The Making Meaning Protocol (for use with a text)

Type of strategy: Brainstorming and DiscussionCollaborationProcessingWriting and/or Reflection

Intended Audience: StudentsTeachers

Developed by Daniel Baron


1. Getting Started

  • Participants read the text in silence, making brief notes about aspects of it that they particularly notice.

2. Describing the Text

  • The facilitator asks the group, “What do you see?”
  • Group members provide answers without making judgments about the quality of the text or their personal preferences.
  • If an interpretation or judgment emerges, the facilitator asks for the evidence on which it is based.

3. Asking Questions About the Text

  • The facilitator asks the group, “What questions does this text raise for you?
  • Group members state any questions they have about the text.
  • The facilitator takes notes.

4. Speculating about the Meaning/Significance of the Text

  • The facilitator asks the group, “What is significant about this text?”
  • Participants, based on their reading of the text, construct meaning about the insights, problems or issues that the text seems focused on.

5. Discussing Implications for Our Work

  • The facilitator invites everyone to share any thoughts they have about ways this particular text might influence their work as teachers and educators.

6. Reflecting on the Making Meaning Protocol

  • The group reflects on the experiences of or reactions to the protocol.


The Making Meaning Protocol

Submitted by: Melissa Lim