Areas of Expertise


Adolescent Literacy

Reading Strategies

Strategy: Say Something

Short, K. G., Harste, J., & Burke, C. (1996). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Overview: This strategy provides students with opportunities to construct meaning and monitor their understanding. It establishes a very clear and simple method for helping students make clear connections to text, especially when the material is especially complex. A chart with possible topics to help conversations is beneficial. Examples follow:

Narrative: plot, feelings, summarization, predictions, connections, mood, setting, character descriptions

Expository: summarization, connections, predictions, paraphrasing, exploring big ideas


  1. Students are assigned a partner.
  2. An assigned portion of the text is read either silently or orally. (It is particularly effective when used with pairings of lower readers with more accomplished ones.)
  3. When they have finished, they turn to their partner and "say something" about what they have just read. This might involve summarizing the material, connecting with a character, or asking each other questions. One suggestion is to have a chart with the rules that follow hanging in the room so that the students can refer to it.
  4. When the assigned material has been read and discussed, more text is assigned and the process is repeated.

Rules for Say Something:

  • Decide with your partner who will say something first.
  • When you say something, do one or more of the following:
    • Make a prediction.
    • Ask a question.
    • Clarify something you had misunderstood.
    • Make a comment.
    • Make a connection.
  • If you can't do one of these five things, you need to reread.
  • Source: When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do. Kylene Beers, 2003.


    Copyright © 2011 Learning Point Associates. All rights reserved.