Pre-Reading: Before reading a text, there are some things that we should be doing. For the most part, we do many of these things automatically, without thinking about them. They are the habits of good readers, and help us to profit from our reading experiences.
- Purpose: Why are you reading the text? What information have you been asked to find?
- Overview: What can you gather about the text from reading the front and back cover, or from flipping through the text?
- Prior knowledge: What do you already know about the text, the author, or the subject it addresses?
- Prediction: What do you think that the text will be about? What will you learn? What questions will it answer?
Reading: Getting the most out of a text means approaching every text with a full tool-kit. If we encounter words or expressions that we do not know, and whose meanings we cannot gather through context, it's important that we make good use of the tools we have at our disposal (i.e. a dicitionary, a thesaurus, other readers...).
- Making connections: As you read, what connections can you make between your personal experiences and what you are reading?
- Visualization: As you read, what do you picture? What details stand-out?
- Understanding: As you read, do you understand the text, and are you able to summarize it?
- Troubleshooting: When you encounter problems in understanding (ex: encountering a new word, or an unfamiliar expression) what tools do you use to make sense of it?
Post-reading: Once we have finished reading a text we need to decide what to keep and what to leave behind. A text is just words until someone reads it and interacts with it. What you take away from the text and your reading experience can have an impact on how you see the world around you, so it is important to give some thought to what we take away from the text, and what we come to understand about ourselves from the experience.
- Reaction: After you have read the text, what is your first response to the content and style of the text?
- Retention: After you have read the text, what details stick with you from your reading?
- Reflection: After you have read the text, what strategies served you best, and how would you apporoach the next text you read? What elements made this a well-written text (or not)?