Reading books, such as social studies, science, or Bible textbooks, can be a daunting task for elementary students. In high school and college, students are required to read large chunks of these books called content reading books. At Lubbock Junior Academy, grades 5 – 8 are taught how to read these types of books. The first strategy taught is to read content reading books at a slower pace than a story or narrative type of book.
The next strategy is to always read with a purpose. The purpose for reading in this week’s social studies lesson was, “Describe the natural resources and climates of Central Asia.” This key question must be answered after each paragraph in a reading section.
The second strategy is to change a subtitle in the book into a question. The subtitle might say, “The Natural Resources of Central Asia.” The subtitle is changed into, “What are the natural resources of Central Asia? These questions turn into an excellent purpose for reading as one reads the selected reading. These are useful and handy reading strategies.
Another technique used in good reading is to use mnemonic devices. An effective tool is to take the first letter of each item needed to be memorized and make a word out of those letters. This mnemonic device helps the brain encode and recall important information.
LJA students have also learned how to summarize and paraphrase paragraphs which helps them recall the main ideas and specific facts of materials read.
Learning how to read and interpret information as it relates to each student’s experience assists students to be critical thinkers. Ellen White in the book, Education, encourages us to “Train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought.”
Reading is a powerful God given tool.