A block party is a party in which members of a single community congregate to get to know others in the community. Similarly, the Block Party literacy strategy provides students an opportunity to informally share their specific work or ideas with members of the classroom community. Students may respond to texts such as poems, quotes, cartoons, pictures, documents, articles or whole books. Their responses to the text may be a thought or opinion, written response, or visual representation. While sharing, students mingle in the space, self-selecting who they would like to congregate with and rotating to different classmates as time allows.
- Provide students with a guiding question or prompt in which they respond by way of a thought or opinion, written response, or visual representation.
- Instruct students to mingle and take turns sharing their response with another student.
- Have students travel to at least three other peers to repeat the sharing and listening process.
- Debrief the process.
- What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
- How was your thinking similar or different from someone else?
- How do the skills in Block Party transfer to another part of your life?
- Introduce this strategy using a topic of high interest so students learn more about the process, rather than the content, the first few times they practice the strategy.
- Have students form triads or quads and share responses about implications for the topic being studied.
- The whole group can share ideas and questions raised by the experience.
- Quotes and texts may need to be excerpted rather than using the longer text.
- This strategy can be paired with a Quick Write as the prompt.
Students ask one another questions about their daily routines in the target language.
Students create a timeline of historical events.
Students explain how they worked the next step in a formula or an equation.
ARTS & HUMANITIES
Students create a listening map.
Beers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read, what teachers can do: A guide for teachers, 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.