Reading Tip: Give it a Subtitle

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting lost in the world of Ed Tech. Today, I’m bringing EdGeeks back to a low-tech/no-tech reading strategy. Today’s strategy is one that can support readers whether they are struggling, on grade level or above grade level. I will call this strategy: “Give it a Subtitle.” By subtitle, I mean write a few words that can remind you what each chunk of text was all about.

How it Works:

Many non-fiction texts are broken down into chunks with subtitles. Subtitles can be comforting because they can guide the reader to specific information. In this strategy, a student reads a paragraph and creates a subtitle that makes sense. Here are 3 simple steps:

  1. Read a chunk (often a paragraph) of text.
  2. Stop and think: What is this chunk mostly about?
  3. Create and write a subtitle for the chunk.

When to Use It:

This strategy doesn’t make sense all the time. I suggest using this strategy when a text is long and feels daunting or overwhelming. Chunking the text and giving each chunk a subtitle can help a reader:

  • Feel more confident in attacking a long text
  • Remember the begininning and middle parts of a long text
  • Organize the text so that it is easier to refer back to the text to find information
  • By boosting comprehension of a long and challenging text
  • Answer the question: “What is this text mostly about?”

What Does it Look Like?

This is a sample text that already has subtitles. The red arrows show each subtitle.

This text is taken from the 2010 Grade 4 NYS ELA Test (Book 1)

This is a sample text that did not have subtitles. I read through it and used the “Give it a Subtitle” strategy.

This text was taken from the 2010 Grade 4 NYS ELA Test (Book 1)

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