Written Feedback to Support Students' Higher Level Thinking About Texts in Writing

Published in: The Reading Teacher, Volume 71, Issue 1 (July/August 2017), Pages 101-107. doi: 10.1002/trtr.1584

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2017

by Elaine Lin Wang, Lindsay Clare Matsumura, Richard Correnti

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Supporting upper elementary students' higher level (i.e., analytic) thinking about texts in writing is a challenge for many teachers, in large part because what it means to analyze text is not well defined and because this skill is a relatively new expectation in elementary grades. In this article, the authors clarify the goal of three common types of writing assignments that guide students to apply higher level thinking: analysis of literary elements, comparing and contrasting, and interpreting theme. The authors identify some common ways that students' responses can fall short of the intended thinking demands and offer suggestions for written feedback that teachers can give to get students back on track.

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