How to Implement the It Says, I Say, and So Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom

This technique uses a graphic organizer that helps learners to think about the content at multiple levels as they select portions of the content they want to discuss. Learners read either to answer a question or to find a section of content that intrigues them. They copy the content into the “It Says” box. Next, they write their initial responses to the content in the “I Say” column.

Learners share their “It Says” and “I Say” with each other, taking the time to deepen their understanding and clarify. Each student returns to their graphic organizer (Click here to access all of our graphic organizer forms) to write the “And So,” which is their synthesized understanding or reaction.

Learning Outcomes

  • Active reading
  • Identify important content
  • Taking notes
  • Make connections
  • Recall information for later use

Implementation

  1. Before the passage, the instructor poses three or four questions that require learners to draw inferences. As learners are reading, they jot notes into the three columns. For each question, learners engage in the following process:
    • Learners find sections in the reading that relate to the issue.
    • Learners summarize the related information in the “It Says” column.
    • Learners write out their thinking that builds on the portion that they summarized. This goes in the “I Say” column.
  2. Learners draw a conclusion that proposes to answer the question utilizing both the related information and their thinking and write their findings in the “And So” column.
  3. Once learners have completed their charts, engaging them in a discussion about what they’ve written can help their thinking to evolve.

Notes

  1. It is best to model the use of the approach in numerous formats (instructor modeling, whole-class demonstration, small groups, partners, etc.) before learners are asked to complete one on their own.
  2. Instructors must select short pieces of content that invite interpretation.
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