Reading for Information

Strategies for Understanding Nonfiction

Look at the Format:

__ read the headings

__ look at the illustrations

__ look for definitions in the margins

__ look for additional information in the margins

Start Understanding:

__ make connections to the headings (access prior knowledge)

__ make connections to the illustrations (access prior knowledge)

__ repeat to yourself the definitions of the words in margins (memorize)

__ make predictions based on what you have learned so far

Start Reading and Understanding:

__ read the first  and last sentence of each paragraph

__ make connections to those sentences (access prior knowledge)

__ read the first paragraph and last paragraph of the passage or chapter

__ make predictions based on what you have learned so far

Collect Evidence:

__ make an outline or mind map using what you have learned so far

__ go back and carefully read each paragraph

__ collect evidence for the ideas or concepts in your outline

__ take notes, making sure you understand everything you write down

__ add diagrams or illustrations to help you memorize the evidence

If You Get Confused:

__ read on because often explanations come after confusing parts

__ if your confusion persists, go back to the point where the passage made sense

__ slow down as you read and pause after each sentence to review the information

__ make sure you understand the vocabulary

__ use the glossary in the book or a dictionary if you need to understand the words

__ ask yourself, “What does the author assume I already know?”

Analyze After Reading:

__ write a one-sentence summary of the main idea

__ think about how what you have learned relates to what you already knew

__ think about how what you have learned has changed how you see the world

__ think about the questions about the topic now in your mind

__ where could you find the answers to those questions?

__ read over your notes and repeat them to yourself

__ read over the headings in your outline and try to remember the evidence without reading your notes; check to see if you are correct

__ make a coloured diagram to summarize the information

[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided:
©2013 Sophie Rosen.]

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