Monday, December 3, 2007

SWBS Instructional Tool

Good Morning –

Well, at least it started out nicely! I created a lengthy posting to share details about the SWBS instructional tool, and it disappeared when I pushed "publish." So this is a Reader's Digest version of that effort, okay? Today's entry is in response to a reader who asked me about the SWBS instructional tool.

SWBS is an acronym for "Somebody… wanted… but… so…." It functions as a summarizing tool, but if the word "THEN" is added, students will work their way deeper into the text through re-reading, drawing inferences and predicting.

Because SWBS(T) is an open-ended tool, it is especially helpful to use when differentiation of instruction is needed. Additionally, teachers can provide different texts at a variety of levels to accommodate the various achievement levels. At the UCRI Conference Debi May shared the following poem to use with the SWBS instructional tool. I think your students will enjoy "getting into it." (An added note: I also think this poem would be a fun SLAM poetry presentation!)

Madam and the Rent Man
By Langston Hughes

The rent man knocked.
He said, Howdy-do?
I said, What
Can I do for you?
He said, You know
Your rent is due.

I said, Listen
Before I'd pay
I'd go to Hades
And rot away!
The sink is broke,

The water don't run,
And you ain't done a thing
You promised to've done.
Back window's cracked,

Kitchen floor squeaks,
There's rats in the cellar,
And the attic leaks.

He said, Madam,
It's not up to me,
I'm just the agent,
Don't you see?

I said, Naturally,
You pass the buck.
If it's money you want
You're out of luck.

He said, Madam,
I ain't pleased!
I said, Neither am I!,
So we agrees!

SWBS example: Somebody – the rent man wanted the rent that was due, but Madam said she'd go to Hades before she paid, so she told him all the reasons why. THEN s… w… b… s…. (You fill in the blanks and repeat the process until you and your students have gone into and beyond the text!)

Hope this tool works for you and your students! Until next Monday, have a great week.


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