Annotation is like having a conversation with a piece of literature--it allows active readers to ask questions, comment on meaning, and mark events and passages they want to revisit.
One way a student annotates is by closely reading a text--finding patterns and contrasts. This close reading leads a reader to realize that their own lives are also marked by patterns and contrasts, and noticing these can reveal meaning in their own lives, much like the author reveals meaning in text.
Annotation takes place:
* During the initial reading
* During class discussion when a particular passage is being discussed
Students annotate by writing in the margins, highlighting, and circling meaning full words in order to organize their relationship with the text.
Annotations also help readers remember crucial pieces of text for exams or for finding the perfect quote for an essay.
There are three levels of reading:
* reading on the line
* reading between the lines
* reading beyond the lines
The first levels answers the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, why).
The second level interprets the text. What does the passage represent, suggest, or personify?
The third level, students move beyond the text to connect universal meaning. How does this text connect with my life? for the world? Students connect literature with their own experiences and with universal meaning.
from Laying the Foundation