Belief Statement One:
Traditional literacy involves students learning the skills to acquire meaning from traditional texts. Traditional texts include those that are informational or fiction written with sentences or paragraphs. Students have specific goals in learning how to think about, fluently read, and comprehend traditional texts. If this takes place in a "reading block," then social studies is a content area where students transfer and reapply these skills in authentic ways. Teachers elevate the effective application of these skills in social studies but they also simultaneously focus on the content of social studies. The thinking that leads to understanding of social studies content is critical. View the image as a support for this belief.
Belief Statement Two:
We must use thinking routines that allow students to engage in "reading" nontraditional texts. Since "reading" nontraditional texts involves visual analysis, we must embrace the application of core critical thinking skills in more flexible ways and ask students to regularly apply them across the contents. View the following links for ideas related to thinking routines for analyzing nontraditional texts.
- See, Think, Wonder (from Making Thinking Visible)
- What do you see? What do you think about that? What does it make you wonder?
- Visual Thinking Strategy (from Visual Thinking Strategies)
- What’s going on in this picture? What makes you say that? What more can you find?
- The 4 W’s (from Edutopia and Todd Finley)
- Chalk Talk - a silent, written conversation among students (from Making Thinking Visible)
- Crop-It for Paintings and Photographs (from Gilder Lehrman)
- Analysis Tools for Various Sources (from the Library of Congress)
- NYTimes Weekly Visual Analysis - a weekly image from the NYTimes related to current news
We must use social studies as a content where students engage with all the types of sources that exist in our world. Students apply thinking and acquire content through the reading of multiple sources. This involves the transfer and reapplication of skills with traditional texts and the elevation of thinking routines with nontraditional texts.