Reading Strategies

Strategies to build stronger reading skills and encourage students to engage with texts, both academic and creative. Focused on the secondary level, but can be applied to all ages.

Looking For Reading Articles That Deal With Memorial Day? - Memorial Da is right around the corner, and one of the most effective teaching strategies is to combine the curriculum with real life. Now you can do just that with these wonderful articles from ReadWorks.
Sarah Plain & Tall – KWL Chart - Today's focus for Book Club is on the book, Sarah Plain and Tall, which is an easy read I selected to read with my students during the M-Th 30 minute class sessions.
Contemporary Music & Reading - “Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?” I pulled one of my Book Club students aside after class. He had been dozing on and off the entire thirty minutes (yes, Book Club is only thirty minutes) and I wanted to see what was up. “Look,” I said, “I know you’re tired, but it hurts my feelings when you fall asleep during my class."
“Us & Them” Comic - Students need a break from the same-ole-same-ole. That's why I wanted to create a comic activity to spice things up! My students were reading "Those Who Don't," one of the shortest vignettes in House on Mango Street.
Text-to-World Connections - As my Book Club students grasped text-to-self connections, it was time to move to text-to-world. To help them understand this, I created a PowerPoint/Google Presentation and walked through it with them.
Connecting to Novel Characters - Making connections while reading is hard! That's why I created this resource to help not only my struggling readers in Book Club, but for for any struggling reader or young reader (fifth grade through eighth grade).
“Piano Lessons” – Close Reading & Question Set - Ahhh...close reading passages, a necessary evil. Students aren't big fans of close reading, but these mini-readings are important for their skill building, especially if there is a set of questions that are relevant to the skills they are practicing.
Monster in the Barn - For Book Club, I'm always looking for good resources to help my students make connections to their reading. I came across this great source from ReadWorks, and I created two sets of questions to correspond and help with text-to-self and text-to-world connections!
Awesome Reading Resources for the Classroom! - As an English/Reading teacher, I love love love finding awesome websites for students to play around with when they're done working on a class assignment, when there's a few minutes left of the period, or when they are looking for something fun and relevant to their age to read! Here are a list of a few websites that you just have to check out and point your students towa
Poetry Connections - Making text-to-self connections can be pretty simple when you're working with a story, explanatory text, or short passage. Poetry, on the other hand, can be a challenge. That's why I wanted to specifically work on this with my Book Club students.
Teaching Figurative Language! - Figurative language is so complicated, yet so much fun! I created this AMAZING (okay, I might be bragging just a little, but I'm super excited!) resource to teach students. It is a scaffolded set of notes that include examples, pictures, and even song clips for learning figurative language in more ways than one!
A House, A Home - After reading "House on Mango Street," the first section in the book, this is a great way to help students visualize the Mango Street house and compare/contrast it to their own.
Connecting to Holes, by Louis Sachar - Who doesn't like the book Holes, by Louis Sachar? This is one of my favorite books from my elementary/middle school years. And because it's such a good book, I wanted my Book Club kids to connect to a descriptive passage in it.
Making Connections - Today's (and this week's) Book Club topic is making connections, specifically making a Text-to-Self connection. To help my students understand this, I created a presentation and notes sheet.
TKAM – Character Maps - To Kill a Mockingbird can be a challenging text, just due to the fact that there are so many characters! I wanted to help my students organize and keep the characters straight, so I created a character map.
Five Clever Ideas to Spark Independent Reading by Kids - I’ve always been a reader, so reading days were fun for me. I could never understand why some kids just weren’t having it. But now that I’ve entered the teaching world, I understand that every child learns differently and is interested in different things. Reading might not be someone’s strong-suit. That makes finding ways to make reading fun even more relevant.
And We’re Off! The Start of Summer Reading Tutoring - This summer I'm working with a seventh-grade girl on her reading, comprehension, literacy, and spelling. One of the first things I noticed about her was her energy! She was excited to be there with me, and I could tell she loved reading, she was just struggling.
Student Example – Jericho Walls Character Sketch - A few class sessions ago, I had my sixth grade students work on a character sketch for the narrator, Jo, in their novel Jericho Walls. Because they are working on predicting, and because I really wanted them to get a deeper understanding of the narrator, I led the class in a group discussion about Jo and […]
Reading Aloud - This is probably one of the most simple, but useful things I’ve realized in my teaching experience so far: reading aloud to students is extremely important. I’ll say it again, reading aloud to students is extremely important [my Diagnostic/Remedial Reading professor would be so proud!]
Middle School Five - I came across this article in searching for reading strategies specific to middle-schoolers. I wanted to focus on the 6th-8th age group just because I’ve been in a 10th grade classroom a lot this year and I wanted to make sure I could find strategies that could apply to a younger age as well. This […]
Tea Party -  The name ‘Tea Party’ doesn’t sound exceptionally promising, but this strategy actually has many useful components.
Story Map - This is a simple strategy, but one I selected because I like how it maps out not only the story, but the figurative language within it as well.
Visuals: Storyboard, Open Mind, Literature Portrait - When working on reading with students it is important to engage them in activities that encourage different ways of learning—visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.
Mystery Items / Prediction Chart - A big element of reading comprehension is based on prediction—if students can make good predictions about a text, (whether these predictions come true or not) they are able to have a deeper understanding of and connection with the text.
Marginal Notes - I am not a big fan of annotations, mostly because I hated them when I was in high school and I feel that students are often distracted by them because they stop comprehending and instead focus on what they should mark to get a good annotation grade.             That being said….I do think that note-taking […]
Beat the Author - This strategy is called Beat the Author.’ In this strategy, the teacher will give students a section of the story to read. It will cut off at a certain point, and at that point, the teacher will give students several options of what text will come next—this will be in multiple-choice format and have different […]
Pre-Reading Image Strategy - For this specific pre-reading strategy, the teacher selects an image that represents some themes/central concepts of the story.
Coat of Arms - The ‘Coat of Arms’ strategy is a character activity that challenges students to connect with and understand the main character on a deeper level.