Glenda L. Tomanggong August 16, 2013
IV-F SpEd (PET 19) Prof. Jackielou E. Cansancio
Reading comprehension is defined as the level of understanding of a text/message. This understanding comes from the
interaction between the words that are written and how they trigger knowledge outside the text/message.
The Seven Reading Comprehension Strategies
A "strategy" is a plan developed by a reader to assist in comprehending and thinking about texts, when reading
the words alone does not give the reader a sense of the meaning of a text. In recent years, reading
comprehension strategy instruction has come to the fore in reading instruction at all age and grade levels. By
helping students understand how these flexible tools work, teachers enable readers to tackle challenging texts
with greater independence.
Strategy instruction is rooted in the work of David Pearson and his colleagues, who studied the processes of
proficient readers, and then sought ways to teach these processes to struggling readers. While there is debate
about the relative importance of different strategies (or even if some should be deleted from or added to the
list), most researchers and practitioners agree about a core set of seven strategies:
1. Activating background knowledge to make connections between new and known information. In many classrooms, this
instruction is divided into three categories of connection as defined by Colleen Buddy -- text-to-self, text-to-
text, and text-to-world (Buddy quoted in Keene and Zimmerman, 2007).
2. Questioning the text. Proficient readers are always asking questions while they read. Sticky notes (post-its) have
become ubiquitous in classrooms in part because they are such a useful tool for teaching students to stop, mark
text, and note questions as they read.
3. Drawing inferences. Proficient readers use their prior knowledge about a topic and the information they have
gleaned in the text thus far to make predictions about what might happen next. When teachers demonstrate or
model their reading processes for students through think-aloud, they often stop and predict what will happen
next to show how inferring is essential for comprehending text.
4. Determining importance. In the sea of words that is any text; readers must continually sort through and prioritize
information. Teachers often assist readers in analysing everything from text features in nonfiction text like
bullets and headings, to verbal cues in novels like strong verbs. Looking for these clues can help readers sift
through the relative value of different bits of information in texts.
5. Creating mental images. Readers are constantly creating mind pictures as they read, visualizing action,
characters, or themes. Teachers are using picture books with students of all ages, not necessarily because they
are easy to read, but because the lush and sophisticated art in these books can be a great bridge for helping
students sees how words and images connect in meaning-making.
6. Repairing understanding when meaning breaks down. Proficient readers don't just plow ahead through text when it
doesn't make sense -- they stop and use "fix-up" strategies to restore their understanding. One of the most
important fix-up tools is rereading, with teachers demonstrating to students a variety of ways to reread text in
order to repair meaning.
7. Synthesizing information. Synthesis is the most sophisticated of the comprehension strategies, combining
elements of connecting, questioning, and inferring. With this strategy, students move from making meaning of
the text, to integrating their new understanding into their lives and world view.
7 CRITICAL READING STRATEGIES
1. Previewing: Learning about a text before really reading it.
Previewing enables readers to get a sense of what the text is about and how it is organized before reading it closely. This simple strategy
includes seeing what you can learn from the headnotes or other introductory material, skimming to get an overview of the content and
organization, and identifying the rhetorical situation.
2. Contextualizing: Placing a text in its historical, biographical, and cultural contexts.
When you read a text, you read it through the lens of your own experience. Your understanding of the words on the page and their
significance is informed by what you have come to know and value from living in a particular time and place. But the texts you read were all
written in the past, sometimes in a radically different time and place. To read critically, you need to contextualize, to recognize the differences
between your contemporary values and attitudes and those represented in the text.
3. Questioning to understand and remember: Asking questions about the content.
As students, you are accustomed (I hope) to teachers asking you questions about your reading. These questions are designed to help you
understand a reading and respond to it more fully, and often this technique works. When you need to understand and use new information
though it is most beneficial if you write the questions, as you read the text for the first time. With this strategy, you can write questions any
time, but in difficult academic readings, you will understand the material better and remember it longer if you write a question for every
paragraph or brief section. Each question should focus on a main idea, not on illustrations or details, and each should be expressed in your
own words, not just copied from parts of the paragraph.
4. Reflecting on challenges to your beliefs and values: Examining your personal responses.
The reading that you do for this class might challenge your attitudes, your unconsciously held beliefs, or your positions on current issues. As
you read a text for the first time, mark an X in the margin at each point where you feel a personal challenge to your attitudes, beliefs, or
status. Make a brief note in the margin about what you feel or about what in the text created the challenge. Now look again at the places you
marked in the text where you felt personally challenged. What patterns do you see?
