Ordered Sharing is a process used in establishing and maintaining a learning community where the objective is for each person to express a response to a big idea. Students are given equal time to record a written response to the big idea and have equal time to speak (approximately one minute); everyone participates. No one response is debated; every response is heard and valued without interruption. Ordered Sharing allows for the development of a sense of order, continuity, and momentum.

Adolescent Literacy Model- Ordered Sharing


  1. Present material (e.g., a quote, a short passage, visual artifact, etc.) that is open to multiple interpretations.
  2. Provide students time to read the material and write a response. The response could be a text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world connection.
  3. Have students bring their writing and sit in a closed circle, at equal heights. The circle symbolically represents coherence and eliminates hierarchy and competitiveness.
  4. Identify a timekeeper to monitor timing and participation. The timekeeper ensures that no one exceeds the time limit. When the time has expired, the timekeeper says “time,” and the speaker may complete a sentence, but does not get more time to elaborate.
  5. Ask a volunteer to begin. After they have shared, the rotation will begin clockwise with the next person in the circle sharing. This process continues until all members of the circle have shared. If a student requests more processing time before responding, they may tap the shoulder of the next person in the circle to signal a temporary pass. If there are members of the circle who have passed, they Will have another opportunity to respond once the circle returns to the original responder. The expectation is that all students will share.
  6. Refrain from interrupting and guide participants in practicing close listening. No one comments or responds to what Individuals say while they are speaking. There is neither opposition nor support. In fact, as much as possible, participants avoid gestures or body language that convey an opinion, such as nodding heads. Every silent member pays full attention to what the speaker is saying.



  • How was your thinking similar or different from someone else?
  •  which part of the process was challenging for you?
  • Which part of the process felt natural to you?
  • How do the skills required in Ordered Sharing transfer to another part of your life?
  • This strategy requires all students to share their thinking and, therefore it is critical to consider student comfort levels with making their thinking public with their peers.
  • In planning for an introduction to this strategy, select a familiar big idea that grants all students entry into the strategy before asking students to apply the strategy to a body of unfamiliar text.
  • In modeling this strategy, share a text-to-self connection and conduct a Think Aloud around a familiar big idea.
  • In scaffolding this strategy, begin with multiple groups sharing simultaneously in order to build their speaking and listening stamina and encourage students to wean from reading from the Quick Write to paraphrasing what was written.



Students respond to a political cartoon.


Students respond to a painting to analyze the elements of art.


Students respond to the shape, silhouette, line, color, and texture of an article of clothing.


Students respond to a poster that disseminates scientific data.