Fifty research-based literacy strategies designed for busy K-8 classroom teachersOrganized around 10 key areas for teaching and learning literacy—phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, story comprehension, comprehension of informational text, questioning for understanding, discussion for understanding, narrative writing, and writing to learn-Promoting Literacy Development offers 50 clearly written, step-by-step strategies for developing proficient readers and writers. The authors also include suggestions for differentiating instruction for English language learners and for students with special needs.
Strategy 45: Thinking Boxes
Speaking Briefly: An Overview of the Literacy Strategy
Thinking Boxes uses visual imagery to generate ideas and to jump-start the writing process. Today's students are visual learners, as they have grown up playing video games and surfing the net (Leu et al., 2005). This instructional strategy harnesses their strength in focusing on photographs or paintings and illustrates how to use the images to compose.
The purpose of the Thinking Boxes strategy is to integrate visual literacy with writing instruction. As students are taught how to “read a photo or picture,” they develop the skills to navigate the digital world. It also facilitates the writing process as students use a common document to brainstorm ideas for plots, characters, and settings.