Reading Apprenticeship Strategies

Reading Apprenticeship Strategies
Strategy:  Think Alouds
Objective: Making thought visible:  The intent behind the think-aloud lessons is to help students develop the ability to monitor their reading comprehension and employ strategies to guide or facilitate understanding. Think-alouds require a reader to stop periodically, reflect on how a text is being processed and understood, and relate orally what reading strategies are being employed.
 The think-aloud is a technique in which students verbalize their thoughts as they read and thus bring into the open the strategies they are using to understand a text.


Questions to be asked and answered in the Think-Aloud strategy:

Prior to Reading

Why am I reading this?
Will this information help me in any way?
What do I know about this topic?
What do I think I will learn about this topic?
After reading the title, what do I think this reading will be about?

During Reading
Do I understand what I just read?
Does it make sense?
Do I have a clear picture in my head about this information?
Am I comfortable with my predictions, or do I need to adjust them?
What more can I do to understand this?

After Reading

What were the most important points in this reading?
What new information did I learn?
How does it fit in with what I already know?
Do I agree or disagree with it?
Should I go back and reread any part of this material so I can better understand it?

What can I do to remember this information?

Stategy: Talking to the Text
A. As you read, use the following guidelines:
␣ in the white spaces and margins surrounding the text, write what the words and sentences make you think about as you read
␣ trust your thinking. There is no correct or incorrect answer, but there is a progression of sophistication proficient readers move toward

␣ you will be scored on the thoughtfulness and critical reflection of your notations

B. When reflecting upon what you read, make notations about:

␣ what the title might indicate about the text
␣ what you notice about the first sentence and what predictions you can make
about the text
␣ your ideas that surface as you read
_connections help you understand the text.
-words, phrases, or sentences that you find interesting
-questions you have for additional information about the content          
-ideas that seem important to the text as a whole
-summary thoughts that capture the author's complete idea          
-inferences you can draw from clues in the text

  After modeling for students Talking to the Text, students will begin to make notations relative to their level of reading. However, teachers must select the strategies they choose to model carefully, because different strategies will directly influence their understanding of text. Regardless of what level a student comprehends, teachers can masterfully impact how students interact with text by selecting the appropriate strategy. Differentiation occurs as teacher determine particular text talking strategies based on individual learning needs. Teachers also decide to model a comprehension strategy based on text demands
Talking to text dialogues may indicate how the student:
-questioned the author
-revealed what he/she did not understand
-monitored his/her comprehension
-offered some synthesis and comments on big ideas
 -constructed meaning
-made connections to self, other texts, world           
-posed higher order questions
-questioned/identified text structures
-made historical/emotional connections/responses
 Mini Lessons may include:
␣ using the title or first sentences in paragraphs to make predictions

␣ using an idea to foster a prediction
␣ drawing probable outcomes
␣ using implied clues to draw inferences
␣ using text structures to guide expository reads
␣ using pieces of the text as evidence to formulate a picture...synthesis
␣ deciding what is important
␣ posing ‘Author and Me’ and ‘Own My Own Questions’

␣ distinguishing between what is interesting to the reader and what seems important to the text and author                        

 Anticipation Guides


      1.Students complete “before reading” portion on their own alone
      2. Teacher tallies “trues” and “falses” and writes on overhead.
      3. Students read alone and complete “after reading” filling in page numbers and corrections.
      4. Teacher tallies new “trues” and “falses” and discusses with the class. 


 Chapter 8: A New Nation - Early Challenges











T or F









T or F



Textual Proof of answer



Page #






If the answer is false:



In 1794, Western Pennsylvania farmers led a rebellion because of a tax placed on whiskey.



The Whiskey Rebellion was very peaceful which impressed legislatures and led to a change in the tax.



When the Native Americans disagreed with the new United States government, they often turned to Britain and Spain for help.



The Treaty of Greenville banned the settlement of white people in the Great Lakes region.




Circle Maps


  1. Student writes everything they know about topic on circle map. 
  2. Class shares what they wrote on circle map.
  3. Students read text. 
  4. Student completes another circle map. 
  5. Share with entire class.

***This activity works especially well with the Smart Board.  The original circle map can be saved and then referred to at the end of the unit or novel.


