The XLT3 is a visual model developed by Jim Allen and can be used to improve problem-solving skills as well as the building blocks of writing. The XLT3 also parallels the thinking process. John Dewey, in his “Theory of Inquiry” said that the thinking process consists of 1, Pre-Reflection, 2, Reflection, and 3, Post-Reflection (Dewey, 1933). Dewey essentially wanted us to consider the thinking process as the action-focus of reflection was bracketed by the perturbation and resolution.
XLT3 consists of 3 components and the skills to implement it are reflected in the acronym SSUP. Situation, SetUp, and Punchline. The XLT3 is similar a play in that it also has 3 components, act 1, 2, and 3. (Act 1 panel 1) is the Situation and the description, problem or question is introduced. In (act 2 panel 2) the SetUp and action or series of events develop and create a puzzlement resulting as a cliffhanger. It can also be viewed as a hypothesis. From the information provided in Situation (act 1 panel 1) and SetUp (act 2 panel 2) one can propose what will happen or be resolved in Puncline. In act 3 the Punchline is delivered by resolution, solving the problem, or answering the question and thereby tying the loose ends together.
The Situation (panel 1) is the selecting of a theme or topic, divergent thinking and brainstorming. The SetUp (panel 2) is convergent thinking and using the information in panel 1 and panel 2 to start to make some hypotheses in the thinking process. The Punchline (panel 3) is resolving the problem. Additional options are to expand the 3 panels to 3 pages. The outline is in place and the student would need to expand panel 1 to page 1, panel 2 to the second page, and the 3rd panel to page 3. The result is a mini page graphic novel incorporating a writing component to research and and problems solving skills. The Punchline is also a reflection time to think of additional input by peer and teacher input.