Improve Comprehension with Active Reading
Active Reading is a systematic method of reading text to increase the engage of readers. The purpose of Active Reading is to increase the depth of thinking while interacting with text, both fiction and non-fiction. Becoming a skills reader using this strategy supports their achievement and meeting both the reading CCSS and English CCSS.
Introduction to Active Reading
In this short introduction to Active Reading you’ll get a bird’s-eye-view of the process so you have a better understanding of what to expect when you apply it in the future.
Active Reading can be broken down into three phases: before, during, and after reading. This may seems far too simplistic to be powerful, but it’s actually a complex collection of possibilities for investigation.
Watch the video to find out more.
Phases of Active Reading
Phase 1: Before
This is the observational phase. As a reader you must create a framework of understanding of what lies ahead. Read the title, the exposition, notes on the author, any provided questions, and look for important information that may give you clues of the information, purpose, and focus of the text. In this phase readers connect what they already know about the observations they make. Skimming or scanning the text futher supports the creation of a framework of understanding before details are given. Making a predictive summary is helpful to create a cohesive prediction about what is delivered in the text.
Phase 2: During
Phase 2 is the investigation phase. While reading the text, readers mark up the text. Annotation is key to increasing engagement and strengthening comprehension. In this phase readers take time to consider both the function of the literature and the craft of the author. It’s also beneficial to make connections across the text and to other texts. More mature readers are able make connections to real real world. For instance, comparing a character’s behavior to the human condition, or identifying subtle allusions within the text. Readers annotate for tools authors use in order to perpetuate the plot or enhance various story elements.
Phase 3: After
Analysis happens in Phase 3. After reading, higher level think skills are required. Reflecting on the observations, conclusions, and questions made in the previous Active Reading phases gives the reader the opportunity to draw conclusions, make claims, and justify those claims with sound reasoning. Reflection, discussion, and literary analysis all support the deepening understanding of the text.
The Ultimate Benefits of Active Reading
Active Readers Become Complex Thinkers
Once readers increase their self-efficacy in the Active Reading Process they further refine the skills required for high levels of engagement. This take practice, patients, and determination. The brain power required for this type of investigation is new to many readers. With guidance confidence in the process increases and readers feel increasingly more competent in the intellectual experience that is Active Reading.
Active Reading is a Learned Skill
Active Reading is not a gift reserved for the intellectual elite. It’s a skill. Because it’s a skill, it can be learned and refined over time. This isn’t to say it’s with out challenges. Some are more challenged than other. However, with a growth mindset and a willingness to exercise the three phases of Active Reading, readers refine the implementation of this process.
Active Reading is Easy to Differentiate
Differentiation is essential to helps students of all ability levels thrive. The process of engagement in the three phases of Active Reading can be adapted to meet readers where they are. Greater focus on predetermined sets of learning outcomes, modeling the process, along with some guided application of each phase is optimal for all learners. Tailor the experience to meet the needs of given readers with guides, checklist, and modified expectations, but allow all students engage in the process. Their experiences may be different but provided they are moved through the entire process, students will improves