Before Reading:



  After Reading:




The 1920’s



The Great Gatsby                                                       flappers


Prohibition                                                                  Harlem Renaissance


Charleston                                                                   decadent

 Frayer Model


  1. Students copy terms inside circle.
  2. Students complete each box alone or in groups.


Model  #1                  

Personal Definition



Visual Representation

























Model #2


Essential Characteristics



Non-Essential Characteristics


















Personal Reading History


A personal reading history is especially useful in classeswith struggling readers.  It can be usedto determine what type of comprehension strategies your students are using andwhich ones they may need work on.

 Sample: (10 Applied Biology)

 Next to each statement below, write “YES” or “NO” in the space provided. Feel free to add additional comments after each statement.

 _______ I check to see if what I read makes sense.



_______I remind myself why I am reading.              



_______I focus on the goal of my reading while I read.                    



______I check to see if I can summarize sentences and paragraphs.            



_______If reading gets hard, I ask myself if there are any problems.           



_______I try to identify the problem.                      



 _______After I figure out the problem, I try to fix it.                      



_______When the problem is fixed, I get back to my reading, making sure I understand

   what I’ve read so far.                      



 _______I compare the information in the text with what I already know about the topic.  




QAR: Question Answer Relationship 

 QAR basically defines itself.  It is the relationship between questions and their answers. 


  • Choose a text. This strategy works well with both fiction and non-fiction.
  • Write questions based on the text. Your questions should fall into one of the following four categories:

     On My Own (or On Your Own) -- The reader does not use the text at all to answer the question.  The answer is based on the reader's opinions and experiences.  

Right There -- In this type of QAR, the answer is found in the text.  Also, the words in the question and the words in the answer are usually in the same sentence.  The reader can point to the answer.

Think and Search -- In this type of QAR, the answer is found in the text.  However, the words in the question and the words in the answer are not found in the same sentence.  The reader must put together different parts of the text to get the answer.

 Author and Me (or Author and You) -- The answer is not found in the text.  The reader has to put together the information the author provides with information the reader already knows to come up with the answer.  

  • Go over the questions with student before they begin reading the text. Thinking about the questions while they are reading will provide students with a concrete purpose for reading.
  • After students have read the text, provide explicit instruction about each of the three categories above.  You might put the following information on an overhead or make a handout for students.
  • Have students answer the questions and indicate which category of information they needed to answer each. Students can use the following codes for each category instead of writing out the category name: 

(MO) – On My Own

 (RT)  - Right There

 (TS) – Think and Search

 (AM) – Author and Me

  • After students have answered all questions and indicated category codes for each, discuss responses and categories as a group. Keep in mind that sometimes the category for a response is not clear-cut. Some students may argue that the information they needed to answer a question fell in the “Think and Search” category. Other students may argue for the “In my Head” category for the same question. It is not important that there be a single correct category for every question. What is most important is that students can support their choice of category. More is learned from the discussion than from which category is ultimately decided upon.


In-the-Book Questions



In-My-Head Questions



Right There Questions

The answer is in the text. The words used to make up the question and words used to answer the question are found in the same sentence.



Author and You Questions

The answer is not in the story. You need to think about what you already know, what the author tells you, and how it fits together.



Think and Search

The answer is in the selection, but you need to put together different pieces of information to find it. The answer comes from different places in the selection.



On My Own

The answer is not in the text. You can answer the question without even reading the text. The answer is based solely on your own experiences and knowledge.





 Role, Audience, Format, Topic, Strong Verb









Role of the Writer



Who are you as a writer?



  • Yourself


  • Character


  • Scientist


  • Historian


  • Reporter








To whom are you writing?



  • Peer group


  • Parent


  • Fictional character


  • Government


  • Jury


  • Teacher








What form will it take?



  • Letter


  • Newspaper article


  • Interview


  • E-mail


  • Lab report








What is the subject or topic of writing?



  • Question


  • Dilemma


  • Concern





Strong Verb



What is the purpose of the piece of writing?



  • Requesting


  • Persuading


  • Comparing


  • Entertaining


  • Explaining


  • Describing


 Sample: (10 Applied World History)

 TODAY: Complete one of the following projects.  It is due at the end of the period. Each group will present their project.

 Option 1:

 R- Yourself

 A- Pleasant Valley Students

 F- BEAR FACTS article

 T- Civilization vs. Wild

 S- Persuasive Piece (you must pick a side!)