5. Outlining and summarizing: Identifying the main ideas and restating them in your own words.
Outlining and summarizing are especially helpful strategies for understanding the content and structure of a reading selection. Whereas
outlining reveals the basic structure of the text, summarizing synopsizes a selection's main argument in brief. Outlining may be part of the
annotating process, or it may be done separately (as it is in this class). The key to both outlining and summarizing is being able to distinguish
between the main ideas and the supporting ideas and examples. The main ideas form the backbone, the strand that holds the various parts
and pieces of the text together. Outlining the main ideas helps you to discover this structure. When you make an outline, don't use the text's
Summarizing begins with outlining, but instead of merely listing the main ideas, a summary recomposes them to form a new text. Whereas
outlining depends on a close analysis of each paragraph, summarizing also requires creative synthesis. Putting ideas together again -- in
your own words and in a condensed form -- shows how reading critically can lead to deeper understanding of any text.
6. Evaluating an argument: Testing the logic of a text as well as its credibility and emotional impact.
All writers make assertions that they want you to accept as true. As a critical reader, you should not accept anything on face value but to
recognize every assertion as an argument that must be carefully evaluated. An argument has two essential parts: a claim and support. The
claim asserts a conclusion -- an idea, an opinion, a judgment, or a point of view -- that the writer wants you to accept. The support includes
reasons (shared beliefs, assumptions, and values) and evidence (facts, examples, statistics, and authorities) that give readers the basis for
accepting the conclusion. When you assess an argument, you are concerned with the process of reasoning as well as its truthfulness (these
are not the same thing). At the most basic level, in order for an argument to be acceptable, the support must be appropriate to the claim and
the statements must be consistent with one another.
7. Comparing and contrasting related readings: Exploring likenesses and differences between texts to understand them better.
Many of the authors we read are concerned with the same issues or questions, but approach how to discuss them in different
ways. Fitting a text into an on-going dialectic helps increase understanding of why an author approached a particular issue or
question in the way he or she did.
Skimming and Scanning: Two Important Strategies for Speeding Up Your Reading
Skimming and scanning are two very different strategies for speed reading.
They are each used for different purposes, and they are not meant to be used all the time. They are at the fast end of
the speed reading range, while studying is at the slow end.
People who know how to skim and scan are flexible readers. They read according to their purpose and get the information
they need quickly without wasting time. They do not read everything which is what increases their reading speed. Their
skill lies in knowing what specific information to read and which method to use.
Skimming is one of the tools you can use to read more in less time.Skimming refers to looking only for the general or
main ideas, and works best with non-fiction (or factual) material. With skimming, your overall understanding is reduced
because you don’t read everything. You read only what is important to your purpose. Skimming takes place while reading
and allows you to look for details in addition to the main ideas.
How to skim. Many people think that skimming is a haphazard process placing the eyes where ever they fall. However,
to skim effectively, there has to be a structure but you don’t read everything. What you read is more important than what
you leave out. So what material do you read and what material do you leave out?
Let’s say you are doing research on a long chapter or a web site. By reading the first few paragraphs in detail, you will get
a good idea of what information will be discussed. Once you know where the reading is headed, you can begin to read
only the first sentence of each paragraph. Also called topic sentences, they give you the main idea of the paragraph. If
you do not get the main idea in the topic sentence or if the paragraph greatly interests you, then you may want to skim
At the end of each topic sentence, your eyes should drop down through the rest of the paragraph, looking for important
pieces of information, such as names, dates, or events. Continue to read only topic sentences, dropping down through the
rest of the paragraphs, until you are near the end. Since the last few paragraphs may contain a conclusion or summary,
you should stop skimming there and read in detail. Remember that your overall comprehension will be lower than if you
read in detail. If while skimming, you feel you are grasping the main ideas, then you are skimming correctly.
When to skim.Because skimming is done at a fast speed with less-than-normal comprehension, you shouldn’t skim all
the time. There are many times, however, when skimming is very useful.
Suppose you are taking a presentation skills class and have to deliver an oral report in a few days about the first
computers ever made. You locate six books and four newspaper articles about this topic. Because you must be ready
soon, you do not have time to read each word, but you need a large quantity of solid information.
Skimming will help you locate the information quickly while making sure you use your time wisely. It will also increase the
amount of usable material you obtain for your research.
