Using Higher-Order Thinking to Improve Reading Comprehension
This series uses highly-effective, literature-based critical thinking activities to develop the analysis, synthesis, and vocabulary skills students need for exceptional reading comprehension. The activities are especially effective at helping students understand challenging critical reading concepts such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, determining cause and effect, using context clues to define vocabulary, and making predictions and generalizations.
Students read and analyze short literature passages and stories that include fiction and nonfiction genres. Then they answer multiple-choice and short-response questions, citing sentence evidence to support their answers. Concepts and skills covered in the series include:
Literary Analysis Skills
• Define vocabulary using context clues
• Recognize figurative language
• Identify main idea, supporting details, and theme
• Recognize literary devices
• Identify story elements: theme, plot, setting, and characters
Reading Detective® products include the following genres:
|Award-Winning Literature Excerpts
• See individual products for lists
Stories and Articles
The Grades 3–4 (Beginning) level is organized into single-skills units with a concluding mixed-skills unit. The Grades 5–6 (A1) and 7–8 (B1) levels include mixed-skills throughout. All levels provide an introductory lesson for each skill.
Reproducible. 150-200+ pages. Answer Key. View Beginning Table of Contents.
Using Higher-Order Thinking to Improve Critical Reading and Comprehension
This series provides short, fun, and easy-to-use reading comprehension activities that improve critical reading and higher-order thinking skills. The activities focus on developing the student’s ability to draw inferences from written text as they identify and evaluate evidence. Questions following all stories teach students to evaluate details that at first seemed insignificant but are actually meaningful! These activities develop a depth of analysis that guarantees superior inferential and reading comprehension skills for top grades and higher test scores!
Research shows inferential reasoning is a prerequisite component to superior reading comprehension. The National Foundation for Educational Research concluded that “the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferential reasoning causes poor comprehension and not vice versa.” We all make inferences in our daily lives (e.g. we naturally think a child is happy because we see them laughing). But how does this ability apply to written communication? When we read a written passage, we’re actually reading a representation of the author’s thoughts and ideas, because the written word does not convey a meaning in and of itself. Readers must construct the meaning through interpretation. The reader’s interpretation is the result of inferential analysis which includes drawing from personal knowledge and experiences, social values, and cultural conventions. The interpretation connects a meaning to the words, providing the reader with an understanding of the character’s actions, circumstances, or events in the story.
Inference Jones Beginning 2 (formerly Inference Jones Beginning) includes zany, amusing, and clever short stories full of hints and clues to help students hone their inference skills. It has a readability level appropriate for Grades 3-4 but can also be used as a remedial resource for older students (Grades 5-12+).
Inference Jones Level 1 includes an engaging mix of fiction and nonfiction stories to inform and entertain students as they learn and analyze. It has a readability level appropriate for Grades 5-6 but can also be used as a remedial resource for older students (Grades 7-12+).
Reproducible. 48 pages. Answer Key. View Beginning Table of Contents.
Daily Mind Builders™
In addition to waking up sleepy brains for the day’s lessons, these fun, short, daily activity pages develop the most important reading comprehension skill found on all standardized reading tests. Synthesizing disparate information and using the result to produce a reasonable conclusion is an essential skill assessed on standardized reading tests. This comprehension skill usually determines a student’s reading score–and every Daily Mind Builders™ activity develops this skill.
Each daily activity page includes two puzzles that are often solved in 5-15 minutes. The first puzzle is a short, true mystery. Its solution requires careful reading, inferential reasoning, and deductive thinking. The second puzzle involves deductive thinking, and is designed to build vocabulary and associative thinking skills. This puzzle uses a process of elimination involving the meanings of words or relationships between words. Try a sample and you’ll be hooked!
The best use of this book is when presented as a non-threatening, non-graded, fun activity where students are praised for all logical answers even if they don’t happen to be the correct answers. Remember, in critical thinking, the journey is as important as the destination, and all reasonable efforts at critical thinking should be commended.
These intriguing puzzles can also be used as a:
• Motivational beginning activity as an addition to the curriculum.
• Culminating activity after a lesson or at the end of the day.
• Fill-in activity when there is an awkward time break during the school day.
• Valid educational activity for students who finish assigned activities earlier than their classmates.
Reproducible. 144 pages. Answer Key. Grades 5-12. View DMB Science Table of Contents.
Spectrum Reading – Grade 8
This workbook for Grade 8 students is a collection of reading exercises that provide Focused Practice for Reading Comprehension in:
- Fiction and non-fiction passages
- Story structure
- Integration of knowledge and ideas
- Key ideas and details
Answer key included. 160 pages. Copyright 2015.