4 Corners is a great way for students to work together to synthesize their work. Each student writes their answer on a post-it and places it on the template. Students share their answers, discuss, and create a new answer together that is better than their individual work.
Start the school year with the expectation that your students will be THINKERS! Here are the First Day of School Activities Sheila Thompson uses in our training.
Remember, students can't talk about, write about, or understand what they are reading about a subject if they don't have the vocabulary. Pre-teaching key vocabulary builds Background Knowledge. Most of these graphic organizers and ideas come from the book Reading Strategies for Social Studies, Second Edition by Stephanie Macceca.
This link will take you to the National Center for Families Learning where you will find a series of short videos in which an instructor uses the Gradual Release of Responsibility to teach a group of learners how to Code Text (a great strategy for Determining Importance).
This link will take you to the video of a 2nd grade class working with informational text.