Intra-Act

Intra-Act is one of my favorite reading engagement and comprehension activities. My former students--now teachers in various 6th-12th grade content areas--consistently tell me that they use this strategy frequently within their classrooms and that their students truly enjoy it.
Intra-Act allows students to make predictions about texts and about their peers, to collaborate with those peers after reading, and to confirm and explain their predictions. As such, it is an excellent tool to use as an anticipation guide as well as for revisting texts to help students develop greater understanding.

The Form on the left is one that I created to demonstrate to a large and diverse group of students (secondary content area preservice teachers) how Intra-Act works. I specifically chose questions that I thought would engage the students and encourage them to make predictions about each other's views as well as my views.

In this case, I randomly assign students to a group. They first go through the questions noting what their answers are for the given topic/statement. Then they go through again and make predictions about what their peers would say (circling "yes" or "no" for agree or disagree). I intentionally do not provide added context to the questions and I do not allow "maybe" answers. This fosters greater discussion following the activity.

Once students are done with the aforementioned steps, they go through--issue by issue--and each explains her/his answer. At the same time, each student notes on the line in each box whether their predictions were correct or incorrect. They get a point for each correct prediction and no points for incorrect predictions. This serves as a kind of competition and it fosters excellent discussion amongst students (e.g., why one predicts the ideas/views of some peers more accurately than others). It also allows students to explain their answers and the rationale behind their predictions. When used with texts, this allows students to help teach each other about context clues, semantic features, contexts, etc. that led to correct predictions about that text.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS

http://www.readingeducator.com/strategies/intra.htm

 

Intra-Act is an after reading strategy that engages a group of readers in a reflective discussion. Individual readers reach personal conclusions or decisions based on their reading experience and this follow-up discussion.

According to Hoffman (1979), the Intra-Act process has four phases:

 

  • Comprehension Phase–Students construct meaning from a text selection.

     

  • Relational Phase–Students relate what they have learned about the topic with other texts and prior experiences.

     

  • Valuation Phase–Students express personal feelings and value judgments about the topic.

     

  • Reflective Phase–Students reflect on the decisions they have made and the values upon which these decisions are based.

 

Steps to Intra-Act:

 

  1. Choose a reading selection on a controversial topic. Be sure that students can form clear and informed opinions about the topic.

     

  2. Introduce the selection with a discussion of the differences between factual and opinionated information. Stress the need to defend opinions with supporting evidence.

     

  3. Identify a number of opinionated statements from the reading selection. Arrange these statements on a grid (leaving space for student names) with "Yes" and "No" check boxes beside them. Distribute this handout (see below) to the class.

     

  4. Divide the class into small groups. Each group first reads and summarizes the document.

     

  5. Next, have members of each group respond to the value statements provided on the handouts, writing in their own names and responding "Yes" or "No" to reflect their agreement or disagreement with the statement.

     

  6. Now, have students write in the names of their team members and predict how they will respond to the statements by marking the "Yes" or "No" boxes under their names.

     

  7. Finally, ask group members to share their predictions inside the group. Mark correct and incorrect predictions on the grid. Engage students in a discussion of their reasons for supporting specific statements