Tuesday Tricks: Highlighting on Paper

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February 28, 2012 by k. liz

Hello everyone!

I wrote a post recently about highlighting in the classroom, how I thought I would never do it, and how I now use it several times a day.

I really enjoy the way that my students respond to highlighting, and how a simple gesture can turn their one-word answer into a sentence.

We recently studied zoo animals – it must have been our most enjoyable unit this year!! During our unit we set up a zoo on the windowsill and created books of the six animals that we were studying. Here is one of my students’ books (leave a comment if you would like a copy of the front page! I can scan and load it as a pdf if you’re interested.)


We used one page per animal, and I felt that this activity worked really well with my students. We drew a picture of the animal in the middle of the page. We then divided the page into four corners. The upper left hand corner was always what the animal eats (hence bananas below). The upper right corner was always where the animal lives (trees). The bottom two corners were for things that we had talked about and the students thought were interested.

Once we had started this project, I was still using highlighting to elicit the sentences, and I realized that I could accomplish the same thing by highlighting on the paper. So, you’ll notice below that there are dots in each corner. Clockwise from the upper left, the dots represent these sentences:
1. Monkeys eat bananas.
2. Monkeys live in trees.
3. Monkeys swing.
4. Monkeys have long tails.


This activity worked fairly well for my students, who are not yet reading. It gives them a book that hopefully they will be able to “read” to their parents, or at least remember the facts that we talked about in class and how to communicate them in a full sentence. I think that this kind of an activity could work with higher levels as well, when working on activities where they need to memorize, or need a prompt for a speech.

What activities do you use to get students to remember structures?


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