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Directed Reading-Thinking Activity

The Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DRTA) centers on open-ended questions about the reading experience. This activity is designed to make students aware of their own interpretive actions during reading. The DRTA process helps students recognize predictions, judgments, and evidence verification.

Steps to a Directed Reading-Thinking Activity:

  1. Ask students to skim a reading selection prior to reading it. Have them note titles, subheadings, illustrations, captions, sidebars, etc. From this preliminary overview, ask students to predict the content or perspective of the text passage. More importantly, ask them to identify why they reached these conclusions.

  2. Pick a reasonable "break point" in the reading selection and have students read up to this point. Challenge students to evaluate their predictions and refine them if necessary. Press students who change their predictions to explain "why" and offer specific evidence/reasons for the change.

  3. Repeat the process in steps 1 and 2 throughout all the logical "break points" in the text until the selection is completed.

Learn More:

  • Jennings, C. & Shepherd, J. (1998). Literacy and the key learning areas: successful classroom strategies. Eleanor Curtain Publishing.

  • Lenski, Susan D., Wham, Mary Ann, & Johns, Jerry L. (1999). Reading and learning strategies for middle and high school students. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

  • Murdoch, K. (1998). Classroom Connections : Strategies for Integrated Learning. Eleanor Curtain Publishing.

  • Directed Reading-Thinking Activity

  • Classroom Strategies: Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA)