Active Reading Tools and Case Study Analysis with a Flip

Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 28

Participate and share

[Participate and share : Poster]

Wednesday, June 28, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 28

Molly Farrow  
Experience no-cost online document analysis activities. Students interpret key passages and answer case-study questions in historical contexts like African imperialism or FDR's New Deal. Background tutorials prepare students at home, and the flip happens when an interactive active reading tool facilitates text analysis in a guided-practice setting.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC, Chromebook
Tablet: iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The free online Document Analyzer series is built in Flex -works on mobile if you use the Puffin Browser. The following url is necessary:
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Flipped learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Social studies
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity
Students : Empowered learner
Students : Knowledge constructor
Related exhibitors: Curriculum Pathways

Digital tote resources

Description: Resources for case-study analysis activities
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Description: This chart outlines three ways to analyze primary sources in the flip.
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Description: Curriculum Pathways - free resources
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Description: Online document analysis with a flip
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Description: Explore over 250 primary-source document lessons - free
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Description: Explore active reading of primary-source songs
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Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The popular flipped classroom model often focuses on students watching teacher video lectures at home and working on practice problems in class. This poster session will introduce a flipped model that uses movie tutorials with online notetaking to set up case study questions like “Who is to blame for starting WWI?” Students can watch and compile online notes outside of class. They will then come to class ready to read primary-source text passages with the online document analysis tool in a guided-practice setting. This flip allows the teacher to be an active coach for the more challenging steps of the learning process – active reading. The Online Document Analyzer poster sessions will give participants the opportunity to experience how well-designed technology can empower students to interact with documents as they read. According the National Center for History in Schools: When we ask students to work with and learn from primary sources, we transform them into historians. Rather than passively receiving information from a teacher or textbook, students engage in the activities of historians — making sense of the stories, events and ideas of the past through document analysis. This free online tool prompts students to define unknown vocabulary, make comments on key passages within a text, and begin constructing arguments for a debate of the issues that are based on textual evidence. Too often students and teachers alike consider active, close reading an arduous task that technology cannot assist. Participants will get hands-on opportunities to use the Doc Analyzer tool to actively read selections of carefully-chosen primary-source document passages from varying points of view. Topics include investigations of the role of ancient Egyptian scribes, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Booker T. Washington’s views on equality, freedom of speech in schools, the minimum wage, the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, and more. Giving student an online tool that activates and streamlines the challenges of close reading for meaning brings learning and engagement to a higher level. (For more information on this tool go to and type “document analysis” in the Search box next to the magnifying glass icon. There are over 40 topics to choose from. It is a free resource - with no advertising- created as a philanthropic mission to provide content-rich resources on the Internet.


I will introduce and demonstrate the document-analysis series that provides online videos students can watch from home as well as an online document reading tool they can use in class. Participants will walk through a hands-on experience of the set up for the case study questions. We will discuss the advantages of using the flip classroom model to facilitate the more passive video-watching learning experience as homework. I will also walk participants through the set-up and in-class experience using the online-document-analyzer tool to engage students in active and focused reading of primary source text passages chosen from varying points of view to add further detail to their understanding of the case study question introduced in the background movies. Participants will explore document analysis activities with topics such as Japanese Internment, the Indian Removal Act, Johnson’s Vietnam War, Ibn Battuta’s journey to Mali, and more. I will display posters of sample document-analysis sheets charting student comments and discussion wheels and encourage participants to explore independently on laptops and tablets. In past sessions, small groups have formed (simulating a possible classroom model) to use the online tool together. (For more information on this tool go to and type “document analysis” in the Search box next to the magnifying glass icon. There are over 40 topics to choose from. It is a free resource - with no advertising- created as a philanthropic mission to provide content-rich resources on the Internet.

Supporting research

Research supporting active reading to improve critical thinking includes:
New SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Overview (full pdf overview)

Highlighting for Understanding of Complex Text National Teaching and Learning Forum.
Computational Identification of Ideology in Text: A Study of Canadian Parliamentary Debates
Inference: Reading Ideas as Well as Words
Educating Teachers for Higher Order Thinking: The Three-Story Intellect



Molly Farrow, SAS

Part-time adventurer/full-time educator, Molly Farrow is a Wake Forest University graduate with a Masters from the University of North Carolina. She taught history in the public schools for 11 years (and Taipei American School) before becoming a Curriculum Development Specialist for SAS® Curriculum Pathways®. She and a team of educators provide FREE online resources. Some of the varied offerings include an Interactive Atlas tool, case studies using an online document analysis tool, and interactive narratives promoting active reading on pivotal issues like voting rights for women. The key is using technology wisely for maximum student engagement.

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San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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