other classes.