Focused Reading

Type of strategy: ProcessingVisual OrganizersWriting and/or Reflection

Use this strategy to guide participant thinking during a text reading. It allows participants to affirm prior knowledge and guide post-reading discussion.


  1. Provide participants with written text.
  2. Instruct participants to mark their papers with the following symbols as they read:

√   Affirms your knowledge

!    Surprises you or challenges your knowledge

?   You wish to know more about the issues or topic

NOTE: Use the symbols as a tool to guide post-reading discussion. For example, have participants share in small groups their surprises and need for clarification. Anything that can’t be answered in the small group, can be brought to the larger group for discussion.


Submitted by: Jennifer Arns