Suppose you have an exam in a few days. You need to review the material you learned, but you don’t want to reread
everything. By skimming, you can quickly locate the information you haven’t mastered yet and study only that material.
While reading, ask yourself the following questions to help you decide whether or not to skim. If you answer yes to any of
these, then skimming is a useful tool.
■ Is this material non-fiction?
■ Do I have a lot to read and only a small amount of time?
■ Do I already know something about this?
■ Can any of the material be skipped?
If you have sufficient background knowledge or believe you don’t need the information, then skip it! That’s right—don’t
read it at all! Believe it or not, skipping material may sometimes be the best use of your time. Just because someone
wrote something doesn’t mean you have to read it. If you pick and choose carefully what you skim and skip, you will be
pleasantly surprised at the large amount of information you can get through in a short period of time.
Scanning is another useful tool for speeding up your reading. Unlike skimming, when scanning, you look only for a
specific fact or piece of information without reading everything. You scan when you look for your favourite show listed in
the cable guide, for your friend’s phone number in a telephone book, and for the sports scores in the newspaper. For
scanning to be successful, you need to understand how your material is structured as well as comprehend what you read
so you can locate the specific information you need. Scanning also allows you to find details and other information in a
How to scan.Because you already scan many different types of material in your daily life, learning more details about
scanning will be easy. Establishing your purpose, locating the appropriate material, and knowing how the information is
structured before you start scanning is essential.
The material you scan is typically arranged in the following ways: alphabetically, chronologically, non-alphabetically, by
category, or textually. Alphabetical information is arranged in order from A to Z, whilechronological information is
arranged in time or numerical order.
Information can be also be arranged in non- alphabetical order, such as a television listing, or by category, listings of
like items such as an auto parts catalogue. Sometimes information is located within the written paragraphs of text, also
known as a textual sense, as in an encyclopedia entry.
Learning to use your hands while scanning is very helpful in locating specific information. Do you do anything with your
hands to locate a word in a dictionary? To find a meeting time on your calendar? To read a train or bus schedule? Using
your hand or finger is extremely helpful in focusing your attention and keeping your place while scanning a column of
Your peripheral vision can also help you scan effectively. When your hand moves down a list of names, you see not
only the name your finger is pointing to, but also the names above and below. Let your eyes work for you when searching
Keep the concept of key words in mind while scanning. Your purpose will determine the key words. Suppose you are
looking for the time a train leaves from New York City for Washington, D.C.The key words to keep in mind are “from New
York City” and “to Washington,D.C.” If you are looking for the cost of a computer printer with the code number PX-710, the
key word to locate in a list of many printers is “PX-710.”
When to scan. You scan when your aim is to find specific pieces of information. If you were doing the research for an
oral presentation, you could scan the index of books, web sites, and reference materials. You would discover whether
they contain any information you want and the pages where the information can be found.
In the past, you probably scanned without knowing you were doing it. Now with the information provided in this section,
you can use scanning more intentionally and frequently. The more you practice, the more effective scanning will become.
Finally, the most important benefit of scanning is its ability to help you become a more flexible reader. Scanning adds
another high gear to your reading.
Permission to not read everything.Because you may be used to reading every word and may be uncomfortable leaving
some words out, you need to give yourself permission to overlook some words by skimming, scanning, and skipping
material according to your reading purpose. I give you permission to NOT read everything!
Intensive Reading & Extensive Reading
It is the view of Palmer (1964) that “extensive reading” is considered as being reading rapidly. The readers read books
after books. Its attention is paid to the meaning of the text itself not the language. The purpose of extensive reading is for
pleasure and information. Thus, extensive reading is also termed as “supplementary reading”.
The work of Palmer (1921) notes that “intensive reading” means that the readers take a text, study it line by line, and
refer at very moment to the dictionary about the grammar of the text itself.
To sum up, Palmer (1964) also concludes that both types of the reading are important because the main goal of reading is to
comprehend the printed pages.
Classroom Reading Techniques and tasks
Activate prior knowledge
Discuss about the topic to trigger the interest and motivation
Relate personal experience to the text
Familiarize yourself with the vocabulary relevant with the topic
Use pictures/ illustrations to help arouse and flourish imagination
Set questions relating to increase curiosity and willingness to read.
Scanning for particular or specific ideas/ answers to particular questions
Skimming for general ideas and central ideas
Gather information: who, what, when, where, which, why, how?
Predict and guess: what do you think will happen next?
