Thursday, October 23, 2008

Highlighting is Like Wearing a Bikini

One of the biggest problems when students read nonfiction is deciding what is important. Today's lesson focused on determining what is important and what is not, to understand an essay. Writers add a lot of detail that is not necessary to understand the gist. They use variety in their language through word choice, and sentence structure. Often times they put in entertaining stories or share their opinions to generate reader interest. The challenge with difficult text is to cut through the fluff, or extra details to understand the main points.

OK, by now I am sure you are wondering, what does this have to do with bikinis? When you highlight, you should only cover the essentials. A one piece suit covers things that don't neccessarily matter. A cover-up covers even more, a lot of which is not needed. A big beach towel can be wrapped around and covers everything.

This is just like highlighting. Students' papers usually look like yellow coloring pages when they first learn to highlight. They need to throw away the beach towel, and only highlight the essential information. Think about minimal coverage for maximum effect. Then what is highlighted will help understand what is important.


Anonymous said...

When I started highlighting I highlighted the whole page!!!!!!!!!
Now I highlight the main ideas and the important details.

Clix said...


I'd say that determining what is "essential" to cover up is directly connected to who's wearing the garment.


Mr. McGuire said...

Hmmmmm Is this the same as saying each reader should highlight would they determine is important and feel comfortable with?

Anonymous said...

I had a really hard time highlighting when I highlighted the whole page would be pink or yellow. Now that you have said to only highlight the key parts and important stuff the whole page is not pink
or yellow. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

When me and Seth did a assignment together we only highlighted the main ideas and the important details and it did look like a bikini so thank you for teaching that method. It is a very good method.