Reading Response over Ch. 8 in “Content area Reading and Literacy” by Victoria R. Gillis 8


Reading responses record student thoughts, feelings, opinions, connections, questions, and reactions related to the assigned reading. They encourage students to think deeply about the materials they read and reflect on and raise questions about the text. This interaction between reader and text extends the reading experience into the “real life” application of information and are especially valuable for promoting opinion making, value judgments, and critical thinking.

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1. Responses should be typed in a 12-point font, DOUBLE-SPACED with a heading that includes your name, title, and the response strategy. Headings should always be single-spaced.

2. Responses should be approximately 500 words.

3. Begin each response with a BRIEF (2-4 sentences) overview of the reading section (chapter, section, etc) you intend to be the focus of your response.

4. Select a response strategy from the list to complete the response.

5. You may choose which strategy you want to use each week, but I strongly encourage you to experiment with as many of the options as possible. The purpose of this is to get you to explore different ways of responding. If you have personal experience with a strategy, you are more likely to try it with your students. It is sometimes beneficial to go into the reading with a strategy in mind. Plan to highlight, underline and even use sticky notes to support your understanding.


Response Strategies

1. QUESTIONS: Write down questions about anything in the text that confuses you or seems unclear. It can be a concept or even a sentence. Where possible, try to answer your questions based on your interpretation and comprehension of the text even if you do not think you are right.

2. REACT: Express your personal reactions to the writer, information, or ideas presented in the text. What do you like? Don’t like? What makes sense? Doesn’t make sense? What do you agree with? Disagree with? Readings can be “felt,” not just understood.

3. RELATE: Try to relate what you have read to what you already know about ideas, people, personal experiences, future outcomes, etc. The more connections you can make with the reading, the more meaningful it will become.

4. REFLECT: What thoughts or associations does the reading inspire within you? What do you now think or believe that you did not think or believe before you read this text? What significance does this reading have for you personally?


5. MONITOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING: Note when you get bogged down in your reading, lose track of what the author is saying, or feel the author has lost you. How did you overcome these impediments? When were you successful in comprehending the reading, did you do anything special?

6. ANTICIPATE: Active readers always try to predict what will happen next or in the future. Use your prior knowledge about the topic to think how the author is going to explain the topic and check to see how close you came.

7. CONSTRUCT AND REVISE HYPOTHESES: Making sense of any reading requires making and remaking hypotheses. Based on initial information, we form expectations about how information will unfold, what the author has in mind, etc. As we read on, some of our hypotheses will be revised and some confirmed. Track your initial hypotheses and record their evolution as you read.

8. EVALUATE: Do you like what you are reading? What are the good/bad points in this text? What could be improved? Does it have something valuable to say? Is it worth reading?

(I won’t be offended if you say no!)

9. PRIORITIZE: What word, passage, or idea is most important? Why?

10. ORGANIZE: Create a chart, diagram, or map (it must be typed, though) to help you organize ideas and key points from the reading. Briefly explain the purpose and the structure of your organization

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