Suppose: If you were him/her, would you …? What would you do?
Guess the title
Word study: Synonym, Antonym, Prefix, Suffix, categorizing, class
Match ideas with sentences …T/F
Fill in the Blank
The following strategies can help you with reading. Please classify them on the basis of pre-reading, while-reading, and post-
reading. Put tick () 1. Pre-reading 2. While-reading 3. While-reading
1. Reading the topic or heading of the passage. 1 2 3
2. Looking at the illustrations and pictures given in the texts. 1 2 3
3. Reading the every first sentence of each paragraph in texts. 1 2 3
4. Asking yourself how the given texts are related to what you have already known. 1 2 3
5. Trying to think about the reason why you are reading the text. 1 2 3
6. Asking yourself and try to understand what the purpose of the text the writer conveys? 1 2 3
7. Changing the predictions slightly in order for the better comprehension. 1 2 3
8. Linking your prior knowledge or knowledge of the world with your reading for the better
comprehension of the texts.
1 2 3
9. Checking the predictions about the texts while reading. 1 2 3
10. Practicing the skills and strategies you have been using during your reading for future or
1 2 3
11. Applying the knowledge of the texts you read in your daily activities. 1 2 3
12. Skipping the words you do not know the meaning in the texts and keep reading. 1 2 3
13. Breaking the sentences into smaller units, phrases, and individual words for your
understanding of the passage.
1 2 3
14. Read repeatedly aloud or silently and try to understand every word to help you to understand
the ideas in the texts.
1 2 3
15. Taking notes and having the important words and ideas underlined. 1 2 3
16. Translating the passage read into your own language. 1 2 3
17. Finding out the word parts to reason the meaning in the texts. For example: postwar → post
(after) + war.
1 2 3
18. Reading the questions before reading the texts. 1 2 3
19. Reading the conclusion before reading the texts. 1 2 3
20. Going back to read some parts of the texts of that you are not sure. 1 2 3
21. Writing the summary of the text. 1 2 3
22. Using skimming and scanning to extract both relevant ideas and main ideas. 1 2 3
23. Using the inner structure of the vocabulary and sentence structure to help you understand
1 2 3
24. Reading the passage and trying to make predictions about what the passages are about? 1 2 3
25. Predicting what is going to be about in the next. 1 2 3
26. Referring to either a bilingual or a monolingual dictionary for the meaning when you do not
know the words.
1 2 3
27. Guessing unfamiliar words from the clues in the texts for better comprehension. 1 2 3
28. Putting down the new words and phrases on your vocabulary index cards. 1 2 3
29. Discussing with your friends, classmates, and teachers about what your thoughts are. 1 2 3
30. Giving yourself a reward. 1 2 3
31. When you do not comprehend the text read, telling yourself not to give up and continue
1 2 3
32. Drawing tree map or bubble map to help you organize the information. 1 2 3
33. Using what you have learnt to facilitate your other English skills. 1 2 3
34. Having the news words or phrases grouped according their types. 1 2 3
35. Associating words you read with your existing language knowledge when you do not know
1 2 3
36. Stopping to listen to the music to lower your anxiety for the better productive
comprehension when you have difficulty in reading comprehension.
1 2 3
37. Cooperating with successful readers rather than with less successful readers when you do not
comprehend the text read totally.
1 2 3
38. Confirming what you have read with friends, classmates, and teachers. 1 2 3
39. Note which date you will read it again after finish reading. 1 2 3
EXTENSIVE AND INTENSIVE READING
Reading is an activity that can add someone’s knowledge about important news and also some new vocabulary items.
Realizing the importance of reading, some collages make it as one of subject. There are two kinds of teaching reading; Extensive
and Intensive. Extensive and Intensive are different in some cases. This article provides three differences between Extensive
Reading and Intensive Reading; therefore Extensive Reading has more important purpose compared to Intensive Reading in
broadening students’ knowledge.
The first difference is that Extensive Reading covers large area, while Intensive Reading covers narrower area. According
to Graham Stanley, Extensive Reading involves students reading long texts or large quantities for general understanding, with
the intention of enjoying the texts. It means that students are given freedom to choose their own topic which they think are
interested to be discussed. In this case, the students also have to find supported articles related to the topic in order to give
them background knowledge, so that they know more about the topic they have chosen. It is different from Intensive Reading
that does not allow the students to find a topic they like. The topic is given by the teacher. The students also do not necessary to
look for supported articles because the topic which is chosen by the teacher is usually short and easy to understand.
