1. Begin class by reminding students of the techniques practiced
the previous day. Write the following journal prompt on the
board: “How would you define the word “meta-cognition”?
How can thinking meta-cognitively help you while reading? What
are some techniques you can use to reveal the invisible processes
that go on in your mind while you read?” Allow the class
the first 10-15 minutes to respond to these questions in their
Review what students remember about meta-cognition and
the associated techniques (thinking aloud and note taking).
to the class that they will continue practicing these techniques
along with the others that they learned during the previous
quarter. Explain to the class that the purpose of today’s
reading will be to do just this. Ask the class to think about
the different kinds of reading encountered in school. Some
answers might be “text book reading”, “short
stories”, or “articles”. Which kinds of
reading are the most challenging? Have the class try to identify
types of subject reading are the most difficult for them.
Tell the class that the next two days will be spent focusing
two types of reading which can be particularly challenging:
scientific and historical texts.
Students may do the following activity in pairs or individually.
Hand out copies of one
or two scientific texts (this is an
opportunity to pick out materials that deal with air quality
and health issues) which you have selected from science
text books, newspapers, or magazines, of moderate difficulty,
along with copies of the Reading Strategies handout to
as they read. Instruct the class that they are going to
practice using various reading strategies in order to
scientific texts they have in front of them. As they read,
students will need to keep track of all the reading strategies
they use on a separate sheet of paper. If a strategy is
used more than once, they need to mark a tally of how
each strategy is used. Encourage students to try as many
different reading strategies as needed. Allow as much time
need, approximately 25 minutes depending on the difficulty
level of the texts.
At the end of the hour, collect student notes. Ask the
class to comment on the following questions:
would you rate the difficulty of the texts you have
were some of the reading challenges which you encountered
strategies which were most successful in understanding
there any strategies you used more than once? Which?
1. At the beginning of class, have the following question
written on the board: “Imagine you have been
given a scientific text to read and analyze. What
would you say are the top three
reading strategies you would need to know in order
to help you understand the article?” Give students
a few minutes to write down their answers in their
journals, and discuss
answers as a whole class. Students will often struggle
with scientific texts due to complicated sentence
terminology, inability to understand graphics, and
lack of interest in the topic presented. Strategies
which may help
overcome these reading difficulties can be found
in the Reading Strategies chart. See if the class
can come to consensus regarding
the three top reading strategies they would consider
most useful in understanding a scientific text; post
these somewhere in
the classroom for future reference.
Ask the class to think about the relative difficulty
texts as compared to historical ones.
Is it harder
to understand a scientific article or an historical
one? In what ways are they similar? In what ways
different? What makes history sometimes difficult
to read? Discuss
these questions with the class for 5-10 minutes,
and then explain
to the class that today they are going to read
some excerpts from a standard history text book and practice
various reading strategies to overcome reading
Hand out excerpts from a current history text book, preferably
one used in your school and grade
These excerpts should
include chapter headings, bold text, maps, charts,
inserted text boxes, and chapter review questions.
minutes and have students read part or all of
these excerpts silently.
While students are reading, instruct the class
to think meta-cognitively and take notes on their
Have the class
prepare a sheet of paper divided into three columns,
one labeled “Thoughts”,
the second labeled “Problems”, and
the third labeled “Strategies”.
In the first column students will record their
thoughts (thinking meta-cognitively), in the
second they will record whatever
gets in the way of comprehension, and in the
third what reading strategies they used to overcome
After the class has finished reading, discuss what students
have discovered during
taking. They should be
able to identify common roadblocks and the
strategies used to deal
with these challenges.
You may assign
additional science or history-based articles and ask students
to determine which reading strategies are needed to improve
may assess the students’ progress by evaluating their notes
taken while reading various texts. These notes should contain
a tally or notations concerning how many types of reading strategies
were used and how often. There should also be some indication
of the context in which each strategy was useful.