CLUSTERING Writing To Learn In All Content Areas
What is Clustering? • Clustering is a way to organize information and make associations or connections between those ideas. • The Chicken Convention
Clustering • Not a new technique
Procedure The Basics: • The writer jots a key word or phrase in the center of a page…
The Basics Continued: • The writer then draws spokes outward and in associative fashion writes words/phrases connected with the key word/phrase.
The Basics Continued: • And so on… Tissue Cellular level Chemical level Organ
Your Turn • Think of all the characteristics of the central word “assessments.” • Now, turn to a neighbor and share what you’ve written. Add any new ideas to your own cluster. • Class discussion/practice
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool to help students get thinking started.
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool students can use to get beyond the most obvious ideas that first occur to them.
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool that encourages participation.
Why use Clustering? • It is a valuable tool for pre-assessment or reviewing material before a test.
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool to help students remember terms and concepts.
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool to help students make inter-disciplinary and real life connections.
Why use Clustering? • It is a tool to help students better understand the material presented.
Variations • Instead of showing relationships, the cluster satellites can be used for definitions of terms.
Variations • The connecting spokes can also be used to add information and/or show the type of relationship between the central word and its satellite(s). (6 levels of)
Variations • You could also use a variety of symbols to connect the satellites to show different kind of relationships, such as definitions, antonyms, examples, etc.
Variations • Use Clustering as a small group or whole class activity. • This variation works particularly well with new or difficult concepts.
Variations • Another way of having students Cluster is to have the teacher provide a list of words and/or phrases of the ideas and/or concepts. This is called a “word splash.”
Variations • The central idea and its satellites can also be arranged in a linear fashion denoting a hierarchy.
Challenges and Tips to Clustering • Model it • Associative thinking • Doing it for the right reason • Not an essay • Other ideas? (possibly content specific)
Direct Application • Using your own teaching materials, brainstorm and jot down possible ideas on a lesson where you could use clustering in your content area. • Come up with specific key words/phrases, possible satellites, what concepts you would like your students to touch on, which (if any) variations you’d like to use, etc. • Be prepared to share your ideas with a neighbor.