The second difference is about students’ activity in class. In Extensive Reading the students’ activity is more complex
than in Intensive Reading. The students, in Extensive Reading class, usually are asked to write a summary after reading an
article/ passage. As we know, writing summary is not an easy thing to do. It allows learners to assert full control, both of the
main factual or fictional content of an article/ book, and of the grammar and vocabulary used to express it (Bell, 1998). Besides,
the students also will do a short presentation on what they have read. By doing short presentation, the students will have
knowledge of the right preparation, self- independence and autonomy (Bell, 1998). While in Intensive Reading, instead of writing
summary and having presentation, the students are asked to answer some questions related to the topic which is given by the
teacher. Usually, all of the answers are available on the text, so that the students only rewrite it.
The last, Extensive Reading will discourage the over- use of dictionary (Bell, 1998); on the contrary dictionary is a must
in Intensive Reading. It is true that dictionary have an important place in reading activity, but as stated by Bell (1998) that the
students will focus only on the language if they always consult the dictionary every time they find an unfamiliar word. They will
not pay attention to the message conveyed. Bell also said that this habit will cause inefficient reading and destroy the pleasure
that reading is intended to provide. Graham Stanley from British Council, Barcelona said that by avoiding dictionary, the students
are expected to be encouraged to jot down the words they come across in a vocabulary notebook and they can look them up
after they have finished reading. It will make the students guess the meaning based on the context. By doing this, the students
are able to always remember the meaning of a word because they find it by themselves. Meanwhile in Intensive Reading,
students have to find difficult words while they are reading. The frequency of using dictionary is often because in Intensive
Reading, a text will be used to answer some questions, so the students have to know the meaning of all words in the text in
order to make them easy to answer the questions.
In conclusion, through doing complex activities, Extensive Reading can broaden students’ knowledge more than
Intensive Reading. In Extensive Reading, students write summary and do presentation which lead them to minimize the use of
dictionary. In opposition, the students’ activities in Intensive Reading are more limited. The activities depend on the teacher’s
guidance only. This kind of activities will not encourage students to explore their abilities; they cannot broaden knowledge by
themselves as well as in Extensive Reading.
For years in schools, students everywhere have been asked to pick out the most important information when they read, to highlight
essential ideas, to isolate supporting details, and to read for specific information. This is easier said than done. Readers need to know how
to sift and sort information, and make decisions about what information they need to remember and what information they can disregard.
Determining important ideas and information in text is central to making sense of reading and moving toward insight in text. When
teaching determining importance nonfiction text is normally used. Nonfiction is full of features, text cues, and structures that signal
importance and scaffold understanding for readers. These features, specific to nonfiction, provide explicit cues to help readers sift essential
information from less important details when they read expository text. Readers of nonfiction have to decide and remember what is
important in the texts they read if they are going to learn anything from them. We need to explicitly teach readers how to use these cues to
extract needed information.
When readers determine importance in fiction and other narrative genre, they often infer the bigger ideas and themes in the story. Getting
at what's important in nonfiction text is more about gaining information and acquiring knowledge than discerning themes.
Nonfiction picture books and young adult magazines and newspapers fire students up, especially if text quality matches the compelling
photographs, charts, and illustrations. There's nothing like a photograph of the jaws of a great white shark clamping down on the front end
of a surfboard to spark students' interest in ocean life. Interesting authentic nonfiction fuels students' curiosity, enticing them to read more,
dig deeper, and search for answers to compelling questions. When students read and understand nonfiction, they build background for the
topic and acquire new knowledge. The ability to identify essential ideas and necessary information is a prerequisite to developing insight.
When teaching determining importance overviewing, highlighting text, and nonfiction features help students to determine important ideas
and information while reading.
When students read nonfiction, they can be taught overviewing, a form of skimming and scanning the text before reading. Focus your
lessons on the following to help students overview the text:
*Activating prior knowledge
*Noting characteristics of text length and structure
*Noting important headings and subheadings
*Determining what to read and in what order
*Determining what to pay careful attention to
*Determining what to ignore
*Deciding to quit because the text contains no relevant information
*Deciding if the text is worth careful reading or just skimming
A careful overview saves precious time for students when reading difficult nonfiction text. The ability to overview eliminates the need for
kids to read everything when searching for specific information. Overviewing represents an early entry in the effort to determine
importance. You can model these components of overviewing in your own reading and research to your reader.
