Save the Last Word for ME




Purpose: to clarify and deepen our thinking about articles we read.

Total Time: 60 minutes

The Protocol:

  1. Create a group of 4 participants. Choose a timekeeper (who also participates) who has a watch.
  2. Each participant silently identifies what s/he considers to be (for him or her) the most significant idea addressed in the article, and highlights that passage.
  3. When the group is ready, a volunteer member identifies that part of the article that s/he found to be most significant and reads it out loud to the group. This person (the presenter) says nothing about why s/he chose that particular passage
  4. The group should pause for a moment to consider the passage before moving to the next step.
  5. The other 3 participants each have 1 minute to respond to the passage - saying what it makes them think about, what questions it raises for them, etc.
  6. The first participant then has 3 minutes to state why s/he chose that part of the article and to respond to - or build on - what s/he heard from his/her colleagues.
  7. The same pattern is followed until all four members of the group have had a chance to be the presenter and to have "the last word"
  8. Optional open dialogue about the text and the ideas and questions raised during the first part of the protocol.
  9. Debrief the experience. How was this a useful way to explore the ideas in the text and to explore your own thinking?

Click/Choose a Discussion to Join


  1. How could the Save the Last Word for ME protocol be utilized in class for students to bump up their level of stating claims, providing evidence and supporting reasoning?
  2. What other systems or strategies can we put into place that might help students do research, utilize online resources, and read online texts?
  3. Think about smarter balanced items that are all computer based... How might we prepare students for online reading of text, graphics, and/or mathematics for online/computer based test settings?