I just wanted to bop on here and share two of my very favorite reading strategies to use with our students. You could easily use these either of these strategies for different standards, and can be utilized with a wide variety of genres. Because of how versatile these two strategies are, students can use these independently in book clubs or as a reading response, but you can also use them as a teaching aid in a guided reading group.
Just like with anything else you expect students to be able to complete independently, make sure you spend enough time modeling it with your class before. These would be great to model during a “launch” in the beginning of the year so you can continue to use these throughout the rest of the year.
Lifting A Line
After reading a passage, chapter, or section, readers find a line that stood out to them while reading.
Students then “lift the line” out of the text and copy it at the top of a notebook page and write about it.
Below are just a few examples of things they could write about; there are countless other possibilities, depending on what you’re teaching at the time:
- Why did that line stand out to them?
- Why is it significant to the story?
- Connections they may have had
- Do you notice any specific author moves in it and why did the author add them?
This strategy also lends itself well to practicing with citing direct quotes from the text….which we all know can be hard for our students to do! Reinforce that when they “lift the line” all the punctuation comes with it exactly how it is, and then to put quotes around it.
Drop In and Give Advice
During a significant point in the book, the student stops and reflects about what is happening with a character.
The student then writes an entry in which he or she talks to the character and offers advice. If your student is reading a nonfiction book, then he or she should write an entry to the author about what he/she needs to understand.
By completing this strategy, students gain a deeper understanding of both the character and the plot of the story. This strategy goes well with teaching character point of view/perspective or character development. This strategy also is a great one for book clubs. Students can all pick the same scene to give advice for and then share the specific advice they each offered. This lends itself well to rich conversations about the story and characters.