Reading Effectively & Critical Thinking

Sharing the information I’ve gathered from online resources. Hope this helps you to create a better dialog with your child. I write these questions on a notecard, sticky pad or homemade bookmark  to ask while reading to or with my son. Discussion and critical thinking questioning strategy lead to deeper analysis of content. This makes the learning process more about absorbing and reflecting on all facets of the material in a natural and curious state. Here are a few examples of questions that invoke informal reasoning: “Why did you select that one?” “How are these different?” “What happened when you?” “What would happen if you?” “What can you do to make… happen?” “How do you think s/he feels about what happened?” These types of questions develop critical thinking skills and stimulate verbal development as the children try to communicate their reasoning.

When reading aloud, you can stop from time to time and orally complete  sentences like these:

  • So far, I’ve learned…
  • This made me think of…
  • That didn’t make sense.
  • I think ___ will happen next.
  • I reread that part because…
  • I was confused by…
  • I think the most important part was…
  • That is interesting because…
  • I wonder why…
  • I just thought of…

To help readers learn to ask questions before, during, and after reading, think  aloud the next time you are reading a book, article, or set of directions. Write  each question on a post-it note and stick it on the text you have the question  about.

Ask questions such as:

“What clues does the title give me about the story?”
“Is this a  real or imaginary story?”
“Why am I reading this?”
“What do I already  know about___?”
“What predictions can I make?”

Start reading the text, and ask yourself questions while reading:

“What do I understand from what I just read?”
“What is the main  idea?”
“What picture is the author painting in my head?”
“Do I need to  reread so that I understand?”

Then reread the text, asking the following questions when you are finished:

“Which of my predictions were right? What information from the text  tells me that I am correct?”
“What were the main ideas?”
“What  connections can I make to the text? How do I feel about it?”

After students become aware of the best times to ask questions during the  reading process, be sure to ask them a variety of questions that:

  • Can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the text
  • Have answers that might be different for everyone
  • Have answers that can be found in the text
  • Clarify the author’s intent
  • Can help clarify meaning
  • Help them make inferences
  • Help them make predictions
  • Help them make connections to other texts or prior  knowledge

Some of the most challenging questions are “Why?” questions about the  author’s intentions and the design of the text. For example:

“Why do you think the author chose this particular setting?”
“Why do you think the author ended the story in this way?”
“Why do you think  the author chose to tell the story from the point of view of the daughter?”
“What does the author seem to be assuming about the reader’s political  beliefs?”

Another way to challenge readers is to ask them open-ended question that  require evidence from the text to answer. For example:

“What does Huck think about girls? What is your evidence?”
“Which character in the story is most unlike Anna? Explain your reasons,  based on evidence from the novel?”
“What is the author’s opinion about  affirmative action in higher education? How do you know?”

Read more on TeacherVision:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s