Blog, Close Reading, Key Details, Text Analysis

Text Analysis Lesson

Lemme just tell you. This lesson is amazing for lots of reasons.

  1. It gets your kids up and moving. They want to move. Hence, fidget spinner mania.
  2. It gets your kids collaborating with one another.
  3. It forces your students to “out smart” one another, in the friendly spirit of academic excellence of course. (Duh.)
  4. It forces your students to reference the text and to squeeze every ounce of text goodness out that they can.
  5. This lesson can you be used with ANY. LESSON. and ANY. STANDARD. and A. MILLION. TIMES. A. YEAR. AND. YOUR. STUDENTS. WILL. LEARN. and LOVE. IT

Carousel Activity POST IMAGEI use carousel activities all of the time. I didn’t know it had this “name” of a “Carousel Activity” until I went to a PD one day and wah-lah! The presenter gave a name to something I’d been doing for a year and had no idea it was a thing. 

For this particular lesson, I really needed my students to do two things:

  1. Analyze a text. (This they did.)
  2. Show me where they were strongest and what skill they needed the most guidance with. (This gave me the data I needed; we needed to focus the next week’s mini lessons on mood and tone of the text.)

I had started a new unit, with nonfiction articles focusing on #goalgetters (ah-hem – People who do what needs to be done in an effort to change the mindset of otherwise “stuck-in-a-rut-not-gonna-change-unless-you-make-a-big-move” kinda people). I found these ah-mazing {FREE} articles from Education with an Apron, Read Like a Rockstar, and Mrs. Parker’s Professors that you just have to check out. The articles were #goalgetter focused and all about some #womanpower. Each article featured information about about the Hidden Figure heroines of NASA during the 1960’s. Whoa. Just. Read them.

hidden figures article

After my students analyzed all three texts, I wanted to compare and contrast two of the texts. But to do this, we had to identify certain elements of each text. We could have done this a few different ways but I opted for the carousel method.

I divided the students into 5 groups. I gave each group a different colored Mr. Sketch marker.

a pov 1

Each group had to work together to analyze the first text about Mary Jackson. Depending upon which group they were in, they group worked together to come up with the most intelligent answer for the skill they were finding in the text. They were to use text based evidence in their answer. Each group had 5 minutes to come up with an answer.

summary rotation

Then, the carousel activity began.

I told the students they were to take their marker with them and as they rotated around the room, they were to go to a different skill, and either make the answer the group before them wrote “more intelligent” by adding or taking away part of their answer. Or, they could write another answer underneath in their marker color.

Either way, the goal is to find or infer the correct answer and use text based evidence to support their answer.

authors pov rotation

mood tone rotationThe students made their way to each of the 5 skills. At the end of the carousel, I had each group go back to their original skill and read aloud the final answer.

The students learned that 26 heads are better than 1, or even 5. And that collaboration is the key to success. The most important collaborator? The text. 

I’ll be sharing many more ways that I use carousel lessons in my classroom.

Want to try a text analysis carousel with your kiddos? Download this {freebie} for 11×17 paper, print them out, and you’re ready to go!

{Click on the image to download}


freebie image

Have you ever used a carousel activity in your classroom? I’d love to hear more about it!

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