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Critical Analysis Of The Open Mind Portrait Techniques

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The authors of this article discuss using a strategy for writing called the open-mind portrait technique. Most commonly, this technique is used to help students as they begin to craft narrative text, but in this case, the authors recognize that this technique can be a used to improve student’s expository writing skills; skills which become increasingly critical through middle and high school and finally into higher education and in most careers. Students struggle with writing in an expository manner, in reporting facts and making connections without expressing their own emotions or opinions. Furthermore, expository writing is inherently linked with the ability to read and comprehend information in a text book, something with which students…show more content…
Whenever an opportunity arises where a researched-based strategy is presented as a viable option to use to assist students in their learning, we, as future educators, should be willing to use and/or adapt the method to improve our instruction and move our students forward. This article showed me the power of associative critical thinking using visual images. When students are able to draw symbols, sketch main ideas and include captions from an expository text they are reading into the outline of the human head, they are better able to recall the main ideas and include them in their own writing using their own words. Children in elementary school for the most part, enjoy drawing and so this strategy is appealing, and as Paquette & Fello (2010) point out, it is also developmentally appropriate for elementary-aged…show more content…
Our classrooms will be the same, and the open-mind strategy is a viable option as an organizer for some students. Brainstorming, graphic organizers and a Venn diagram have been used as we have discussed pre-writing strategies and compared different styles of writing and the open-mind portrait is another example of these ideas, just presented in a particular way. We have examined organization on multiple occasions, both in our text book and in classroom discourse, as it relates to pre-writing, and again, the open-mind strategy is an aid to organization of thoughts and ideas. The primary continuum of ideas handout which we read in class correlates with the open-mind strategy as it allows the early grades to organize their thoughts pictorially and can be utilized as a graphic organizer for complex expository writing in the upper grades. If a student were to use the open-mind portrait method, I believe the teacher would see a correlation with an increased score using the 5-point writer’s rubric. Chapter three of our text book described the six plus one traits of the writers’ craft, several of which would be improved with the method described in the article; specifically, the traits of ideas, organization, and word
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