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WritingFix Project: Non-Linguistic Representations Across the Curriculum
thinking deeply about any topic in representative form so that you can write about it

Here we grow again! Welcome to this new page that we began developing in December of 2008. We already have materials featured below, but we are expecting many more to be posted during the 2009-2010 school year.

How is this new webpage being built? Throughout 2009 and 2010, the Northern Nevada Writing Project is encouraging all its inservice instructors to design non-linguistic representation activities in their current workshops. We've encouraged our teachers to photograph the NL-representations done by their participants so that we can post them here. This project is inspired by the book Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Robert Marzano, which list NL-representations as one of the nine most effective strategies in helping your students think deeper about any content. When learners must process information using a NL-representation, they are immediately pushed to the upper half of Bloom's Taxonomy. Our intention in posting our learners' NL-representations here is to show you the wide variety of topics that can be processed in this way, and to encourage you to adapt our activities into ones that would work with your learners.

More on Marzano at WritingFix. If you value the research of Robert Marzano, like we do, especially his research on the nine most effective strategies to help students think deeper about content, then you'll be pleased to know that we have resource pages here at WritingFix dedicated to three of the other nine strategies: Compare & Contrast Thinking, Summarizing, and Note-taking.

Want a free copy of the NNWP's (now out of print) Writing Across the Curriculum Guide? If you have your students do a non-linguistic representation in any of the content areas (especially math, science, language arts, and history), and if you can send us a brief explanation of your assignment along with photos of several of your students' examples, we'll send you a free guide, if we publish it here. Contact us soon at webmaster@writingfix.com! All the copies of our WAC Guide are almost gone!

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Non-Linguistic Representations for Teaching Writing

Non-Linguistic Rep Ideas for all other Conent

NL-Reps of the 6 Writing Traits:

One activity we do at our NNWP 6-Trait inservice classes is to have teacher participants make non-linguistic representations representing each trait. No words. Just symbols and pictures. To fuel their thinking, we give the participants a copy of of our "Building with 6 Traits" metaphor and poster set. Each class member is assigned one trait, and they work in a group to create a non-linguistic "web" of the trait they've all been assigned.

We encourage the teacher participants to adapt this activity for their own classrooms. We have them discuss the adaptive ideas they come up with.

Below are examples of non-linguistic representation "webs" created by teachers at our inservice classes. If you click on each picture, you can view/print it in larger form.

Top row: Idea Development, Organization
Middle row: Voice, Word Choice
Bottom row: Sentence Fluency, and Conventions


NL-Reps of the Writing Genres:

One activity we do at our NNWP Teaching Narrative & Memoir Inservice is to have teacher participants make non-linguistic representations representing the narrative genre. To do this, we put them in small groups, and we secretly assign each group not only narrative but also one of the other genres of writing (poetry, expository, informative, persuasive, creative, communication, etc.) Participant must actually create two NL-Reps--one for narrative and one for their other genre for their poster. Once all the posters are created, groups move around, looking at the other posters, trying to a) determine which of the two NL-Reps on each poster is the narrative genre and b) what genre the other NL-Rep is representing.

We encourage the teacher participants to adapt this activity for their own classrooms. We have them discuss the adaptive ideas they come up with.

Below are examples of non-linguistic representation posters made by some of our class participants. Remember, one of the pictures is narrative...and the other picture is a different writing genre (poetry, expository, informative, persuasive, creative, communication, etc.) . Can you determine which is narrrative, and can you tell what the other genre is? Can you see how NL-Reps make great discussion tools that demonstrate deeper level thinking?

The NL-Rep Exit Ticket:

WritingFix also hosts a page of free-to-use resources on using Exit Tickets as a formative assessment technique. If you haven't checked out that page, click here to do so.

As part of his Exit Tickets Across the Curriculum Workshop, Corbett Harrison (WritingFix webmaster) created this new variation of an Exit Ticket that has become very popular in Northern Nevada. Robert Marzano's research (from Classroom Instruction that Works) discusses the importance of using more non-linguistic representations with students as a way to deepen their thinking, and Corbett's Non-Linguistic Exit Tickets require students to respond to an Exit Ticket question with two sentences and three non-linguistic representations.

Click here to open/print Corbett's handout on Non-Linguistic Exit Tickets.


This space is where we will be featuring interesting uses of NL-Reps sent to us by WritingFix users. If you have your students do a non-linguistic representation in any of the content areas (especially math, science, language arts, and history), and if you can send us a brief explanation of your assignment along with photos of several of your students' examples, we'll send you a classroom resource, if we publish it here. Contact us soon at webmaster@writingfix.com!

 

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Please, share the resources you find on these pages freely with fellow educators, but please leave any page citations on handouts intact, and please give authorship credit to the cited teachers who created these wonderful lessons and resources. Thanks in advance for honoring other educators' intellectual property.

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