Sunday, October 5, 2014

RAN (Reading and Analysing Non-Fiction)

Recently, two of my colleagues (Michael Ball and Gina Micomonaco) reminded me about The RAN Chart--Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction.  Based on the work by Tony Stead, a RAN chart is a great starting point for an inquiry classroom!

The categories are:

Prior Knowledge (What I think I know)
Confirmed (I was right about this)
Misconceptions (What I couldn't prove)
Wonderings (Questions I still have)
New Learning (What I did not know)

Here is one they created for a Junior class:

What I love about the RAN strategy is that it encourages kids to delve further into a text and test out their theories.  It also encourages "wondering."

"Wisdom begins in wondering." --Socrates

I do like the idea of using post-it notes as students can move them flexibly from one column to the next, but you could easily create a Google Slide (one for each category) which students could use with the same flexibility.  I would show older kids how to use "revision history" in Google Slides to track their progress.

The real power of this strategy, to me, comes at the end of the process, where students track what they have learned about the topic.  The RAN chart and post-it notes become key artifacts of their learning.  Students could take pictures of the post-it-notes that they had created, and combine then images or key quotations from the text.  Students speak to what they were thinking at the beginning, how that thinking changed, and what they learned about the topic.

Students can use tools like Explain Everything, iMovie, Keynote/Google Slides/Powerpoint, Prezi, or Adobe Voice to present findings.

Like any graphic organizer, it is important to model first, then have students try it in partners, before moving to independence.

The RAN strategy, a very useful graphic organizer, has seemed to fall by the wayside in high school classes.  This year when I work with high school teachers and their students, I plan to use it!

Have you tried RAN in a high school classroom?  I'd love to hear about it!

Here are two excellent resources which provide further support and ideas:

 Adventures in Literacy post by Colleen and Stacy.  Their blog is chalk-full of helpful tips for reading based on Core Standards.

Making Shift Happen post by  Lorraine Boulos on using the RAN strategy for Inquiry based learning using the Wendats as a sample (Ontario Curriculum).

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