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Read-Study Method for Textbooks

A reader of my Pennington Publishing Blog asked me to explain how my PQ RAR reading-study strategy (Preview-Question-Read-Answer-Review) for textbooks and expository/informational writing works with my SCRIP Comprehension Strategy Questions.  An excellent question.


I used and taught the classic SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review) method of textbook reading for years and asked one of the reading professor in my MA program about the technique. He stated that considerable research had demonstrated the efficacy of the S and Q steps (Survey and Question); however, no empirical research seemed to warrant using the last two “R’s” (Recite and Review).  By the way, the related PQ3R strategy simply substituted Preview for the anachronistic Survey.

I went home and over the next few days hammered out my PQ RAR reading-study strategy (Preview-Question-Read-Answer-Review). I added the last R, Review, to the professor’s suggestion of A, Answer, because not all of the reader’s self-generated questions will be answered by the text. Some were answered by the author, but were not noted by the reader during the initial reading; some were not addressed by the text; some require additional research.

As a reading specialist, I shared the PQ RAR reading-study strategy with quite a few teachers at seven different sites and through professional development. Teachers and their students much preferred the PQ RAR reading-study strategy compared to the traditional SQ3R or PQ3R strategies. However, I knew that a critical element was missing.

Weeks later I shared my PQ RAR reading-study strategy with the same professor and my colleagues in the class. One of my fellow teachers commented on the first R (Read) saying, “Simply telling a student to read, looking for the answers to subtitle questions, is clearly inadequate. To build comprehension, we have to teach readers to cue themselves as they read to “talk to the text.” Brilliant!

The professor responded, “It’s both/and.” He first affirmed the importance of the Q (Question) step of developing and writing text-dependent questions from the subtitles and the end of chapter publisher questions. Next, affirmed the importance of the internal reader dialogue and self-monitoring comprehension during the R (Read) step. What he said next surprised all of us in the class.

SCRIP Comprehension Strategies

SCRIP Comprehension Strategy Questions

The professor shared the research regarding self-questioning strategies. He summarized, ” The research shows that reader-generated questions of the text produce greater comprehension than teacher or publisher-generated comprehension questions.” Clearly, I needed to add something to the R (Read) step in my PQ RAR reading-study strategy.

So, back to the drawing board.

I designed the SCRIP (Summarize, Connect, Re-think, Interpret, and Predict) comprehension cues to cue the reader to explore and question a text independently, instead of being solely dependent upon author subtitles, publisher, or teacher questions and/or study helps. Now the first R (Read) made sense in my PQ RAR reading-study strategy .

Also, although the PQ RAR reading-study strategy is designed for expository text, I carefully designed the SCRIP question prompts to work with both expository/informational and narrative text.

Read-Study Method for Textbooks

Read-Study Method

Teachers commented on how the SCRIP method increased reader engagement with the text. Students said that asking questions of the text “made the authors seem like they were talking to us.”

I loved walking around with principals during class visitations and hearing the words Summarize, Connect, Re-think, Interpret, and Predict in teacher questions and, especially, in student questions and answers. The language of instruction was really catching on!

Teachers loved how the method worked for both expository and narrative texts. Being teachers, they starting creating. Soon I saw SCRIP questions as part of marginal annotations (margin notes), in literature circles and in online book clubs. Next, I saw SCRIP questions added to Cornell Notes templates. Fantastic… it works with lectures, too!

Years later I wrote and published the digitally-based Reading Fluency and Comprehension Toolkit. This affordable program provides 43 expository animal fluency articles and 43 corresponding animal comprehension worksheets (fillable PDFs for distance learning)–each with five SCRIP strategy questions (answers provided)–along with CORRESPONDING YOUTUBE VIDEOS WITH ALL 43 FLUENCIES RECORDED AT 3 DIFFERENT READING SPEEDS–129 IN ALL. PERFECT FOR MODELED READINGS.

Get the SCRIP Comprehension Cues FREE Resource:

Intervention Program Science of Reading

The Science of Reading Intervention Program

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Word Recognition (Phonemic Awareness, Spelling, and Phonics) includes explicit, scripted instruction and practice with the 6 Daily Google Slide Activities every reading intervention student needs: 1. Phonemic Awareness 2. Blending, Segmenting, and Spelling 3. Sounds and Spellings (including handwriting) 4. Heart Words Practice 5. Sam and Friends Phonics Books (decodables). 6. Elkonin Sound Box Spelling Dictations and digital and printable sound wall cards and speech articulation songs. Print versions are available for all activities. First Half of the Year Program (18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Language Comprehension resources are designed for students who have completed the word recognition program or have demonstrated basic mastery of the alphabetic code and can read with some degree of fluency. The program features the 5 Weekly Language Comprehension Activities: 1. Background Knowledge Mentor Texts 2. Academic Language, Greek and Latin Morphology, Figures of Speech, Connotations, Multiple Meaning Words 3. Syntax in Reading 4. Reading Comprehension Strategies 5. Literacy Knowledge (Narrative and Expository). Second Half of the Year Program (18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program: Assessment-based Instruction provides diagnostically-based “second chance” instructional resources. The program includes 13 comprehensive assessments and matching instructional resources to fill in the yet-to-be-mastered gaps in phonemic awareness, alphabetic awareness, phonics, fluency (with YouTube modeled readings), Heart Words and Phonics Games, spelling patterns, grammar, usage, and mechanics, syllabication and morphology, executive function shills. Second Half of the Year Program to Pair with Language Comprehension (18 weeks)

The Science of Reading Intervention Program BUNDLE  includes all 3 program components for the comprehensive, state-of-the-art (and science) grades 4-adult full-year program. Scripted, easy-to-teach, no prep, no need for time-consuming (albeit valuable) LETRS training or O-G certification… Learn as you teach and get results NOW for your students. Print to speech with plenty of speech to print instructional components.

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