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Directed Reading Thinking


Directed Reading Thinking (DRT) promotes reading comprehension by guiding students to question, predict, and then confirm or refute predictions as they read. Students are provided with a structure to scaffold their efforts at engaged and thoughtful reading. DRT stands for: • Direct: Before reading each section, teachers direct students’ thinking by guiding them to scan the section, asking them questions that activate relevant background knowledge, and instructing them to make predictions about the text. • Read: Students read each section up to the next designated stopping point. • Think: Students reflect on what they have read, then evaluate the validity of their predictions

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Inferring

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Balancing Informative and Literary Texts
  • Text-Based Answers


  • Choose a text for students to read, and identify places within the text at which you would like students to stop and think. Mark these points.
  • Divide the text into fairly short sections so that students have the chance to process the text as much as possible.
  • Consider creating a visual display explaining the three steps of DRT.
Activity Steps 
  1. Teacher introduces the text, and the structure and purpose of DRT. Review predictions, and discuss how to tell if a prediction needs to be revised.

    During the introduction state that the purpose of the activity is to help students to think more about what they are reading and to engage more fully with the text. Emphasize that predictions can aid comprehension whether or not they turn out to be true, since they focus attention and encourage critical thought.

  2. D - Direct: Teacher guides students to look through the first section of text, to note features such as chapter titles, visuals, captions, and headings. Teacher directs student attention by asking questions including: · What do you already know about thi

    This activity can be structured as either a whole-class or small-group activity, as long as there is a teacher available to lead each group of readers. You may want to record the class’s predictions on a board or slide to refer to later.

  3. R - Read: Students read the first section of text.

    Students can read this section alone or in pairs or small groups. You can also read it together as a class.

  4. T - Think: Teacher guides students to think about what they have read in relation to what they anticipated. Teacher guides discussion with questions including: · Which predictions turned out to be correct? · What evidence in the text shows you that t

    During this stage you can direct student attention to the recorded predictions from the first “D” stage. If you want, mark each recorded prediction indicating if it is supported, refuted, or if you can’t yet tell. Encourage students to return to the text to cite evidence that supports or refutes predictions.

  5. The process continues, utilizing the three steps of DRT, until the text is completed.

    You should plan a little extra time for the final “T” stage, since at this point students will be consolidating content from across the entire text. During the final “T” stage, ask questions about the whole text such as: · What does this text mean? · What is the big idea? · Why is this important?

  6. Alone or in groups, in conversation or in writing, students reflect on their learning process.

    Students respond to questions including: · How does making predictions affect your comprehension of a text? · How does evaluating predictions affect your comprehension of a text? · What aspects of this activity were most helpful to you, and in what ways were they helpful? · In what other setting might you use this activity?

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