Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

CUS and Discuss

K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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CUS and Discuss

This text annotation strategy helps students analyze and better comprehend the information contained in their readings.

CUS and Discuss


As students read, they circle new words, underline details to support main ideas, and star the main ideas. They then compare their notes with a partner before sharing with the rest of the class. This text annotation strategy gives students practice identifying important information in a text and provides students with an easy way to refer back to those important points in the future. It can also be customized to fit the specific needs of the lesson. For example, a lesson on character arcs could call for students to circle characters' goals, underline character traits, and star the names of main characters instead.


  1. Provide students with a reading.

  2. As they read, have students: Circle new words, Underline details to support main ideas, and Star the main ideas. Students can either read through the document once before reading through it again to mark it up, or they can mark important parts of the text as they read through it the first time.

  3. Once they have finished reading, partner students with one another or have them select their own partners.

  4. Students discuss what they circled, underlined, and starred with their partner.

  5. Students then share with the rest of the class.