About Habits of the Mind

The brief descriptors below habits of mind serve as concrete examples of HOW you might go about demonstrating adaptivity, analysis & synthesis, connectivity, creativity, curiosity and specificity.


  1. Students can read and write for a variety of purposes
  2. Students can revise their work in order to make it suitable for different audiences
  3. Students can engage in a range of classroom practices and respond to a variety of teaching methods
  4. Students can contribute to an evolving, open-ended discussion

Analysis and Synthesis

  1. Students can recognize the use and significance of literary devices.
  2. Students can produce expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that introduce and develop a complex central idea
  3. Students can evaluate and incorporate reference documents into research papers
  4. Students can understand literature through critical theories such as reader-response, New Criticism, and historicism
  5. Students can analyze moving and still images as texts, such as paintings, magazine and television advertisements, film, multimedia etc.
  6. Students can employ a range of close-reading methods like annotation


  1. Students can make meaning of a literary work through a collaborative dialogue with classmates
  2. Students can compare and contrast American, British, and world literature from several genres, periods and cultural groups
  3. Students can account for the social and historical context of a literary work
  4. Students can ascertain the relevance of literature to their own life experiences
  5. Students can empathize with literary characters with whom they don’t immediately identify


  1. Students can establish voice in all types of writing
  2. Students can foster and contribute to a writing community that brainstorms, crafts, workshops, and revises writing together
  3. Students can apply a variety of methods and process steps for generating, crafting, workshopping and revising writing
  4. Students can emulate various forms of writing as models for their own writing


  1. Students can identify the central questions that a text asks
  2. Students can initiate topics of inquiry in addition to responding to adult-initiated topics
  3. Students can explore the sub-textual elements of a literary work
  4. Students can raise questions about teachers’ and classmates’ responses to literature during discussions


  1. Students can interpret literature based on a careful observation of textual detail and/or language
  2. Students can evaluate literature considering the work’s specific structure, style, and themes
  3. Students can employ specific detail in their own writing to make meaning
  4. Students can adhere to grammar rules and cite sources according to MLA convention

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