Reading is Thinking: 7 Best Strategies for Reading Success

There are students who read without thinking about what they’re saying. They are good decoders but their comprehension isn’t so great.

That’s why it’s essential for teachers to teach the concept of reading is thinking.

Reading is thinking involves students reading for the purpose of understanding a book on a deeper level.

This understanding comes from students inferring, visualizing, making connections, predicting, summarizing, questioning, and monitoring information.

It’s not enough to assume that students already know how to do this. For many, this concept has to be explicitly taught.

This post outlines and explains the 7 key reading is thinking strategies in a way that will help you share this information with students.

What Are the Reading Is Thinking Strategies?

1. Inferring

reading is thinking

Sometimes authors convey messages without doing so directly.

It is up to the reader to use text clues, picture clues, and even prior knowledge to infer what message the author is sending.

This is how good readers construct meaning from a book.

2. Visualizing

reading is thinking

Good readers’ minds fill with images that represent what’s occurring on the pages of the book.

This subconscious act (triggered by personal experiences and prior knowledge) helps readers deepen their comprehension of the text because visuals engage readers – resulting in greater understanding.

Unfortunately, some students don’t visualize as they read.

So teaching students how to create mental images as they read is important in aiding their reading comprehension.

3. Making Connections

reading is thinking

Of all the reading is thinking strategies, this is the one that students may be most familiar.

When we make a connection with something or someone, we tend to relate to it more resulting in better understanding of the person or thing.

That same logic applies to making connections while reading.

If a student experiences a text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world connection while reading, he or she will most likely construct greater meaning from the book because of the shared experience.

4. Predicting

reading is thinking

Before, during, and after reading, it’s important for students to use clues to infer what they think will happen next.

Predictions are based on prior knowledge and background experiences.

5. Summarizing

reading is thinking

The ability to retell the most important parts of a book selection is an essential skill that shows teachers that students are comprehending what they are reading.

This strategy often requires a significant amount of teacher modeling, especially with younger students.

The easiest way to begin helping students learn summarizing is by prompting them to answer the 5Ws (who or what, when, where, why) after reading a selection.

6. Questioning

reading is thinking

Some students are naturally inquisitive and will ask good questions as they read – strictly out of curiosity.

Others need assistance evoking their questions.

Asking questions helps students make sense of the reading, prompting them to dig deeper within the book or from their own prior knowledge to find answers.

In addition to asking good questions, great readers are able to answer a variety of leveled questions that demonstrate their understanding of the book.

See prove it reading strategy which helps students answer questions strategically.

7. Monitoring

reading is thinking

The strategy of monitoring shows teachers immediately if students are thinking about what they are reading.

When a student self-corrects, clarifies, or fixes any mix-ups while reading, it’s proof that his mind is actively engaged in comprehending the text.

Reading Strategies: Charts and Posters

Create your own reading is thinking anchor chart and posters using the information from these cool reading is thinking bookmarks for students.

Final Thoughts

Now you have the knowledge to support students as they learn the power strategies of reading is thinking.

Notice that the foundation of theses strategies consists of prior knowledge plus a variety of background experiences.

So help cultivate students’ prior knowledge/background experiences by exposing them to lots of books, educational videos, and field trips.

If you liked this article, you may want to check out these engaging teaching strategies.