Ways to Scaffold a Textbook Annotation Assignment

Teacher instructions: Copy and paste below instructions into your own course to use with your students. Use the scaffolding steps to write baseline annotations for students to interact or be supported while reading. Be sure to review the instructions before posting in your courses. You may want to make adjustments depending on how you plan to assess annotations or due to your specific discipline and/or assignment.

Select any of the following options for promoting student interaction and  guiding comprehension. Create these types of supporting annotations before students enter the assignment.

  • Add images and videos in annotations to visually support and build interest in the content of the text.
  • Add links in annotations to connect outside resources that elaborate on specific topics in the text.
  • Ask open-ended questions in annotations so students can reply with personal experiences, ideas, and thoughts that build bridges to the content. 
  • Include directions in a page note or anchored in a title annotation,  so that students are reminded of expectations.

Instructions to Post

Purpose: Collaboratively annotating the textbook together will allow us to organize our thinking, build academic vocabulary, summarize main ideas, interpret visuals,  answer questions, and make visible reflections/connections in key sections. You can review a quick-start guide for how to add annotations here.

Student Instructions: As you review the assigned text section, include at least one annotation for each of the following prompts.

  • Preview the chapter/section- skim the whole text and add an annotation that lists your assessment of the most important titles, subheadings, figures/charts, and other text features along with why you think they are important. 
  • Add multimedia- while previewing, look for any key terms or concepts where you have some background knowledge, and add a helpful video,  image, or link to an online resource within an annotation.
  • Read the review questions at the end of the section/chapter. Find the title of the subsection that you think will likely answer the question, and paraphrase the question in an annotation there.

 Important notes about annotating: 

  • Make sure you hit “Post” after you complete your annotation, or else your annotation will not be saved.
  • Make sure it says “Post to [this class]” and not “Post to only me” so I can review your annotations.
  • If someone replies to your annotation, you will not receive a notification. Check back periodically to continue the conversation!
  • Link to outside resources such as articles, videos, or images (review instructions on how to add an image/link or videos to annotations).