Find Out & Write About is an innovative and highly effective series that enables students to research information independently. Its unique award-winning approach brings together the two skills of reading and writing. Each title has multiple reading levels and is supported by real speech so it is appropriate for early as well as fluent readers.
Students read the information at whichever level suits their ability and then write about the information in their own way, using the Clicker writing grids that are linked to every page of information. As the student works through the material, even early readers are able to build up a significant piece of writing.
Find Out & Write About focuses strongly on the principles of active comprehension, described by the National Reading Panel (NRP) as follows:
- The reader reads the text and constructs mental representations of it. These are the semantic interpretations of the text made by the reader.
- These representations are stored in memory.
- These representations are the basis for subsequent use of what was read, including communicating this information to others.
Find Out & Write About strongly encourages this three-step approach. By helping students to write as they read, they learn to become active readers who interact with the text.
Emphasizing the active nature of reading is supported by NRP's research:
In contrast to earlier speculation that reading comprehension was a passive process, more recent data clearly indicate that robust comprehension is dependent on active and thoughtful interaction between the text and the reader. (NRP 4-11)
This active interaction has benefits for vocabulary learning too. In Find Out & Write About, students can find the meanings of unfamiliar words through a talking glossary. This kind of vocabulary learning has been found to be highly effective:
Vocabulary learning is effective when it entails active engagement in learning tasks. (NRP 4-4)
All Find Out & Write About titles have been carefully researched, and each CD includes three levels. The text has been meticulously restructured at each level to suit students of different abilities. This kind of restructuring is strongly supported by the National Reading Panel’s research:
The restructuring of the text materials or procedures facilitates vocabulary acquisition and comprehension, for example, substituting easy for hard words. (NRP 4-4)
Not only is the text restructured – the writing grids are restructured too. At level 1, students work with sentence beginnings and endings, reconstructing the sentences they have read.
At level 2, students are given a wider choice of words and phrases that act as scaffolding to help them structure more complex sentences.
At level 3, sentence starters are provided, plus a word bank containing relevant vocabulary. This encourages more able students to respond to what they have read. In addition to the Clicker Grids, they can use the keyboard to write using their own vocabulary.
We know that text restructuring is particularly effective for struggling students:
Restructuring seems to be most effective for low-achieving or at-risk students. (NRP 4-4)
"Real" Writing Activities
The National Writing Commission emphasizes the importance of real writing activities, as opposed to sterile comprehension exercises:
Writing is not simply a way for students to demonstrate what they know. It is a way to help them understand what they know. At its best, writing is learning. Writing competence builds confidence, which readily turns into creativity and fun.
Find Out & Write About offers exactly that to students: meaningful outcome.