Talk Read Talk Write

A practical approach to learning in the secondary classroom

Benefits of TRTW

The goal of TRTW is to shift our thinking about teaching at the secondary level. The focus is not on writing. Instead, the focus is on the process that precedes writing. TRTW guides students through a process that helps them think about and understand what they want to say. Students shift from listen and copy-with little retention of the information- to talk, read, talk, write-with significant retention of the information.

How do you teach TRTW?

Talk #1: Engages students in brief, structured conversations with each other and the teacher for the purpose of connective to the topic , building necessary background information, establishing prior knowledge, and setting a purpose for reading. (Chapter 2)


Read: Students actively read an academic text. They will do some kind of writing to keep them on track, recall information, or ask questions about the content. There are many methods and graphic organizers that support active reading. (Chapter 3)


Talk #2: Students dialogue with each other in order to process what they have read. Alternatively, Talk #2 gives students a change to prepare for upcoming writing activities. (Chapter 4)


Write: Students learn to express their thoughts about the content. Not only does this deepen student understanding, but it helps students become strong communicators, an important life skill. (Chapter 5)

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Ask a provocative question

What is the most significant skill for students to master in a content area classroom?
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Make a Claim with Evidence

Should content area teachers deliver instruction using the TRTW approach once per week? Or should it be used daily?
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Does TRTW replace all other forms of lesson delivery?

TRTW is just one way to helps students learn academic content. Incorporating the TRTW process will not replace all other forms of delivery. This process can be implemented 1-3 times per week with great success! This time allotment gives students significant and consistent opportunities to read, write and talk about their learning. In addition, it gives plenty of time for teachers to use other instructional delivery models.