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Interacting with the Text


Skilled readers are never passive readers. Instead, they are highly active as they read: thinking, imagining, wondering, and evaluating as they make their way through a text. Many less-skilled readers, however, simply process words at a surface level, often with no idea that a deeper interaction is necessary for real learning. All students benefit from explicit instruction and practice in interactive reading. Such instruction enables lower-skilled readers to comprehend what they read, and empowers higher-skilled students to use text interaction strategically to accomplish their learning goals.


Interacting with text facilitates students’ attention, engagement, and comprehension as they read. By thinking actively, students are able to notice when they are confused or inattentive, and to repair the gap in processing through strategies such as re-reading and clarifying. Interacting also helps to prevent inattention by heightening engagement. Interactive readers have something to do as they read, and they are likely to make personal connections with content, both of which can increase interest. Finally, interacting with a text helps students to comprehend what they read, by allowing them to process content during the act of reading, to repair gaps in comprehension, and to both anticipate and reflect on what they read.

Content Area Adaptations 

Students should practice interacting with text any time they are reading a text.It is equally helpful for students reading a novel, a poem, a science textbook, or a primary source document. Many skilled students rely particularly on deliberate interaction strategies when they are reading texts that they find boring or challenging, but the strategies can enhance learning even when students are reading texts they find simple and engaging.

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Determining Importance
  • Inferring
  • Metacognition
  • Predicting
  • Questioning
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.L.4
  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.4
  • CCRA.R.8
  • CCRA.SL.2

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Learning Strands 

  • Listening
  • Numeracy
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing

Double-Entry Prediction Chart

A double-entry prediction chart asks students to select passages from the text and make predictions about characters or events. Students will then explain the thinking behind their predictions using text evidence. This activity encourages deeper interaction with the text because students will reflect about what has happened already and what...

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Building Background
  • Investigation

Life Graph

In the Life Graph activity students will create a graph that shows the main events of a character’s life and assign a value to the importance of each event. The purpose of this activity is to synthesize and evaluate the importance of events in a character’s life.

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Synthesis

Reader's Theater

Many students struggle to engage emotionally with text. They may read the words but not really process the meaning, and they may have trouble relating to the characters and the content. Reader’s Theater allows students to immerse themselves in a text by acting it out. It can greatly increase their interest in, and comprehension of, texts....

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation