You are on page 1of 22


Reading without comprehension or understanding is not reading. Many students

can pronounce words fluently, but when asked what they have just read, they
are unable to respond. Evidently, these students are considered not really good
One good question that runs in most teachers is What makes a good reader?
Research has indicated that a good reader has a purpose for reading either it is
for obtaining specific information or reading for pleasure. A good reader is
normally involved in complicated thinking processes where information obtained








encompasses four important elements, namely language, knowledge, fluency

and metacognition.







In order to have proper reading strategies adopted, students need to be trained

to use these strategies appropriately in order to become purposeful active
readers. Students who receive proper instructions through the strategies would
be able to make significant gains in reading comprehension activities. All these
strategies will enable our students to:

set purposes for reading.

identify or infer main ideas and make predictions.

monitor reading and realise when something is not making sense.

question during reading.

make mental pictures of what is being read.

draw on prior knowledge.

understand story structure.

summarise what is read.

recognise words quickly and analyse unfamiliar words

use text features (subheadings and transitions) and titles to infer



continue reading even when unsuccessful, at least for a while.

(Anderson et al. 1991)

1. SQ3R Reading Method

SQ3R is a reading strategy formed from its letters: Survey! Question! Read!
SQ3R will help you build a framework to understand your reading
assignment. A. Before you read, Survey the chapter:

The title, headings, and subheadings

Captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps

Review questions or teacher-made study guides

Introductory and concluding paragraphs

B. Question while you are surveying:

Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions

Read questions at the end of the chapters or after each subheading

Ask yourself,
"What did my instructor say about this chapter or subject when it was

Ask yourself,

"What do I already know about this subject?"

Note: If it is helpful to you, write out these questions for consideration.
B. When you begin to Read:

Look for answers to the questions you first raised

Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or study guides

Reread captions under pictures, graphs, etc.

Note all the underlined, italicized, bold printed words or phrases

Study graphic aids

Reduce your speed for difficult passages

Stop and reread parts which are not clear

Read only a section at a time and recite after each section.

B. Recite after you've read a section:

Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read, or summarize,
in your own words, what you read

Take notes from the text but write the information in your own words

Underline or highlight important points you've just read

Reciting: The more senses you use the more likely you are to remember
what you read Triple strength learning: Seeing, saying, hearing. Quadruple
strength learning: Seeing , saying , hearing, writing!!!
E. Review: an ongoing process
Day One
After you have read and recited the entire chapter, write questions in
the margins for those points you have highlighted or underlined.

If you took notes while reciting, write questions for the notes you
have taken in the left hand margins of your notebook.

Complete the form for a critical reading review

Day Two

Page through the text and/or your notebook to re-acquaint

yourself with the important points.

Cover the right hand column of your text/note-book and orally ask
yourself the questions in the left hand margins.

Orally recite or write the answers from memory.

Develop mnemonic devices for material which need to be


Make flash cards for those questions which give you difficulty.

Days Three, Four and Five

Alternate between your flash cards and notes and test yourself
(orally or in writing) on the questions you formulated.

Make additional flash cards if necessary.


Using the text and notebook, make a Table of Contents - list all
the topics and sub-topics you need to know from the chapter.

From the Table of Contents, make a Study Sheet/ Spatial Map.

Recite the information orally and in your own words as you put
the Study Sheet/Map together.

As you have consolidated all the information you need for this
chapter, periodically review the Sheet/Map so that at test time
you will not have to cram.

K-W-L (Ogle, 1986) is an instructional reading strategy that is used to guide
students through a text. Students begin by brainstorming everything they Know
about a topic. This information is recorded in the K column of a K-W-L chart.
Students then generate a list of questions about what they Want to Know about
the topic. These questions are listed in the W column of the chart. During or after
reading, students answer the questions that are in the W column. This new
information that they have Learned is recorded in the L column of the K-W-L
KWL is intended to be an exercise for a study group or class that can
guide you in reading and understanding a text. You can adapt it to working alone,
but discussions definitely help. The K-W-L strategy serves several purposes:

Elicits students prior knowledge of the topic of the text.

Sets a purpose for reading.

Helps students to monitor their comprehension.

It is composed of only three stages that reflect a worksheet of three

columns with the three letters:
What we Know

what we Want to

what we Learned

How you can learn


Figure 1.7. The KWLH Form

A. K stands for Know
This first stage may surprise you: Think first about, then list, what you know about
the topic before reading! This advanced organizer provides you with a
background to the new material, building a scaffold to support it. Think of it as a
pre-reading inventory.

Brainstorm! Before looking at the text, think of keywords, terms, or


about the topic, either in your class or a study group.

Record these in the K column of your chart until you cannot think of more.

Engage your group in a discussion about what you wrote in the K column.

Organize the entries into general categories.

B. W stands for Will or Want

The second stage is to list a series of questions of what you want to know more
of the subject, based upon what you listed in K.

Preview the texts table of contents, headings, pictures, charts etc.

Discuss what you want to learn

List some thoughts on what you want, or expect to learn, generally or

specifically. Think in terms of what you will learn, or what do you want to
learn about this.

Turn all sentences into questions before writing them down. They will help
you focus your attention during reading.

List the questions by importance.

C. L stands for Learned

The final stage is to answer your questions, as well as to list what new
information you have learned. Either while reading or after you have finished.

List out what you learn as you read, either by section, or after the whole
work, whichever is comfortable for you.

Check it against the W column, what you wanted to learn

Create symbols to indicate main ideas, surprising ideas, questionable

ideas, and those you dont understand!

Expand this exercise beyond K

W L: D. Add an H!
Stands for HOW you can learn more.

Pose new questions about the topic

How can I learn more or answer questions not answered in my


These include other sources of information, including:

organizations, experts, tutors, websites, librarians, etc.

3. 5Ws and an H
Another reading strategy is to answer the questions that form the basis of good

Who What When Where Why and How

Who are the main characters?

What does the author say happened?

Where did the action occur?

When did it happen or what is the span of time?

Why did this happen?

How did it happen?

4. Question-Answer Relationship (QAR)

The questionanswer relationship (QAR) strategy helps students understand the
different types of questions. By learning that the answers to some questions are
"Right There" in the text, that some answers require a reader to "Think and
Search," and that some answers can only be answered "On My Own," students
recognize that they must first consider the question before developing an answer.
(Raphael, T.E., & Au, K.H. (2005). QAR: Enhancing comprehension and test
taking across grades and content areas. The Reading Teacher, 59, 206-221)
Why use questionanswer relationship?

It can improve students' reading comprehension.

It teaches students how to ask questions about their reading and


to find the answers to them.

It helps students to think about the text they are reading and
beyond it,


It inspires them to think creatively and work cooperatively while

challenging them to use higher-level thinking skills.

How to use questionanswer relationship

1. Explain to students that there are four types of questions they will
Define each type of question and give an example.

Four types of questions are examined in the QAR:


Right There Questions: Literal questions whose answers can be

found in the text. Often the words used in the question are the
same words found in the text.

Think and Search Questions: Answers are gathered from several


of the text and put together to make meaning.

Author and You: These questions are based on information

provided in the text but the student is required to relate it to their
own experience. Although the answer does not lie directly in the
text, the student must have read it in order to answer the question.

On My Own: These questions do not require the student to have

read the passage but he/she must use their background or prior
knowledge to answer the question.

2. Read a short passage aloud to your students.

3. Have predetermined questions you will ask after you stop reading. When
you have finished reading, read the questions aloud to students and
model how you decide which type of question you have been asked to
4. Show students how to find information to answer the question (i.e., in the
text, from your own experiences, etc.).

5. Skimming and Scanning

It is an activity to read shorter texts to extract accurate detailed information.
Skimming is used to quickly identify the main ideas of a text.
Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal
reading. People often skim when they have lots of material to read in a limited
amount of time.
There are many strategies that can be used when skimming.
Some students read the first and last paragraphs using headings,
summarises and other organizers as they move down the page or screen. The
students might read the title, subtitles, subheading, and illustrations. Consider
reading the first sentence of each paragraph.
This technique is useful when the students are seeking specific
information rather than reading for comprehension. Skimming works well to find
dates, names, and places. It might be used to review graphs, tables, and charts.
The main goal of this activity is to get the general meaning (gist) of the
story without trying to decode exactly what each word means.
Procedure (for the students)
Read the whole text silently twice as outlined below. Do not use a dictionary! (To
help you resist the temptation to decode the reading word-for- word, you should
time yourself, allowing no more than two minutes per paragraph).
1. Your first reading will help orient you further to the content and make you
comfortable with what you don't understand in it. Focus on what does make
sense (cognates, compound words, logical relationships between words and
whole phrases), and skip what you don't understand, trying to go with the flow.
2. Your second reading will give you a much better feeling for the content. You
will notice that some passages that were unclear during your first reading are

starting to make sense, since what comes at the end often helps you to
understand the beginning.
After completing these two readings, stop and make a mental summary of what
you have understood. Now invent a sentence by summarising what you think the
story is (or might be) about.
It is a quick reading of a text to get the gist of it. Scanning is a technique that is
often used when looking up a word in the telephone book or dictionary.
The students search for key words or ideas. Scanning involves moving
your eyes quickly down a page seeking specific words and phrases.
Scanning is also used when the reader first tries to find a resource to
determine whether it will answer their questions. Once youve scanned the
document, you might go back to skim it.
When scanning, the students look for the authors use of organisers such
as numbers, letters, steps, or the words, first, second, or next. They look for
words that are bold faced, italics, or in a different font size, style, or colour.
Sometimes the author will put key ideas in the margin.
The main goal of this activity is to extract specific pieces of information.
Procedure (for the students)
In "real life" you might scan a train schedule for one piece of information, a travel
brochure for different information, and a theatre programme for a third type.
From the literary texts, you will extract certain basic facts by scanning it:
Read through the text again very quickly, scanning for the things listed below. To
focus your attention more clearly, underline (preferably in different colours), and
list down on your notebook these items:

Who (both names and descriptive nouns)

When (both dates and others.);

Where (both names of places and others).

Now arrange the ideas together:

1. Locate and write down a few more words about what you have written. For
example, if you have found a name; George, write a short description of
George using the words you found in the text about him.
2. Now write a loose chronology of what happened. Do not look up words in the
dictionary; complete sentences are also not necessary. Write just enough to
indicate the progress of the literary text.

What is THRILD? A method used to PREVIEW or REVIEW a chapter.



READ (and summarise first paragraph)


LAST PARAGRAPH (Read and summarize)



T.H.R.I.L.D. is a pre-reading activity that provides a mental

framework for new information. It acts as an advance organiser for
the chapter, helps students activate prior knowledge and provides
a context for what they are about to read.


Use T.H.R.I.L.D. at the beginning of every chapter in the text, prior

to actually reading it.


As students scan the chapter, they perform six steps. To begin

with, they write down the chapter title and all the sub-headings.
They read the opening paragraph (or introduction) and write a brief
summary of this information. Students write a key word or phrase

about the main idea of each illustration. After this, students write a
brief summary of the last paragraph or summary of the chapter.
Finally, students scan the Discussion Questions and select three
that they would like to know more about.

Name: ___________________________________

Date: _______________

THRILD to be on: ____________________________________________________




. ___________________________________________________________________

. ___________________________________________________________________



READ the first paragraph and summarize (put in your own words)

Figure 1.8. The THRILD Form

7. PARApoint
A technique for actively reading a passage and retrieving significant information
using highlighter reading and margin notes.
Survey reading to determine what content is to be
Locate and highlight information fundamental to the
understanding of the content
Reread only the analysed, highlighted information







Information Rationale:
Parapoint allows students to actively participate in reading, and:

provide a focus and purpose for reading.

learn to analyse information.

increase skills in prioritising.

develop reading comprehension skills

increase reading efficiency.

utilise higher order thinking skills

Parapoint is often used in Social Sciences or Language Arts, with nonfictional
This strategy helps students focus on the authors purpose, analyse the passage
and document key points.

Students initially Preview a passage to determine what type of information is
being presented using a quick THRILD. They scan the Title, Headings, Read
the first paragraph, examine Illustrations, and read the Last paragraph
(Discussion questions are not a concern for Parapoint). Once they have
determined the main intent of the passage, they develop focus questions to
guide their reading questions to which they want answers. They then Analyse
the selections, locating and highlighting the information that is fundamental to
the understanding of the content and provides answers to the focus questions.

they Review the highlighted text and finally, Accent the important

information with short, point form notes in the margin (or on a strip of paper).
These notes will consequently act as reminders and cues for the content
contained in the piece of reading.
Hence the acronym PARA:

Determine the type and purpose of the text by using a brief preview
strategy (THRILD) and develop focus questions to direct ones
analysis while reading.


Highlight/underline and circle

predetermined focus questions.


Reread highlighted words to determine what information you want to



Accent pertinent information in the margin using brief note form.





8. QUACK marks
A strategy for actively reading a factual passage of text, making judgements on
the types of information included, and marking specific kinds of information with
the following:
Q = ? (question mark)
Placed beside words, phrases and ideas that you do not
U = Underline

Underline definitions
A = * (an asterisk)
Place beside important or interesting ideas and information
C = (circle)
Circle examples of important information or definitions
K = Keyword
Place a capital K beside keywords (usually in bold or
italics) Rationale:
Text reading can almost put one to sleep! Its easy to get lost in all the
vocabulary, definitions, examples and explanations. Because this strategy
actively involves the readers in underlining, circling and making other marks, it
helps them stay focused on those science and math texts.

Q.U.A.C.K. is a strategy for actively reading a factual piece of text, making
judgements on the types of information included, and marking specific kinds of

While reading the text, students employ the following marks to highlight specific
information. If you do not want marks in the text, use an acetate over the page,
place marks on the acetate and then transfer Keywords and definitions to your

A strategy for actively reading a passage to increase comprehension and
encourage students to interact with reading materials. It involves making
judgements on the types of information being read and marking specific
passages with the following:





Useful for:

Social Studies, Literature, Magazine/newspaper

Rationale Why:
The old adage Dont believe everything you read is true!
Not all materials deal with facts. Often media, texts, and even some school
subjects present the reader with highly subjective material. You can, and should,
disagree! A.C.I.D. forces the reader to make decisions about the text as to
whether they Agree, Disagree, are Confused or find the information Interesting,
while the Marks help readers select main points and supporting details.
It is appropriate to use A.C.I.D. Marks for material that is controversial, such as
editorials, news stories, magazine articles, etc. in addition, some texts present
material that can be questioned and refuted (history is often written from the
perspective of the winner).
A.C.I.D. Marks has two parts:
1) A.C.I.D. and
2) Three separate Marks

As you read, ask yourself whether you:

A Agree with the statement

C are Confused by the statement

I find the point Interesting

D Disagree with the point

Place an A, C, I or D in the margin by the appropriate point.

Next comes the Marks. Re-read the article and insert the following marks:

Circle key terms

Asterisks important points (*)

Bracket or Underline supporting details. ( _________ )

It can be interesting to have students use this strategy and, while reading from a
different perspective, Agree or Disagree! For example, how would your
responses differ if you read the article imagining yourself to be from a different
culture or ethnicity?

10. RAP
A strategy for actively reading a passage

R = READ a passage

A = ASK QUESTIONS about the selection

P = PARAPHRASE the information
(Put into your own words)

R.A.P. is an active reading strategy that works especially well with emergent or
weak readers. It is also a good precursor to Reciprocal Reading as it requires
students to Read, Ask questions and paraphrase or summarise. R.A.P.:

Develops comprehension skills.

Fosters a positive attitude towards reading

Develops cooperative skills.

R.A.P. is useful when reading fiction or non-fiction in pairs or small groups. It can
be used as a silent reading activity too.
Students work in pairs or small groups. First, one student reads out loud. After
this, group members ask (and answer) questions about what was read. It is
helpful to provide question prompts such as: who, what, when, where and why.
Next, they paraphrase what has been read and try to reach consensus on the
summary. The steps are then repeated by the other partners.


A strategy for actively reading a passage to increase comprehension and
encourage students to interact with reading materials. It involves making
judgements on the types of information being read and marking specific
passages with the following:

Summarise- Main idea?

Clarify- Seek to understand vocabulary and ideas

Generate Questions- Write main idea "test" question

Predict- What will happen next?

Respond- Write a personal response

Reciprocal Reading encourages emulation of what good readers do
automatically (summarise, question, clarify, predict and respond to what they are
reading). Learners become active participants in reading, and:

Will develop comprehension skills.

Will increase vocabulary.

Increase retention of information.

Foster a positive attitude towards reading.

Develop cooperative skills.

Reciprocal Reading can be used with fiction, non-fiction, prose or poetry. It is
good for reading material in a group setting, in pairs or individually with silent

First the teacher reads a section of the text aloud and models the following




Respond* (*optional - depending on material)

The teacher generates a short summary of what they just read, soliciting input
from the class. Next the instructor constructs a main idea question (one that
could be used in a test setting).
Once again, input can be received from the listeners. In the clarify step, the
teacher ensures that everyone understands the vocabulary, terms, figurative
language and generally comprehends the passage.
After this, the teacher makes a prediction, with listener input, about what may
happen next. Finally, at the end of a significant portion of text, students generate
a written response about the passage (i.e. What would you do in the
protagonists situation?).

Both the predict and respond steps are optional,

depending on the type of material being used (appropriate for fiction and poetry,
but not a science text).
This entire process is then repeated, with a student taking the role of the teacher,
reading the passage out loud and guiding the class through the steps.
Eventually, students work in pairs or small groups, each individual taking turns
being the teacher (or reciprocating).
Initially, it is important for the teacher to demarcate the size of the reading
portions for each student to read before changing roles (paragraph, page,
whole page). This will depend on student reading abilities and the logical breaks
in the material.

A strategy for actively reading a passage to increase comprehension and
encourage students to interact with reading materials. It involves making

judgements on the types of information being read and marking specific

passages with the following:

CIRCLE key words

HIGHLIGHT or underline main ideas

ASTERISK supporting details

TRANSFER concepts to C.H.A.T.T. sheet

TEACH summary statement

Rationale Why:
C.H.A.T.T. allows students to code the text and then transfer the information to a
collection sheet, thereby creating study notes while they actively read. In
addition, the teacher provides a summarising statement. When students are on
their own with text interpretation, teachers are often concerned that students
may miss critical information.
The Teacher Summary provides the opportunity for the teacher to interject key
information and to provide a context; to help students see how the new
information fits into the course scope and sequence. Or, in other words, how
what we studied today fits with yesterdays content and how it will segue into
tomorrows lesson.

Use C.H.A.T.T. when reading complex or dense text material to increase
comprehension and retention of the material while at the same time creating
study notes for future reference.
Students read the text and apply the C.H.A.T.T. marks to select important
vocabulary, highlight main ideas and identify details. Next, students transfer the
key terms, written definitions (with an image) and record the main points with
supporting details to a separate C.H.A.T.T. Sheet. Finally, the teacher provides
a summary statement which the students record on their C.H.A.T.T.


C Circle key words.

H Highlight or Underline main ideas.

A * (asterisk) beside supporting details.

T Transfer information to a C.H.A.T.T. Sheet.

T Teacher provides a summary statement which students

record on their
C.H.A.T.T. Sheet (Refer to the figure below)

Figure 1.9. The CHATT Form