Reading with a Purpose

Introduction: Revitalizing the manner in which reading comprehension is taught is not only for the student to comprehend their texts but also for the student to extract the most out of their texts. This methodology is intended to inspire the student. Inspired, the student conducts more extensive research as a byproduct. Think of this methodology as alchemy (the mystical and chemical process by which you turn lead into gold as depicted in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist) whereby the text is lead and the student’s argument transforms into gold. Considering the mechanisms of Close Reading, Common Core Standards, and the Case Method, the following is our methodology for teaching reading comprehension:

I.   Student Initiated Analysis (duration: continuous)

b.   Self-Directed Learning

ii.    Allows the student to pursue a topic that interests them

2.  The student takes the initiative to pursue their own learning experience

3.  The student takes the responsibility and accountability for defining their experience

iii.  The student is the catalyst of their learning

2.   Diagnose their learning needs

3.   Formulate their learning goals

4.   Identify human and material resources for learning

5.   Implement appropriate learning strategies

6.   Evaluate learning outcomes

c.   Close Reading/ Annotation

ii.   Students take notes within the margins within a text so that they are reading with a purpose

2.  Close Reading Strategies

2.  Number each paragraph in the upper left-hand corner

ii.  By numbering each paragraph, the student refers to the text specifically in the tutoring session as well as in class

3.  Group the paragraphs

ii.  The students group the paragraphs together however they would like

2.  This is not randomly done

3.  The grouping of their paragraphs should be justifiable

4.  Underline and circle

ii.   Students underline the author’s claim

iii.   Students circle key vocabulary

5.   Left Margin: “What is the author saying?”

ii.   Write summaries of the text in 10 words or less

iii.  The grouping should help with this process as the text is already broken up

6.   Right Margin: ask questions

ii.   The student must ask specific questions on that dive deeper into the text

II.  Student-Parent Discussion (duration: 5-10 min.)

b.   Student’s parents are instrumental in their student’s

ii.   Drafting

2.   In discussion with their parent, the student must articulate their ideas verbally

2.   Verbal expression of ideas is key

ii.   The student is self-critical realizing that their message may not be received the way in which they would like to express it

iii.   Parental Feedback

2.   The parent asks questions thereby forcing the student to coherently express their idea(s)

2.   The student must use the appropriate vocabulary/diction for their parent to understand their perspective

3.   Their ideas become more comprehensive because they are more well-thought out

III.   Student-Instructor Debate (duration: 1-2 hrs.)

b.   Panoramic Perspective

ii.   The student needs exposure to multiple points of view in order to fully grasp or comprehend the text as a whole

2.   Analyzing the text/ the rhetorical process

2.   the instructor asks and/or provides insight from multiple perspectives

3.   The instructor puts the text into a much broader context

2.   historical, social, cultural, economic, ethical etc.

c.   Spark Questions

ii.   The instructor provides a considerate line of questioning

2.  If the instructor senses that the student is straying from the main idea, themes, symbolism, conflicts etc. (text dependent questions), then it is time for the instructor to provide a line of questioning that will put the student back on track

3.  Once the student has answered the text dependent questions, then the instructor should proceed to igniting the student’s imagination

4.  The instructor then strictly challenges the perspective of the student so that the student must start to defend their position

d.   Student Defense/ Thesis

ii.   The student has now been prepared to begin their defense

2.  Their defense must include concrete evidence from the text quotations, facts, statistical data etc.

3.   Once their evidence has been verified, the instructor is to support an analysis and host a debate and justification of why this evidence works to support the student’s argument

2.   The student must start using the proper diction or vocabulary while defending their position

4.   The final part of the student’s defense is a line of questioning that they must answer to strengthen their argument

Conclusion: Motivating the student to take the initiative in their own learning process is paramount. Self-directed learning is essential to the student because they develop individual analytical skills while formulating open-ended questions. Self-directed learning is also the most time consuming for the student. However, this stage plateaus unless introduced to other perspectives. Analyses and open-ended questions should be briefly discussed with parents; who may provide an alternative perspective. Crucially, the instructor at Tutor Zone: answers questions, provides panoramic perspectives, and asks spark questions. The panoramic perspective and spark questions guide the student to read with a purpose digging for evidence thus substantially increasing the level of comprehension. The student, through this exposure, develops their argument(s) so that both the student and the instructor may debate. The student must defend their argument(s) using concrete evidence and critical thinking skills so that they maximize their analysis of the evidence and compel the instructor during the debate. The debate does not end with the session but is to encourage the student to more self-directed learning to strengthen their argument(s).

The panoramic perspective and spark questions guide the student to read with a purpose digging for evidence thus increasing the level of comprehension substantially. The debate does not end with the session but is to encourage the student to more self-directed learning to strengthen their argument(s).