To effectively highlight text, readers need to read the text, think about it, and make conscious decisions about what they need to remember
and learn. They can't possibly remember everything. They need to sort important information from less important details. They need to pick
out the main ideas and notice supporting details, and they need to let go of ancillary information. Encourage students to consider the
following guidelines when they highlight, and you will need to provide explicit instruction in each of these points:
* Look carefully at the first and last line of each paragraph. Important information is often contained there.
*Highlight only necessary words and phrases, not entire sentences.
*Don't get thrown off by interesting details. Although they are fascinating, they often obscure important information.
*Make notes in the margin to emphasize a pertinent highlighted word of phrase.
*Note cue words. They are almost always followed by important information
*Pay attention to the vast array of nonfiction features that signal importance.
*Pay attention to surprising information. It might mean you are learning something new.
*When finished, check to see that no more than half the paragraph is highlighted. As readers become more adept, one-third of the
paragraph is a good measure for highlighting.
Nonfiction Features That Signal Importance
When a word is italicized, a paragraph begins with a boldface heading, or the text says "Most important,...." readers need to stop and take
notice. This may sound obvious, but it's not. Titles, headings, framed text, and captions help focus readers as they sort important
information from less important details. Nonfiction is one of the most accessible genres for reluctant and less experienced readers because
the feature scaffold the reader's understanding. A photograph and a caption sometimes synthesizes the most important information on the
page, rendering a complete reading of the text unnecessary. Nonfiction features are user-friendly.
Fonts and effects Teachers can note examples of different fonts and effects, such as titles, headings, boldface print, color print, italics,
bullets, captions, and labels, which signal importance in text. We need to teach students that font and effect differences should be viewed
as red flags that wave "This is important. Read carefully."
Cue words and phrases Nonfiction writing often includes text cues that signal importance. Signal words, like stop signs, warn readers to
halt and pay attention. Proficient adult readers automatically attend to these text cues. Less experienced readers don't. We need to
remember to point these signal words out to readers. Writers choose phrases such as for example, for instance, in fact, in conclusion, most
important, but, therefore, on the other had,and such as so that readers will take note. Standardized test as well are full of cue words, and
familiarity with these signals may boost scores.
Illustrations and photographs Illustrations play a prominent role in nonfiction to enhance reading comprehension. Nonfiction trade
books and magazines brim with colorful photographs that capture young readers and carry them deeper into meaning.
Graphics Diagrams, cut-aways, cross-sections, overlays, distribution maps, word bubbles, tables, graphs, and charts graphically inform
nonfiction readers of important information.
Text organizers Teachers cannot assume that kids know concepts such as index, preface, table of contents, glossary, and appendix. When
students are surveying different texts for information, knowledge of these text organizers is crucial for further research.
Text structures Expository text is framed around several structures that crop up in both trade and textbook publications and standardized
test forms. Understanding different expository text structures gives readers a better shot at determining important information. These
structures include cause and effect, problem and solution, question and answer, comparison and contrast, and description and sequence. If
a student know what to look for in terms of text structure, meaning comes more easily. Grappling with nonfiction text structure and coming
to understand it helps readers determine essential ideas.
Harvey, S., and Goudvis, A.,2000. Strategies That Work. York, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
Ideas on how to teach determining importance:
Response options for determining importance
Go back to the Comprehension Chart for other strategies a reader would use to solve comprehension problems or to deepen their
understanding of a text.
If you know the reading level of your child or want to see what reading levels are in each grade please go to the Text Gradient Chart. You
will also be able to check on the levels to find out the characteristics of each level and examples of titles that are found in that level.
Skilled readers continually question as they read in order to infer deeper meaning from the text. If we want our
students to become better readers then we need to teach them the process of questioning.
To begin with, you may want to choose an area of focus for your students’ questions; the questions can target
content, process, skills, and/or any chosen area.
Thick questions need longer answers and may start with words like Why? How come? and I wonder.
Thin questions need shorter answers like a number, yes or no, a single word or a few sentences. Thin
questions often begin with words like who, where, or what.
As you encourage students to think of questions, encourage students to make them thick questions.
Math Connection: In mathematics, students are often required to answer questions that require them to go
back to the problem in order to solve the problem. In addition, when students are asked questions, they
sometimes do not understand “how” they want the answer to look. For example, when asked to draw a
conclusion, some students will literally illustrate their answer. Students need to be familiar with the “verb”
asked within the question in order to provide an accurate and acceptable response.