You will develop the skill of using personal connections to make meaning of a text.

We invite you to read and annotate a foundational text about the “16 Habits of Mind” proposed by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick “to create a more thoughtful, cooperative, compassionate generation of people who skillfully work to resolve social, environmental, economic and political problems.” (

Use a tool called NowComment to make comments on Costa’s “descriptions for 16 of the attributes that human beings display when they behave intelligently.” Describe the habits with your own words and give examples from your life. Click here: Describing the Habits of Mind.

What we are inviting you to make:

We want you to spend some time making personal connections by writing responses to specific sentences and paragraphs in Describing the Habits of Mind, by Arthur L. Costa. He has crafted descriptions of the 16 Habits of Mind and other readers have already added their thoughts in the right plane of this document. We invite you to enter these conversations with your own takes and your own examples for the habits that have been most meaningful in your life. Write as many comments as you can, and reply to other readers as well!

Using an RSS feed, we will pull each of your NowComment annotations into the activity stream on your Youth Voices wall. (If that’s not happening yet, contact Paul Allison and ask him to set you up.)

At a later time, we will ask you to bookmark the NowComment annotations and replies that are most meaningful to you and to say why.

Examples of Comments on Costa’s article:

How to do this, step-by-step:

Annotation means adding notes to the text (or image or video) about things you think and care about as you read (or watch). You can make notes as you read. You can show your thinking. You can “talk back” to the text or video. You can highlight important words or ideas. (Special bonus: You do not need to use full sentences or worry about grammar.)

Join and start a lot of conversations. Describe the habits with your own words and give examples from your life. Click here: Describing the Habits of Mind.

NowComment is free. Take 60 seconds to get an account now. Click here: Sign up. OR Log in (or Sign in with Google) if you already have an account.

If you are new to NowComment, check out these NowComment Basics.

Watch this video for help with making text comments.

Click here to see how to start a new conversation on NowComment

Reflecting on the Habits of Mind

When you finish annotating Costa’s descriptions and replying to other readers, write a status update on your Youth Voices wall. Reflect on how you used one or two of these Habits of Mind.


Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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