Reading Power: Teaching Students to Think While They Read

Do you like to read? If you’re a teacher and/or a parent, do you want your kids to understand what they read? Of course you do, but what some people fail to recognize is that there’s a huge difference between reading fluency and reading comprehension. They’re both important, but sometimes we tend to emphasize the former over the latter.

Here’s a wonderful resource that was recommended to me by a local teacher:

Reading Power: Teaching Students to Think While They Read – (you can see the book online by clicking on the link)

Written by Adrienne Gear (from Vancouver)

The book is only 144 pages (means you can get through it in no time) and breaks down five strategies (or “powers”) to help with teaching reading comprehension:

  1. Connecting
  2. Questioning
  3. Visualizing
  4. Inferring
  5. Transforming (Synthesizing)

There are sample lesson plans to help teach each strategy with the use of picture books, and this with primary and intermediate levels. By using picture books, the stories are short, and students focus on the strategy more than the story. Once students learn and practice using each strategy, they apply them to other readings (i.e. novel studies, literature circles, etc…).

The bonus here, is that if you plan on buying picture books for your classroom or your personal library, you can buy with a goal in mind. Included are lists of books that are ideal for each reading power (strategy) for primary and intermediate. Many of the books recommended are already in our elementary school libraries – I checked!

Reading Power is based on and adapted from another longer work called Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goodvis.

Check it out! This book is a real gem.


  1. Tammy said,

    August 1, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Totally off topic here…. I didn’t actually join Urban Yukon. No idea how I got there. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, though!!!
    On topic: I’ve read this book, and it’s EXCELLENT!!! It’s short, and to the point, and I found it incredibly helpful.

  2. August 1, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Tammy: I bet you can blame it on Fawn? I don’t know. Doesn’t matter…WELCOME!

    Yes, I love the fact that the book is “short and to the point.” I hate the 300-400 page textbooks that repeat everything you learned during your coursework. I just want the bare bones and some practical ideas.

    Let me know if you know of other resources that are just as good for L.A. I can use all the help I can get.

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