Teaching Learning Leading K-12

Episode 74: Teaching Tip-Thinking Beyond the Written Words

October 18, 2015


One of the tasks we have as teachers is to get the kids to think at a higher level. You know what I mean don’t you? We want the kids to be able to analyze, synthesize and evaluate. We want them to see beyond just the written words. We want them to be able to make judgments about what they have read. We want them to understand that there is symbolism, bias, and many times a point to the author’s words. 


One of my favorite stories, especially for this time of the year, is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. The story has been around for a long time and typically, what is remembered are the parts dealing with the headless horseman and the teacher, Ichabod. 


Thanks to many modern treatments of the story, the aspect of the story that centers on jealousy, worry, and competition is almost completely lost.

So tell me, do you have some ways that you could use this story to help you help the kids to see beyond the written words? Today, I talk about one such way. 


After listening, I hope that you will think about using a classic story like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to help your kids to start or continue to develop their skills at analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing.  

Take a chance at using stories to help your kids become more adept at showing and justifying their thoughts about the hidden meanings or the real stories secreted within the written words.

Oh yeah, and just in case you happen to be traveling through the Hollow late at night make sure that you get across the bridge before the horseman claims your head. Just in case, there might be more to the story than we know.

More information about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow-

Length: 11:25

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