 Option 2:

 R- Enkidu

 A- Gilgamesh

 F- Travelogue

 T-  Their journey

 S-  Informational

 Option 3:

 R- Shamash

 A- The other gods

 F-  Letter

 T-  Explaining why Enkidu must die

 S-  Persuasive

 Option 4:

 R- Gilgamesh

 A- Himself

 F- Diary entry

 T- His search for immortality

 S- Questioning and reflecting


 Grading Rubric


Neatness: ____             Needs Work 0------------5---------------10 Excellent

 Creativity: ____            Needs Work 0------------5---------------10 Excellent

Content: _____             Needs Work 0------------5---------------10 Excellent

Conventions:___           Needs Work 0------------5---------------10 Excellent

 Focus:____                   Needs Work 0------------5---------------10 Excellent

 Total Points:______/50



 Reciprocal Teaching

Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional activity that takes place in the form of a dialogue between teachers and students regarding segments of text. The dialogue is structured by the use of four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. The teacher and students take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading this dialogue.

 Purpose: The purpose of reciprocal teaching is to facilitate a group effort between teacher and students as well as among students in the task of bringing meaning to the text. Each strategy was selected for the following purpose:

 Summarizing provides the opportunity to identify and integrate the most important information in the text. Text can be summarized across sentences, across paragraphs, and across the passage as a whole. When the students first begin the reciprocal teaching procedure, their efforts are generally focused at the sentence and paragraph levels. As they become more proficient, they are able to integrate at the paragraph and passage levels.

 Question generating reinforces the summarizing strategy and carries the learner one more step along in the comprehension activity. When students generate questions, they first identify the kind of information that is significant enough to provide the substance for a question. They then pose this information in question form and self-test to ascertain that they can indeed answer their own question. Question generating is a flexible strategy to the extent that students can be taught and encouraged to generate questions at many levels

 Clarifying is an activity that is particularly important when working with students who have a history of comprehension difficulty. These students may believe that the purpose of reading is saying the words correctly; they may not be particularly uncomfortable that the words, and in fact the passage, are not making sense. When the students are asked to clarify, their attention is called to the fact that there may be many reasons why text is difficult to understand (e.g., new vocabulary, unclear reference words, and unfamiliar and perhaps difficult concepts). They are taught to be alert to the effects of such impediments to comprehension and to take the necessary measures to restore meaning (e.g., reread, ask for help).

   Predicting occurs when students hypothesize what the author will discuss next in the text. In order to do this successfully, students must activate the relevant background knowledge that they already possess regarding the topic. The students have a purpose for reading: to confirm or disprove their hypotheses. Furthermore, the opportunity has been created for the students to link the new knowledge they will encounter in the text with the knowledge they already possess. The predicting strategy also facilitates use of text structure as students learn that headings, subheadings, and questions imbedded in the text are useful means of anticipating what might occur next.


Save the Last Word

 *It is important to explain the procedure and model for students first.


     1.  Students will read the assigned article or textbook chapter 
     2.  Students will underline five quotes that they find important or interesting 
     3.  Students will then copy each quote on a separate notecard
     4.  On the other side of the notecard, students should respond to the quote.
     5.  Students get into groups of 4-5
     6.  The person who designate from each group will read his/her quote and thoughts about the quot
     7.  Each person will respond to the first person 
     8. The person who read their card gets the “last word” 
     9. The person to the right will then go and the group will follow the same procedure 
    10. As a group, they should determine which points were most significant & copy on posterboard and hang on the chalkboard 
    11. Compare and discuss each group’s main ideas 


Shrinking the Text


  1. Students write a paragraph summarizing what they read. 
  2. Students “shrink” the paragraph to 25 words.
  3. Students shrink the 25 word summary to 10 words.


Paragraph Summary:




25 Word Summary




10-12 Word Summary




___________ ___________ _____________ ____________ ____________ ___________ ___________ _____________ ____________ ____________



___________ ___________.






































































































































Text Impressions/Story Impressions:


1. Students are given a list of unfamiliar vocabulary words.
2. Students write a paragraph using the vocabulary terms.
3. Students should use their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to guess how to use the terms.
4. Students read the assigned text or novel. 
5. Students write another paragraph using the same vocabulary terms incorporating the knowledge they have of the terms based on context clues. 

