Reading Silently


Think about what you are going to read before you start reading a book.

1. Look at the cover.
– What is the title?
– What clues are there as to the topic of the book?
– Do you know anything about this topic?
– Have you ever read a similar book?
2. Look at the back of the book and inside the dust cover.
– Can you find any information about the author?
– Do you think it’s reasonable to expect good writing from this author?
– What is the main idea of this book?
3. Look at the title page and back of the title page (the verso).
– Where was this book made? What does that tell us about the book?
(A book published in Britain might have a different vocabulary.)
– What company published this book?
– When was this book published? What is the copyright date?
– What does the copyright date tell you about what you’re going to read?
(An older book might have some out-of-date information or unfamiliar vocabulary; it might portray a way of life or a way of thinking that is unfamiilar to you.)
4. Page through the book and note the style.
– Is this book meant to read from beginning to end or is it a book that can be read in bits and pieces here and there?
– Is it a textbook with an index? Is it a novel?
– Are there any illustrations that you’ll need to look at for extra information?

1. Regularly stop and review what has been read.
– What was the main idea?
– Are there any clues that tell you what is coming ahead?
– What do you know about the characters?
– What sensory details are used?
– What figures of speech are used?
2. Notice where new paragraphs begin.
– Is there a new paragraph because there’s a new idea?
– Is it because there is a leap in time?
– Is it because there is a change in location?
– Is it because there is a new speaker?
3. Stop and consider the pictures being created in your mind.
– What are the facial expressions on the characters?
– What would it feel like to be in that scene?
– Where do you imagine yourself in connection to the action? Are you standing far away and watching or are you right close by?
4. Stop and jot down any unknown words.
– Can you tell what the word might mean from the meaning of the sentence?
5. Stop and make predictions.
– What do you think will happen next? What is your evidence?

1. Think about any emotions portrayed in the section you just read.
2. Remind yourself of the main events.
3. Recall any powerful words or figures of speech.
4. Think about how the passage compares to other books you have read; think about how it compares to anything you have ever heard or experienced.
5. Go back and check any parts that are unclear.
6. Think about what might happen next in the book.

[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2007 Sophie Rosen.]

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