Tuesday Talks

Curriculum Guide

Before Strategy: ABC Brainstorm

Purposes: (1) activate prior knowledge about a major topic and (2) allow students to build background knowledge about a topic through discussion with other students


1. Present the topic of the brainstorm to the students.

2. Students list all the letters of the alphabet down a sheet of paper, leaving room beside each letter to write out the rest of a word or phrase.

3. Students work individually thinking of as many words as they can that are associated with the topic and write the words beside the appropriate letters.

4. After a few minutes, let the students pair up or work in small groups to fill in blank letters they have not yet completed.

5. Allow students to share with the entire class possible terms for the different letters of the alphabet.

During Strategy: QUAD (Questions, Answers, and Details

This comprehension strategy can be used after reading expository or narrative text.


1. Distribute QUAD organizer to students (Found in the Strategic Teaching Strategies Book).

2. There are three options for using the QUAD organizer:

-Option 1: The teacher can have some of the questions, answers, and/or details already completed on the organizer; students would have to locate the remaining information while reading the text and fill in the rest of the organizer.

-Option 2: The teacher leaves the organizer completely blank, thus requiring the students to generate their own questions, answers, and details.

-Option 3: Pairs of students work together and each student writes questions on the organizer while reading the material; partners would then exchange organizers and complete the remainder of the organizer.

After Strategy: Semantic Map

This strategy allows the student to organize and activate knowledge.


1. Select the main idea or topic; write it on a chart, board, or anywhere it can easily be seen. Put a circle around it.

2. Have the students brainstorm subtopics related to the topic. Use lines to connect to the main idea or topic.

3. Have the students brainstorm specific vocabulary or ideas to each subtopic. Record these ideas beneath each subtopic.

4. Read the text and revise the Semantic Map to reflect new knowledge.