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Strategy #3: Using active reading questions

As they read, students need to "dialogue" with the text by identifying main ideas and supporting details, making connections, marking confusing areas, identifying unfamiliar words, and examining graphics. Here are some active reading questions you can provide to your students.

1. What is the main idea of the passage? What is your evidence for this?

2. How does the reading connect to the course lectures and discussions? What are the connections between sections of the reading?

3. Which words are unfamiliar to you? Circle them on your initial reading. Can you determine the meaning based on the context? If not, when you have finished reading the passage, define them with the help of a dictionary.

4. Look at the pictures, charts, and other graphics accompanying the text (if applicable). Why are they there? How do they help you understand the content of the passage?

If there is time in class, you can have students form groups of three or four to compare and contrast their active reading responses. This can also be done in online discussion boards or learning blogs.