Annotations Directions

Due Dates:
Read 25% of class text or independent book study text each week. Annotations for approximately 100 pages of
reading are due every Friday.
This assignment has been designed to encourage students to read consistently throughout the week, as well as
to help students become stronger readers in all subject areas, in preparation for higher expectations as they
progress through high school and into college. According to Harvard University, “Critical reading--active
engagement and interaction with texts [i.e., annotating]--is essential to your academic success and to your
intellectual growth. Research has shown that students who read deliberately retain more information and retain
it longer.” In addition, according to the National Literacy Trust, “reading provides the possibility of educating
the feelings and can offer their readers potential growth points for the development of a more subtle
awareness of human behavior.”
 Students will need to obtain their own copies of class assigned texts, but no permission slip is required as
these texts have been approved by the HUSD board.
Students will also need to obtain their own copies of independent book study texts (approved
Reading List titles only – see teacher page) AND they must get permission from parents. To do so, write
a parent note of permission, have parents sign it, and bring to class before you start reading your
independent study text. Your note should read as follows:
(Your name) has my permission to read (title) by (author) for his/her Independent Study Book.
Signed (Parent Signature) .
 Students are required to bring class texts or independent book study texts to class every day, for bellwork
activities, as well as in case of downtime after tests and activities, impromptu discussion or presentation, or
unannounced annotation checks.
 Other than the opportunities mentioned above, book annotation is an independent homework activity.
Time for extensive annotating will not be scheduled as part of daily classroom activities.
Expectations for Mastery:
 Completion – 0 Points
o Points will not be awarded for completion. However, work not completed per the following
guidelines will earn zero points.
⁻ Mark at least one line of text for every two pages of reading. Use annotation symbols, as
shown below, and focus on literary or rhetorical strategies, important quotes, and other
noteworthy information. DO NOT USE A HIGHLIGHTER.
⁻ For each marked passage, write one to two sentences of analysis, explanation, or comment –
focus on how and/or why the author has used the strategy or included this information, in
terms of purpose, audience, and/or context.
 Content – 100 points
o Only symbols or symbols with very few written annotations = 50 points
o Mostly sporadic or repetitive annotations that don’t show broad or deep thought = 60 points
o Mostly summary, reaction, and/or connection notes versus actual in-depth analysis = 70 points
o Mostly identification and/or definition of strategies versus actual in-depth analysis = 80 points
o All analysis that demonstrates consistent deep thought about various facets of the text = 90 points
o Extra annotations with mixed analysis, connection, definition, etc. = 100 points
Annotation Symbols:
Note that, while using the following annotation symbols is a great habit to get into as it helps you to interact with
the text, using symbols alone will not earn full credit for annotations. Annotations are actual notes in the margins,
in addition to symbols, highlighting, etc. See the questions next to each symbol for assistance with your note
Something you saw coming or already knew. Margin Notes: How did/do you know this?
Something different than what you expected or knew. Margin Notes: What did you expected and why?
You have a question. Margin Notes: Write question and possible answer. Add actual answer, once you
find it.
Something surprising or exciting. Margin Notes: Why did you mark this? Why did the author include it?
Something important, key, memorable, or powerful. Margin Notes: Why did you mark this? What literary
device or rhetorical strategy is used? Why did the author chose this particular device or strategy?
Connection between text and yourself or the world. Margin Notes: What is the connection and why?
Main idea, important detail, character development, conflict, theme, change in action, climax. Margin
Notes: What is the significance or effect of this detail? Why is it important?
Additional elements to look for in nonfiction:
See Nonfiction Map (Novice or Developing) directions on teacher page (under Course Documents) for detailed
Concrete Imagery
Figurative Language
Additional elements to look for in fiction:
See Literary Fiction Close Reading Tree Map directions on teacher page (under Course Documents) for detailed
Significance of Setting
Historical Connections
Evidence of Author’s Tone
Character Development
Conflict Development
Theme Development
Figurative Language