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Concept of Reading, Encode, Annotate and Ponder (REAP) Technique

Concept of Reading, Encode, Annotate and Ponder (REAP) Technique

1.      Definition of Reading, Encode, Annotate and Ponder (REAP) Technique

According to Eanet and manzo (1976: 647-652) REAP is a strategy for helping readers read and understand a text. Allen. J (2004) REAP is an acronym for Reading, Encode, Annotate and Ponder. As students go back to the text for each stage of REAP they will consider the text from a different vantage.  Each stage asks the student to analyze the text at a higher level to increase and deepen comprehension.

Manzo (1975) REAP is designed to improve thinking, the underlying musculature for active reading and meaningful writing. The idea for this reader-writer exchange system was proposed some time ago as a means of improving and supporting a national content area reading and writing project essentially for urban schools.

2.      The Teaching Procedure of REAP technique

Eanet and manzo (1976: 647-652) point out the the Reading, Encode, Annotate and Ponder (REAP) Technique as follows

a.    The purpose of REAP

REAP develops independent reading skills by encouraging the reader to put the information of the passage into his/her own words, both orally and in written form. It can be employed as a study technique, thereby assisting long term memory. REAP primarily is a cognitive-enrichment approach that teaches students to think more precisely and deeply about what they read.

b.     With whom can it be used?

REAP is an effective strategy for students in grades four through high school.  Because it is a multisensory approach to learning its effectiveness is enhanced.  It is particularly beneficial for students with learning problems because it encompasses analysis and synthesis.

c.    The teaching procedures should be used with REAP

1)      READ to get the writer’s basic message;

2)      ENCODE the message into your own words while reading;

3)      ANNOTATE your analysis of the message by writing responses from several perspectives or writing the message for yourself or sharing it

4)      PONDER what you have read and written—first by reviewing it yourself, then by sharing and discussing it with others, and finally by reading and discussing

The teacher should begin with easy reading materials. Students will require practice in determining the message or main idea. Several examples should be examined and critiqued.  The teacher could model the process by thinking out loud. Students will find it useful to share annotations in pairs or small groups for evaluation, clarification and further development.

d.   The types of settings should REAP be used

REAP can be used independently, as a study technique. It is also suited for group work where research can be pondered and discussed. In co-operative learning situations, REAP would be a useful tool.

e.    The extent has research shown REAP to be useful

Research has shown REAP to be highly successful and useful. Eanet and Manzo (1976) praise REAP as a strategy which will ensure meaningful reading and encourage concise writing and thinking. REAP is also a technique for imprinting information in long term memory

In addition Robb, L. (2003) defines Procedure of REAP in four steps there are:

a.    R- read on your own.

In the Reading stage, the students read to figure out the writer’s message while taking note of the title and author

b.    E- encode the text by putting the gist of what you read in your own words.

As students move into Encoding, the students must take what they have read and place it into their own words. This allows the students to internalize the content of the reading while thinking about representing the main ideas, message in the author’s and their own words

c.    A- Annotate the text by writing down the main ideas and the author’s message.

Once in the Annotate stage, students look at the main ideas and the author’s message by writing a statement that summarizes the important points. Annotations are brief summaries of a text that explain and or critique the text. Annotates can be done by writing the message in notes or in a journal form. In this stage, the student should look at important words and quotes of the text

d.   P-ponder what you read by thinking and talking with others in order to make personal connections, develop questions about the topic, and/or connect this reading to other reading you have done.

The use of this strategy will cause the students to revisit the text during each stage of the REAP process. Once students move to the Ponder stage of this activity, they must connect with the text at a higher level through analysis and synthesis of the reading like making connections through examples. This requires us to know our students so that the examples we use actually do connect. Furthermore, when we use examples in the ponder stage it helps to clarify content for the students and models for students the process of supporting their claims and opinions with examples, explanations and evidence.


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