UDL 3.3 UDL 5.1

Sketch-to-Stretch is a comprehension strategy where students illustrate (draw) key ideas and details from a text to demonstrate their understanding and analyses. The teacher stops at key points during a read aloud or after students have independently read a text to "sketch" their response to a comprehension or analysis prompt (e.g. "Draw a symbolic representation of the character", "Sketch the conflict as you understand it"). Students then share their drawings and explain how they made connections about information revealed in the text, thereby "stretching" their knowledge. This strategy promotes engagement while students read, fosters open discussions of student interpretations, and supports multiple intelligences (i.e., visual learners).

Implementation Tips

Teaching "Visualization"
Tell students that "visualizing" a key idea or detail of a text means to imagine the story as if they were watching a movie in their minds while they're reading. Have students practice by reading a short passage that uses rich imagery (e.g., [[|"A Sticky Problem"]]). Afterwards, have them share their "imaginary movie" with the class--taking care to note how each individual may imagine different images.
Modeling "Sketching" and "Stretching"
Model Sketch-To-Stretch after reading a short passage by creating a sketch of what the story meant to you. Quickly sketch an image on large chart paper to make the drawing visible for all students. Ask students for their interpretations (e.g., “Why do you think I drew this picture? What do you think it means?”).
Use a Template
Use a template for students to draw a complete sketch as well as blank lines below it for them to write 1-2 sentences describing how their sketch demonstrates a text connection. For a sample, check out this free [[| Sketch-To-Stretch Template ]].
Practice Sketch-To-Stretch
Practice Sketch-To-Stretch during a whole-class read aloud or Guided Reading lesson by having students choose to draw a scene or passage, a “most important moment” from the text, or by asking students to choose a character and portray him/her non-representationally (e.g., using color, shape, and visual symbols).
Set A Timer
Give students no more than 3 minutes to complete a given Sketch-To-Stretch. Display the timer in an area that is accessible for all students to view. Consider trying this free timer resource from [[ |Timer Tab ]].
Provide Encouragement
Encourage students to attempt simplified drawings to build comfortability, and allow students to sketch their reactions to the text as an accommodation. Remind them that the objective is to visualize important concepts and ideas not artistic quality.
Guiding Extension Discussions
Extend discussions by asking students to reflect on how the Sketch-To-Stretch visualizing strategy helped them understand the text. Example Extension Discussion Questions:
--“In what ways did your sketches help you “see” or understand things differently in the literature that you might not have noticed before?”
--“Did you have to change your sketching plan during the process of drawing? If so, why?”


Reading Comprehension
After reading a fictional text, (e.g.[[|The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson]]), a teacher tells students, “Sketch-To-Stretch your interpretation of the story. You’ll have three minutes to complete your sketch. Find a way to represent your vision by drawing a symbolic representation of the story.” Students quickly sketch their own abstract representations of key ideas depicted in the story. After, students engage in a whole-class discussion to share their interpretations by explaining their drawings and sharing connections they made to the text (e.g., “I drew two different colored hands holding the other to represent unity since the story reflected a time of segregation, but the two characters overcame barriers).
To launch a unit on Ancient Greece, a history teacher instructs students to sketch important ideas and details from their prior knowledge. The teacher sets 3 minutes on a timer and while students begin drawing, the teacher circulates to gain a sense of student understanding. After, the class engages in an informal open discussion to share their sketches. As the students share their background knowledge, the teacher begins to fill in a KWL chart on the board. Once students have shared their insights, the class generates a list of “want to know” information about Ancient Greece that the teacher adds into the chart.

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