Zinc-ing means turning words and phrases into images, experiences, and meanings in our minds. 

If you or your students like reading, you probably do this naturally, but everyone benefits from practicing and deepening these habits. Students who don’t like reading or have struggled with it in the past often respond to the simple idea of Zinc-ing. It’s a fresh concept that they might just be open to trying this time.

The two Zinc-ing sub-skills are Use Your Senses and Make It Real.

Use Your Senses

In Use Your Senses, students are asked to start by finding words they can easily picture when reading challenging texts, and actually “experiencing” these words in their head. They should use all their senses to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell the sensory details in the text.

Great writing expands the reader’s experience with key images. More advanced readers will work with key images, picturing them and noticing the thoughts and feelings they conjure. To appreciate and enjoy advanced texts, readers must find and open these gifts.

Make It Real

Many abstract words do not make images in our minds. Readers easily overlook those words and miss critical information. In “Make It Real,” students are asked to make abstract terms real to their own relevant example.

For example, Shakespeare says, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Actually think of another name. Would the rose’s smell change if we called it “Steven"?

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