What is Active Reading?
Active means doing something. Active readers
are always doing something.
PREDICTING means to make a guess on what will happen. Predicting is a skill. Remember to develop a skill you have to practice. Predicting can be fun. You can make a guess based on what you know and what you have previewed (remember you do this before you start reading). Your predictions might be right or they might be wrong. Good readers stop often and check their predictions as they read. If your prediction isn't right you can always change it! How cool is that! As you read, you gather information. As you gather information your brain is busy evaluating, making connections, checking predictions, and adjusting predictions if needed.
MAKING INFERENCES is another reading skill that active readers practice every time they read. Making inferences might sound like a scary thing to do but it really isn't! It means taking something you know and connecting it with something you already know. Now, that's not hard is it? You make inferences everyday! Your mom is happy when you give her your report card. You know your mom likes good grades, so infer that your report card will make her happy.
DRAWING CONCLUSIONS and making inferences are a lot alike. When you make inferences you put information together to figure things out. When you make conclusions you are putting all the information together to decide what the story means. You take all the facts you have read and make a conclusions. Here is an example-
Fact 1- The puppy is crying.
COMPARE and CONTRASTING helps you understand things better as you read. Things to compare and contrast as you read are characters, setting, events or ideas. You may have to take notes or create a Venn diagram to help you see the similarities and differences.
EVALUATING means to give your opinion on something. You decide if something you read is good or bad. Movie critics evaluate movies and let people know if a certain show is worth viewing. They back their opinions with facts from the movie. Sometimes teachers will ask you to evaluate a story you read. When you give your opinion make sure you give the reasons why you feel that way. I find it helpful to take notes as I read so I have my facts ready to back my opinion.
If you own the book or can make a copy of a reading passage you can take notes as you read write in the book. You can underline or highlight important words and sentences.
If you can't mark in the
book, try using fun little sticky notes
Keeping a reading journal is another good way to take notes. I like to add the page numbers I found the information on. That way if I need to go back and look for more information I know exactly where to go.
Keep a journal handy to list words that may be unfamiliar. Then ask a friend, use a dictionary, check the book's glossary, ask the teacher... what these words mean.
Active readers also react to what they read. "Wow, that was really funny!" or "My mom says the same thing!" By reacting to the story you will remember more!
Active readers ask questions as they read. "I wonder where they dog will go?" or "How long will it take them to reach the cave?"
create pictures in their minds as they
read. This is especially good to do as you read books with less pictures.
This is known as visualizing. Use the
clues the author provides to create a picture or series of pictures, like
You might even want to
draw what you see in your mind.
This will help you remember
Active readers stop often to
check for understanding. Every so
often stop and think about what you have read. Did you understand it all?
If not reread.