Digital Promise Signature Workspace

Critical Literacy for Adolescents

Critical thinking and criticality are essential skills for our learners. Learn more about how you can foster those skills.

relevant Learner skills and Factors

Literacy 7-12

Composition is the expression of ideas through writing.

Literacy 7-12

Children develop the skills to present arguments and persuade others early, with skills increasing with Verbal Reasoning skills.

Literacy 7-12

Critical Literacy is the ability to identify purposes, motives, and potential biases of a particular text to enhance overall comprehension and critical thinking.

Literacy 7-12

Metacognition allows us to think about how we think and learn.

Literacy 7-12

The trauma that comes from experiencing adversity in childhood releases stress hormones that can lead to changes in the body and brain.

Literacy 7-12

In our society, there are many stereotypes that exist about the academic abilities of learners based on characteristics such as their race, gender, disability, and socioeconomic status.

strategies for Critical thinking, diverse & complex reading and writing models

Provide Writing Models

Literacy 7-12

When teachers provide students with model texts for their writing, they learn to identify effective elements to incorporate into their own writing.

Sentence Frames

Literacy 7-12

Sentence frames or stems provide language support for students' writing and participation in academic discussions.

Multiple Texts

Literacy 7-12

Providing multiple texts on the same topic or theme allows students to interact with multiple perspectives and develop their critical thinking skills.

Selecting Culturally Responsive Texts

Literacy 7-12

Selecting culturally responsive reading materials, including multicultural and diverse texts, is critical for supporting all students.

Mentor Texts

Literacy 7-12

By observing, rereading, and closely analyzing published writing, students see examples and learn the strategies of good writing that they can integrate into their own Composition.

Direct Instruction: Writing Strategies

Literacy 7-12

Explicitly teaching strategies for planning, writing, and revising texts improves students' writing quality.

Prompts & Questions

Literacy 7-12

Providing guiding prompts and questions for students to use when reading or participating in discussions deepens their understanding of texts and gives them space to question and grapple with issues of power, justice, and equity.

Multimodal Instruction

Literacy 7-12

Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.

Checklists & Rubrics

Literacy 7-12

Checklists and rubrics help students understand expectations as they navigate more complex tasks and assignments.

strategies for Authenticity

Producing Counter-texts

Literacy 7-12

When students write from a non-dominant or marginalized perspective, they consider and give voice to points of view that are often missing.

Collaborative Writing

Literacy 7-12

When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves.

Composition Projects: Multimodal

Literacy 7-12

For adolescent learners, the Composition process can become more robust, as learners begin to express ideas through multiple media, which includes visual, audio, and digital production.

Extended Writing Opportunities

Literacy 7-12

Increasing how much and how frequently students write improves both their writing quality and content knowledge.

Debate

Literacy 7-12

When preparing for and debating with peers, students analyze, form, and express verbal arguments, fostering their critical thinking and literacy skills.

Authentic Audiences & Purposes

Literacy 7-12

When adolescents can connect and communicate with authentic audiences about their interests and values, reading and writing become more personally meaningful and relevant.

strategies for Feedback, reflection & Metacognition

Goal Setting & Monitoring

Literacy 7-12

Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help students feel more confident in their skills and abilities.

Writing Conferences

Literacy 7-12

Writing conferences allow students to fully immerse, share, reflect, and receive feedback during the writing process, promoting Motivation for continuing the sometimes lengthy revision process that occurs in the upper grades.

Feedback on Writing

Literacy 7-12

Providing constructive feedback supports students' writing development by letting them know how to improve their writing.

Journaling

Literacy 7-12

Journaling allows students to reflect on their thinking and feelings, process their learning, and connect new information to what they know, supporting their identity development and Sense of Belonging.

Foster Growth Mindset

Literacy 7-12

When students are aware that learning involves effort, mistakes, reflection, and refinement of strategies, they are more resilient when they struggle.

Reflect on Learning

Literacy 7-12

Student reflection on learning, particularly when done collaboratively, is critical for moving knowledge of content and strategies into Long-term Memory.