 Sample: (10 Applied Biology) 

Name _________________________

 Reading and Writing Skills

 In order to better understand some of the terms used to study biology, more specifically basic chemistry, let’s explore the meaning of some terms commonly used throughout this chapter and others we will study.

 Using each of the terms listed below (in the order they appear), write a paragraph which links each of the terms together. Circle (or highlight) each term when you read the text. Terms: proton, neutron, electron, nucleus, and chemical bond.


 Give One/Get One
How to Use: Give One/Get One is a method for students to not only access their own prior background knowledge, but also that of their peers. Student should divide their paper into two columns. One should be labeled “Give One” and the other “Get One.” Given a specified amount of time and a specific topic, student should list as many details as they can under their “Give One” column. Then students should rotate around the class collecting additional facts in their “Get-One” column as they give facts from their “Give-One” column to their peers.

When to Use: Give One/Get One works well when students have diverse background information about the topic to be studied. Often times student will posses knowledge about a topic than the teacher, depending on their interests and backgrounds. This technique helps to share the wealth.
Adaptations: Students can make a specific number of note cards of their favorite facts. These cards can be shared so that if you give out 5 cards; you also get 5 cards.


Vocabulary Sort

 Word Sort Activity

 Materials: Posterboard, index cards, content area text


 1.     Choose the text that you want to use and which vocabulary terms you want students to learn (should be no more than 3 pages). Choose a selection that has terms that could be organized into categories.

2.     Write the terms on posterboard and post in the front of the room.

3.     When students come into class, get them into groups and have them copy the terms on notecards.  Each term should be on a SEPARATE card.

4.     Using different terms, model how to organize terms.

5.     Give students 5-10 minutes to organize the terms on their notecards. 

6.     Ask each group to explain why they organized the terms the way that they did.

7.     Give students the text to read.

8.     Give 5-10 minutes to allow groups to reorganize terms.

9.     Ask each group to explain what changes they made based on the text.

10.  Show students how you organized terms and explain why.

 Content Area Word Walls
How to Use: Content Area Word Walls are a visual reminder to the class of how the key terminology of the unit are related to one another.    Teachers should identify all key terminology from their unit. This terminology can be posted on the wall in the class as a constant reminder to students of how all the new terms are related.                                                                                                       
When to Use: Anytime that the unit of study can be organized on a graphic organizer, a Content Area Word Wall will serve as a visual reminder to students of the connections between the terms associated with the unit. A Content Area Word Wall also is a great instructional aid to reference throughout instruction.
Adaptations: Prior to beginning the unit of instruction, students can work in small groups, predicting how the new terminology might be organized based upon their prior background knowledge of the topic. Exemplar Visual/Verbal Word Association Cards can be posted under each of the terms listed on the Wall.

Neurological Impress Method

Target Student

Students who have basic word attack skills and have approximately below level sight vocabulary. It is appropriate for older students with learning disabilities who do not read fluently.


The Neurological Impress Method (NIM) is a form of paired reading in which a student and teacher (or other professional) read the same text almost simultaneously. Sitting side-by-side (elbow to elbow), the teacher reads a text slightly faster and louder than the student while both follow the text with their fingers. Reading along with a more fluent reader is thought of as "an impress, an etching in of word memories on the natural process" (Heckelman, 1969). In addition, positive reinforcement from the tutor may help build students' self-confidence and enjoyment of reading.

How To

Steps for NIM (adapted from Flood et al, 2005)

  1. Select an instructional-level text (or better yet, ask the student to select the text).
  2. Sit next to the student so you are close to the student's ear.
  3. Move your finger under each word as you read it. The student rests his or her finger on top of yours.
  4. As you read the text aloud together, set the pace by reading slightly faster than the student. Model fluency and expression, chunking words in meaningful phrases and pausing for punctuation.
  5. Gradually release the "lead" to the student as the he or she becomes more comfortable with the text. As the student reads more fluently, the teacher can soften his/her voice, allowing the child’s voice to “take the lead".

Flood, J., Lapp, D., & Fisher, D. (2005). Neurological impress methods plus. Reading Psychology, 26, 147-150.

Heckelman, R. G. (1969). A neurological-impress method of remedial-reading instruction. Academic Therapy 4(4) 277-282.

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