Getting a handle on how much our readers are "really getting" from their independent reading books can be tricky. Thankfully, having students use Post It notes to track their thinking while they read gives us valuable insight.
Even better, all those Post Its are great seeds of ideas that our readers can grow into a beautiful blossom of a BIG idea that they can really write long about. Once students have invested time and Post It notes into their book, they are ready to look across their Post Its and try to identify some "BIG IDEAS" they are having about their reading. And that long write gives you a great handle on what it is that students are bring to--and taking from--their reading.
This ready-to-print handout gives students an explanation of what a Long Write is, step-by-step instructions, and sample ideas and thesis statements to get them well on their way.
For my long write model on the use of repetition in LORD OF THE FLIES, please check out that document, too!