When we read we activate a profound thinking process. Words come to life and activate pictures in our minds. As such, we must make active connections to the words we read. Failing to do so reduces reading to the simple task of decoding symbols on a page. We must remember that reading is much more meaningful than being able to recite the text. We must dig deeper and form connections in order to make meaning of what we read.
Something you can do to help make connections to your reading material is ask yourself a series of reflective questions as you read. Here are a number of questions you can consider. Pick one or two before you start a chapter and have them in mind as you read. Upon completing the chapter, produce a short written response. You can keep a reading response journal with the novel you’re reading, and tuck some of these questions into your journal. These questions are meant to be more meaningful than basic reading comprehension questions. They are meant to help you place yourself in the text and establish connections.
Sample Reading Response Questions
• What did you find most interesting in this part of the book?
• What event did you find most surprising?
• Did you find anything confusing in what you read today?
• Did any part of your reading remind you of something that has happened in your life? What is the connection between your life and what you read today?
The goal of such questions is to exercise a reflective practice. Move from producing written responses to internalizing the process. In time you should be able to pose these questions to yourself and reflect on your answers on an ongoing basis.
For information regarding reading comprehension and academic enrichment, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.
James Patrick is a teacher in University of Toronto and social worker who is serving as a Math Tutor Online to improve the math skills of students. He has represented his University and country in various seminars. Right now he is busy writing a book about the human behaviour and ways of learning and also taking special preparatory classes for helping children to read.