Responding to Text


Write responses to elicit deeper meanings. I want you to react to what you read in four ways. You do not have to keep writing the words reflect, connect, predict and question. But do make paragraphs for each.  I will conference with you about some of these entries and will make comments as well as ask you questions to deepen your understanding of the text. Sometimes I will request you fill in a graphic organizer to help you gain meaning from the text. Use the bookmark to hold your place in the book, but refer to it often while you respond.

Student Printout

Reading Strategy  bookmark 

Reader Response Questions

Reading LogChart

Student Printout  Strategies that help make good readers.

Reading Response Assignments.


Begin the first three responses with the book title and the date of your response entry.

Book Title:____________________________________



[After that put the initials of the book and the initials of the author. Always put the date! example: FHOSM-JAY-09/10/11=Fossil Hunters of Sydney Mines-Jo Ann Yhard-September 10, 2011]

The following examples are from The Friday Everything Changed by Ann Hart.




Reflect/Visualize/Analyze- I felt it was brave of Alma to speak up and ask Ms. Ralston why the girls didn't get to carry the water. But what happened next surprised me. I didn't think it was right for Ms. Ralston to leave her students slug it out over the next week. I guess she felt they'd get it out of their system and she did tell them she would think about it until next Friday, so she was true to her word. The students sort of worked off their anger and as the author said it helped the girls get closer and get to know each other better.

Looks Like

  How the setting affects the characters. [Because this was a small town made it worse for the boys when the girls...]

  What would you change about the book and why. [I think the author should have...]

How the information in the books fits with what you already know. [I knew all about playing baseball and how you have to... because I play with my ...]

What you noticed about the characters, such as what made them act as they did or how they changed. [I think Alma was really being nasty to..., but I kind of know how she feels because...]

Parts of the book that puzzled you. [ I didn't quite get it when the author wrote...]

Making Connections- When I was in grade 4, I used to play ball with the boys. Mostly because the ball field was on our land and I felt I had a right to play. The boys always resented my playing and would do everything they could to get me out. They cheated and yelled, but I stood my ground. I know how the girls felt about inequality. It wasn't right that they didn't get to carry the water and I felt it wasn't right that girls weren't allowed to play ball.

Another connection I had with this story is that when I went to school we had attached seats. Two people sat together most of the year. I always got stuck with the worst boy in the class. Inevitably, he would put his trash in my side of the desk drawer or he would put bugs on my neck. They would always take my pens and erasers without asking permission. (This story reminds me of the novel The Pit because......)

Looks Like

The double entry chart: Good for making connections

How the book reminds you of yourself, people you know, or of something that happened in your life (Text-to-Self Connections) [The part where..... reminds me of ....} or I can remember...}

How the book reminds you of other books, especially the characters, events, or setting (Text-To-text Connections) [in this book Ms. Ralston is a lot like ...from the book.... because they both...]

How the book reminds you of something you've seen on TV or in a movie. It could be something from the world like an idea or a theme [issue] from the world that you connect with. [Text-to-world Connections] [When they are talking about how The author Ann Hart felt when ... is a little like a movie I watched called... the young girl was...]

 Did you ever have similar experiences? [I had the same feeling as ..]

What the story means to you [This story so far really is helping me understand...]

Your thoughts or feelings about the author's message (the theme of the story- like equal rights for boys and girls in the classroom.)


  Questioning/Comparing - I wonder why Ms. Ralston didn't get involved with her students fighting? I would find it hard to let them go and be mean to each other. I also couldn't figure out why the boys didn't try to get back at Alma more, but I guess locking her in the outhouse was bad enough. Would they get in more trouble if they did worse things to her? Did Ms. Ralston really respect the students or was she figuring out how to get the girls to carry the bucket because she was on their side all along?

Looks Like

What you liked or disliked about this part in the book and why [I wondered if ....]

 How the main character acted? [If Ann really wanted.... then why did she...]

Why you think the author chose a word? [I couldn't quite get why the author used...]

 What you thought about events [ I needed to know if ... because ...]

 Did you need more information? [I wondered why the author didn't...]

 How you are similar or different from main characters.

 Describe how characters are similar and different from each other.

 Compare something in this book to another book..



  Predicting - I think that Ms. Ralston will help the boys see that girls can do anything they can do. I think she'll come into class carrying the water bucket one morning or maybe two water buckets. Then they'll know girls are equal. [Note: Make predictions at the end of pages or chapters. Then make sure you comment on whether or not your prediction came true!

  Make a prediction about what will happen next.[ I think the boys will...]

Your predictions and whether or not they were right.[ The girls should ...]




Other ways to respond as you read. These are suggestions only, please make your response in the words you naturally use. You will monitor your understanding, visualize and synthesize when you do the following.


When the author wrote ... I could really understand ..... ....

How this book is like other books by the same author, on the same topic, or in the same genre

Whether the book is easy, just right, or challenging for you and how you know

The author's words... put me right at the scene. I felt as though...

Talk about the language the author used and what you thought about it

The words this section confused me because... so I ...

How the author builds suspense. The author wrote ... and I knew something bad was going to happen.

 Ask questions about things that confuse you or that you wonder about.
 Describe your feelings about the events in one chapter.

Describe your feelings about characters.
Copy down a quote from a character and tell why you think it's meaningful.

What you want to remember about this book

Describe your favorite part, telling why or explaining what is good about it.

Tell how you would react if you were one of  the characters in the story.
  Describe a part that surprised you.

  Write a note to the character telling her/him your thoughts about what is going on in the novel at this point. Put your emotions into it!
  Draw pictures of your favorite parts of the novel that you can visualize well.

Explain why you  couldn't finish the book