This is a reading comprehension task that is used as one of the AVID WICOR strategies. As I used this in my classroom – I created the following chart to help my students record the words that they chose as their important words.
After reading a particular piece of text (could be used in science, social studies, reading, etc.) – each student goes through the text selecting ten words that they believe are the most important words from that text. It is possible for students to select a word phrase (such as Manifest Destiny, Statue of Liberty, etc.) if the words cannot be separated. They record this list in the first column. This helps students deepen their understanding and checks their comprehension of what they read.
Next, students will get with a partner and compare their lists. Together they will narrow their lists to “their” top ten. They both record this exact same list in the middle column.
Next, students will get together with a group of students (three, four, or five) and this small group will now take their partner list and narrow that down to a group list that all members will record in the third column.
Finally, if time allows, the teacher will create one class list based on the lists from the groups. The incredible part about this collaborative and engaging activity is that your students will read, reread, and defend their answers with text support. It becomes a powerful discussion and possible debate that will allow for a level of comprehension from your students that you may not regularly get from them. It is a student-centered learning structure that all students will enjoy and so will you!
*** The previews show the description of how I used this chart in my classroom. The second preview is a portion of the chart. The second page with the chart is designed to be copied and then cut in half so each student has a half sheet of paper. I often made a stack of these because it was a strategy that my students asked to do often! ***