#SOLSC20: Day 16

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 6.18.38 AM

 How do you define it?

Quickly, jot down your ideas or say them to yourself.  How do you define text?

The Ides of March #rrchat hosted by Aeriale Johnson did not disappoint.  It was packed with learning and stretched participants to dig deeply into their own practices and beliefs.




  • Hard cover, paper back, and e-books.
  • Picture books, graphic novels, chapter books, of all genres.
  • Poetry in various collections.


  • Magazines
  • Comics
  • Infographics
  • Text messages
  • Anything that has been “written”

Environmental print:

  • Signs
  • Ads
  • Maps


  • Art whether drawings, paintings, or murals.
  • Music whether written on paper or improvised on the fly.
  • Video whether documentary, personal or big dollar releases.
  • Texting whether print or filled with memes and emoticons.
  • Responses on social media whether texts, likes or retweets.
  • Conversations whether oral, F2F, or recorded in messages.

And then the grayer areas . . . the overlapping areas . . . and the questioning . . .

Is this text?  Why would this be text?

And then the light bulb moment . . . Are these only the “formats” for text.

In the bigger sense, what is the purpose or goal of text?

Here is what Aeriale proposed as a definition in the #rrchat.

Screenshot 2020-03-16 at 6.00.27 AM

I commented in the chat that the notion of “materials” as text was new to me but yet thinking about plants, I realized that plants “can be read” as far as drooping = water? / don’t water? or repot? / don’t repot?.  Hmm.

Back to the beginning and your jotting or telling. What have you added to your thinking around “What are texts?”

Asking and answering questions are a critical skill. How can you use them to grow your knowledge base? 

What are texts? 

What did you add to your definition?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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9 responses

  1. This really opened my mind as to what text is – so much more than just the printed word. I guess in a broad sense you can add the sky…cirrus…cumulus…stratus.

    1. Yes, today’s sky here indicates zero sun. The world is ready to be read!

  2. Food for thought. I have often thought of body language and facial expressions as “text.” You know how you can just tell whether or not the conversation you’re about to have will be productive?

    1. Yes, expressions when we are listening, excited, truly engaged . . . All count!

  3. Live this thinking. I read this post in the morning and have been thinking about it since. We have to always consider the medium the media is conveyed in. Makes me think of how we need to honor our kiddos ways of expressing their thoughts.

    1. Yes, Julieanne. Exactly how students have agency … “honor kiddos ways of expressing their thoughts.”

  4. Plants as texts… hmmmm. What about dogs? What about people? Don’t we all send messages and offer ways to interpret?

    1. Melanie, Yes! We are all texts! Everything in the world . . . because we all send messages!

  5. Text IS us. We do ALL send messages. I just hope they are not misinterpreted.

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