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Written Conversation strategy

Written Conversation

Reading component  Comprehension
Related Standard(s) of Learning

Overview of the strategy
The Written Conversation (WC) strategy was developed by Bintz and Shelton to capitalize on
adolescents’ natural tendency to socialize. Students working in pairs have a silent conversation by “talking” on paper. Since the conversational process has been slowed down, the students will often “listen” to each other’s ideas more intensely than in spoken conversation.

Strategy procedure
1.  Select a text on the students’ independent reading level if the text is to be read by students, or at the instructional level if the text is to be read aloud by the teacher. Mark in the text the places to stop reading for Written Conversation.
2.  Assign partners, and distribute to each pair one Written Conversation Log (see sample below) and the marked text.
3.  Read aloud to the first stopping place, pause, and instruct the students write their conversation. Each student
should have at least two opportunities to write and respond. No talking is permitted.
4.  Resume reading aloud, or assign the students to share the reading either quietly between partners, or individually and silently. Instruct the students to pause at the next stopping place to do Written Conversation again.
5.  Continue until the whole text has been read and the Written Conversation has been shared.
6.  Lead a whole -class discussion of the insights gained by writing conversations during reading. How is this similar to spoken conversation? How is it different?
7.  Repeat with increasingly difficult text and different partners, as appropriate.

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