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Webbing as a Strategy of Teaching Reading Descriptive Text

Some reading experts stated that webbing strategy is one of reading comprehension strategies that can help students comprehend the text by constructing meaning. Starko (2010:187) states that webbing is often used to organize such idea and information on a topic. In addition, Cooper (2001: 128) states that webbing strategy should be used when students are just beginning to learn to construct meaning and can formulate their own purposes or pre-questions or when the text is extremely difficult. Usually the teacher should combine pre questions and purpose statement with other strategies, such as discussion or brain storming, to activate prior knowledge.
The reading experts have some kinds of steps in teaching reading comprehension through webbing strategy. According to Gunning (2004: 1), readers should follow six stages in teaching reading comprehension through webbing strategy. Furthermore, he states that webbing takes two forms: divergent webbing and convergent webbing. The steps are as follows:
a. Steps of Divergent Webbing
1)    Write a key or phrase from a reading selection on the chalkboard.
2)    Have students think of as many words as they know that relate to this key idea. Write these words to the side on the chalkboard.
3)    Ask students to group these words into logical categories and label each category with a descriptive title.
4)    Encourage students to discuss the choice of category for each word. Write the students’ conclusions (their categories and their component words) on the chalkboard.
5)    Finally, have the students read the text selection and repeat the process above. After reading, have students add new words and categories related to the key idea.
b. Steps to Convergent Webbing
1)    Identify several themes or topics in a reading selection. Write each theme at the top of a column on the chalkboard.
2)    Ask students to share their prior knowledge on each of these themes. Write brief summary statements on this information beneath the appropriate category.
3)    Encourage students to make predictions about how the text will handle the stated themes. Stress the context of the document (time frame, author’s background, subject matter, etc.) as the criteria for making these predictions.
4)    Discuss the predictions and have the class decide that are best. Write these predictions under the appropriate category on the chalkboard.
5)    Have students read the selection. Record any new information (beyond prior knowledge) students gained from reading. Encourage the group to evaluate the accuracy of their predictions.
In addition, Denton, et.al (2007: 115) suggest the teacher to implement the procedures of webbing strategy in helping students to do comprehending on reading stages. These reading stages are: (1) Pre-reading that includes activities as showing the webbing stragey to students and discuss students’ prior knowledge, using the webbing strategy as a tool to preview the chapter or text, and asking students to make predictions about the text based on the graphic organizer or ovals. Therefore, in the pre-reading, the activities are focused on the students’ vocabulary and background or prior knowledge through questioning and some ovals or webbing; (2) During-reading that includes activities as having students fill in important information as they read the text, and conforming and/or modify students’ predictions about the text. In this stage, the activities are focused on grasping and extracting the topics, explicit and implicit information; (3) Post-reading that includes activities as having students write a summary of the chapter or text using the webbing strategy as a guide, having students use the webbing strategy to present the content orally to a peer, tutor, or mentor, and having students write guide or test questions based on the webbing strategy.
Additionally, McDonald & Hershman (2010: 239) proposes that in webbing strategy, the students draw a circle in the middle of their paper and write the title of the book in it. Then they draw other circles off the main one for each chapter and write the main idea for one chapter in each of the smaller circles. A web can also be used to break down a textbook chapter by putting the chapter title in the middle and then having main ideas sprouting off the circle in the middle could be shaped and the main ideas could all be shooting off.
Cooper, D.J. 2000. Literacy Helping Children Construct Meaning. The Fourth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Denton, C. Bryan, D. Wexler, J. Reed, D. & Vaughn, S. 2007. Effective Instruction for Middle School Students with Reading Difficulties: The

McDonald & Hershman. 2010. Classrooms That Spakr!. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass

Reading Teacher’s Source Book. Austin: The University of Texas

Starko, A. J. 2010. Creativity in the Classroom. New York: Routledge

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