Categorizing for Deeper Understanding
By: Liz Merlino
As the year progresses, the students in this ELA class have been working on categorizing skills. The ability to sort objects, vocabulary and book content has helped us learn how to categorize.
We are now starting to work on using these categorizing skills to start finding the main idea in a passage. Below are pictures of students working on categorizing the names of characters from The Orphan of Ellis Island, a fourth grade core book.
They had a great discussion on which characters were really the protagonists and which were antagonists. Where do you put their names? Does one bad act make them a bad person? How do we know if something they did is truly bad? These were all topics of debate in the class, and now we’re writing to argue our points.
As the categorizing skills progress, our understanding of the book and other texts deepens. We are able to grab the deeper meanings in the story, develop and ask a variety of questions (Bloom’s Taxonomy) and hold debates rather than just answering a question.