Last February I blogged on building background knowledge using a really cool activity called Observe, Infer, and Question. In this activity, students looked at a visual and made observations. From the observations, they recorded inferences based upon their background knowledge, and then finally the asked questions based upon those observations and inferences. The entire process spanned over an entire class period.
Dr. Allen's strategy is this exact activity, but in the form of an exit slip and at the beginning of a lesson rather than the end. Here's how it works.
- As students walk in the door, give them their Admit Slip: 3-2-1 sheets or index cards (one per student).
- If you copied a sheet for your students, you can put the picture(s) and/or graphic(s) on it. For even easier implementation, project the image on the front screen so you don't have to make copies of it and just give your students index cards on which to write.
- Students first task is the 3. Write down three details about the image (observe).
- Their second task is the 2. Finish this sentence: I think . . . Then finish this sentence: I also .think . . . Both sentences should be based from the details they recorded in the first task (infer).
- Finally, the third task is to write one question based from the details they recorded and/or the inferences in the second (question).
Once students complete the Admit Slip, you can do a variety of different things with them. You can collect them to see how much background knowledge each student has on the topic if it's new. You can begin small group discussions with this information. You can have an entire class discussion. Students can share in small groups or with the entire class. They can also keep their admit slips in an interactive notebook (see my amazing colleague's blog on those right here) or someplace safe so that they can return at a later date to see how much their initial reactions have changed.
Whatever you decide, know that in all content areas, students see visuals and graphics, which means that every content area should be able to use something similar to this strategy. It would work especially well in geometry, science, and art where content is linked so heavily with visuals. Think of the possibilities! How could you use something simple like this? Share with us in the comments below.