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Adolescent Literacy
Instruction

Reading Strategies

Strategy: DR-TA (Directed Reading-Thinking Activity)
Stauffer, R. G. (1969). Directing reading maturity as a cognitive process. New York: Harper & Row.

Overview:

Using the strategy DR-TA helps students develop critical thinking expertise. Not only will they develop the ability to set a purpose for reading, they will also learn to make logical predictions and decisions based upon the information read. Key terms are predict, read, and prove. A DR-TA may be used with an individual, a small group, or a whole class. This activity can be easily adapted for any narrative or expository selection at any level of difficulty.

Procedure:

  1. Pick five or six good stopping points. Be ready with questions that will promote good interaction between the readers. (A sample form is attached to help with the organization of a DR-TA lesson.)
  2. Using the title of the book or chapter, the cover, or other pictures, start with an initial discussion about the text to be read. The purpose of this interaction is to give the students enough information to make them curious about the material, and so that they can make a logical prediction as to the content of the text.
  3. Assign the first chunk to be read. When this is completed, review the prediction. Give students the chance to stay with it or change it. It is important that predictions are not labeled right or wrong. What is important is that the prediction can be proved. If the prediction is to be changed as a result of reading, be sure to comment positively.
  4. Be sure during this discussion that the students share any questions that they might have. This gives further purpose for reading.
  5. Be sure that the new section is not read before a new prediction is made or the old one is modified, whichever is appropriate.
  6. After the last chunk has been read and discussed, it is advisable to go back and make sure that all questions have been answered. If not, the group can decide how they can find further information.
  7. Finally, have each student rate the material and give reasons for the rating.

Note: It may be beneficial that the children do some purposeful reading at each check point. Perhaps, it could be the proof of the prediction, new information learned, or their favorite part.

Example:

DR-TA FORM

Text_________________________________________________________________

Story Title____________________________________________________________

Initial Discussion (Title and Picture)______________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

Initial Prediction_______________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

First Stop: page ______________________________________________________

1. Confirm prediction(s)_______________________________________

2. Questions_________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

3. Set next prediction(s) (What will happen next? Why?)_______________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Second Stop: page____________________________

1. Confirm new prediction(s)____________________________________________

2. Questions__________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Set next prediction(s) (What will happen next? Why?)

______________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Third Stop: page______________________________

1. Confirm prediction(s)__________________________________________________

2. Questions___________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Set next prediction(s) (What will happen next? Why?) _______________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Last Stop: page______________________________

1. Confirm new prediction(s)______________________________________________

2. Final questions______________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. Rate the text ________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Source: Elly Brownawell Taheny

 



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