Identify That Strategy!

Author: Jill Torrey Emmons
Editor: Scott R. McDaniel

Time: 1 class period
20 minutes
Materials: Varied texts (magazines, newspapers, books, etc)- you may wish to reserve time in the library for this lesson.


Now that students have had the chance to practice using varied reading strategies, it is time to see if they can articulate how to use these tools. Students will be allowed to choose a text which they will read and analyze using varied reading strategies. They will be required to identify the strategies used in the analysis of their text and explain how they are crucial to comprehension. They must also be able to define selected reading strategies.

Purpose – The goal of this lesson is allow students the opportunity to explain how various reading strategies improve reading comprehension.

Students will be able to:
1. Define and explain varied reading strategies.
2. Read and analyze a text using reading strategies.
3. Explain why certain strategies are useful in comprehension of a certain text.

National English Education Standard
Standard 3: Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Teacher Background
Teachers should already have a firm understanding of various reading strategies and their uses.

Related and Resource Websites
See previous lessons.



1. Students will begin class with a short pop quiz. Write the following reading strategies on the board and ask students to define these terms as best they can (do not write the sections in parenthesis, as these are provided for your reference):

  • Meta-cognitive reading (thinking about what goes on in your mind while reading)
  • Chunking (breaking the text down into manageable pieces that can be understood)
  • Diagramming (putting information from the text into a chart or diagram)
  • Summarizing (extracting the main idea and major details from the text)
  • Paraphrasing (putting the text into your own words)
  • Predicting (making an educated guess about what will happen next)
  • Context clues (looking at known words in the sentence to define unfamiliar vocabulary)
  • Pacing (reading at the appropriate speed, not too fast, not too slow)
  • Questioning (asking questions about the text as you read)
  • Clarifying (looking for answers to your questions about the text within the reading)

You may omit those terms which you feel students are not sufficiently experienced with. Allow about 10 minutes for students to complete the quiz, and then collect their papers. Once this is done, discuss the correct answers with the class as review.

2. Explain to the class that they will continue practicing their reading strategies by reading and analyzing a challenging text that they will select. It may be any text they wish (a book, newspaper article, magazine article) as long as you deem it appropriate (students must show you the text for approval before beginning their analysis). Text must be no lower than a ninth grade reading level in difficulty.

3. If you do not have enough texts to provide each student with a reading option, you may need to conduct this lesson in the library, or you may copy several different articles from various sources which students may then choose from. Try to include texts which touch on the various disciplines, including environmental health.

4. Once students have selected a text (1000 words minimum in length), they will read, analyze, and annotate it utilizing the reading strategies which they have practiced. They need to explain how these strategies are used as well as the reasoning behind why they apply to this particular text.

5. Students should give examples or quotes from the text demonstrating the need for a particular strategy. This activity should take approximately 20-25 minutes.

Collect student notes at the end of the hour. Make sure that students have made a notation as to the title, author, and source of the text they have chosen.

None today.

Embedded Assessment
Assessment of student quizzes and their analysis of varied articles should reveal students’ understanding of and ability to apply reading strategies appropriately.


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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