Writing in the Margins

Writing in the Margins is a cognitive reading strategy that makes transparent six ways competent readers process and react to ideas in texts. The work that readers do in the margins depends on what the text says and what the text does. Mostly used as a reading comprehension strategy, Writing in the Margins will teach students how to think about and clarify ideas in the texts they read.

Where is this in the Reading Process: Step 3

Explicitly Teach: Explain. Connect. Model. Practice.

Cycle of Independence: I do. We do. They do. You do.

Origin: Ideas for thinking in the margins stemmed from reciprocal teaching, Palincsar and Brown (1984).

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Writing in the Margins Step-By-Step Process

Plan your lesson Plan your lesson

Planning Journal

Teach the skill Teach the skill

Student Activity
Interactive Lesson

Differentiate and support learning Differentiate and support learning

Discussion Starters
Reading Rubrics

Assess and track growth Assess and track growth

Performance Tracker
Teacher Reflection

Practice skills in all subjects

Activity in Spanish
Rubric in Spanish
Guide in Spanish

Student samples


Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; and cite specific evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
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