Analyze This! rBook Text-Dependent Analysis Questions

"80 - 90% of [the Common Core] Reading Standards require text-dependent analysis…” (JBoyle).   But what is an analysis?  Before student can independently analyze a text, it is essential that they understand what an analysis of text involves.  The READ 180 rBook gives students many opportunities for mini analysis tasks and is a great place to begin.


Starting with Workshop 1, students are asked to read critically and analyze the text, but first they need to understand what it means to analyze.  This can be a difficult concept for students to understand.  

In the Best Practices Tab of the rBook Teacher Edition (Page T152 in Stage C) there are some great teaching tips and a list of additional READ 180 resources that focus on analysis and allow teachers to differentiate as needed.  (The page number may differ in the other versions of the rBook.)

For additional tips and ideas, check out my previous blog: "Teaching Academic Vocabulary" where “Analyze” is the star of the show.  


In addition to the Small Group "Critical Reading: Analyze" teaching notes in your rBook Teacher Edition, I find that students appreciate having a model response to refer back to. I don't use the same prompt, but choose one that is close.


In the Stage C Workshop 1: "Beyond Brave," the first Critical Reading: Analyze prompt asks students to identify actions Bethany took that may have helped to save her life, analyze one action, and explain how it helped to save her life.


For a model response, I change up the prompt, but keep the basic instructions the same. For this task, I identify actions that Holt took that may have helped to save Bethany's life using highlighting. Then select one action to explain how Holt’s action helped save Bethany's life, starting with a sentence starter prompt to introduce the textual evidence being analyzed.


Examining Holt’s actions leads me to believe that Holt saved Bethany’s life when he "used a surfboard leash... to stop Bethany's bleeding" (13). It was important to stop or slow the flow of blood from Bethany's wound where the shark had torn her arm off. If Holt had not tied the cord around her arm, it is quite likely she would have bled out before the ambulance arrived.


Students can work individually or with a partner to  identify four actions Bethany took that may have helped to save her life.  The rBook asks students to check them, but I find that highlighting the four actions makes them easier to work with. Then, students select one action to write about and discuss why it helped to save Bethany's life.

  • Sometimes, students need help getting started and referring them back to the model response will help.
  • Giving students a sentence starter frame or choice of frames such as the one on page 13 in the TE, or other ways to introduce textual evidence will also help.


In the Stage C Workshop 1: "Homeboy to the Rescue," the second Critical Reading: Analyze prompt asks students to analyze how living in a rough neighborhood increases a teens risk of getting involved in gangs using Tonys experiences.


For this model, I use Carlos' experiences, first highlighting anything related to Carlos’ home environment and neighborhood in the ITS rBook.


Based on what I read about Carlos’ environment, growing up in a house with his father "struggling to get off drugs" led Carlos to run away from home. At 12 years old, Carlos was on his own.  He lived on the streets of his rough, crime-laden, gang-infested neighborhood, eventually ended up in a gang, perhaps for protection, shelter, and food.


For the student's response to the analysis task, they mark-up the text, highlighting text that specifically addresses how living in his neighborhood directly affected Tony.

  • Remind students to refer to the model if they are confused or unsure how to proceed.
  • Give students a couple of possible sentence starters such as: 
    Based on what I read about ...
    In the article, "Homeboy to the Rescue,"...


Ever since attending a Kelly Gallagher Writing Workshop I have modeled the writing tasks as a way to show students that:

  1. Good writing is not easy for anyone,
  2. Good writing is not a "one and done,"
  3. Good writing uses the writing process.
  4. I usually will write in class, using a web-based application such as Google Docs or Pirate Pad, both which project wirelessly what I am writing up on my SmartBoard as I am writing from the podium.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a workshop by Gallagher, I know you will find it useful and inspiring. He has several books: Readicide, Write Like This, and more, which have influenced my teaching.

    Do you use any special techniques to help your students master using and incorporating textual evidence into their writing? I'd love to hear what works for you. Please share in the comments below.
Stage C READ 180 Educator

January 1, 2014

It has been a while since I have updated my profile, so long that I had to search to find the edit button! I continue to teach three READ 180 classes this school year, which I absolutely love, after one-year of teaching 2 READ 180/English 1 blocks and one ICS English 1. The 2013-2014 school year is my 7th year teaching READ 180/English 1, and my 20th year as a SPED teacher.  

Oakcrest High School is one of three regional high schools in southern South Jersey. At Oakcrest, I teach a combined RC English 1/READ 180 90 minute course (10 credits) to freshmen special education students whose skills range from being on grade level to 5 or 6 years behind grade level. My district mainly uses the READ 180 curriculum for SPED freshmen who are not ready for the gen ed curriculum, either because of learning or moderate behavioral disabilities. About half of my students move from the RC placement to an ICS placement for English in their sophomore year.

I have enjoyed writing the Stage C READ 180 Blog for the past two years, sharing my classroom with the READ 180 Community Members. Check out all my blogs HERE. In my blog, I try to respond to questions I see in the Community Message Boards, as well as questions from READ 180 Teachers, and things I have tried and found successful in my own READ 180 classrooms. In my blog, I also try to focus on the Common Core and Next Generation Assessment skills our students will need, sharing tips and enhancements I have made in my classes to help prepare my SPED students. Last summer, I was also invited to serve on the Scholastic READ 180 Advisory Board in NYC, and learned about some of the amazing things Scholastic is implementing to help introduce our students to the Common Core and Next Gen. Assessments, which were the topic of my December 2013 blog: Stretch 2 Supports Common Core Reading & Writing.

During the last READ 180 National Summer Institute in New Orleans during July 2012, I presented one of my class best practices to many of the READ 180 teachedrs attending the conference. You can find information and resources from that presentation in my blog HERE. The folder system outlined my "Success" Blog is easy to set up and easy for students to use and teachers to implement.

CryUnfortunately, I will be unable to attend the upcoming 2014 NSI in Florida as the new dates conflict with my annual family vacation in Duck, NC. Cry

Besides the enhanced focus on the Common Core, this year my students have been blogging about their books with two other READ 180 classes. Students have enjoyed blogging and, although we had to take a break the last few weeks, they are looking forward to picking it back up and restart their blogging this month.

  • Your blog is always filled with so much important information! We are on this selection right now! Thank you!

    Thanks, Andrea!