Below you will find useful resources to use as you look for ways to support your students while they learn to critically engage with texts.
“Helping Students Read Difficult Texts”
In chapter 8 of John Bean’s Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, Bean provides reasons for students’ difficulty with text, offers strategies to help students read actively, and makes suggestions for assignments that require students to interact with text.
Helping Students Read Difficult Text PDF
Critical Reading and Thinking
Check out these ideas, handouts and worksheets from SUNY Empire State College to help students read thoughtfully and critically. You will find strategies to help students before, during, and after reading. Topics include: taking notes, close reading, summary, interpretation and evaluation, as well as ideas for reading literature.
Teaching Critical Reading at the College Level
The University of Wyoming has some quick ideas for guided practice in critical reading at the college level.
Combined critical/analytical reading ideas and the questions you might ask your students about text. Outline includes critical dialogue, intratextual, authorial, historical, allusive, generic, philosophical and subjective context.
Critical Reading of an Essay’s Argument
This link from Carson-Newman College discusses the basics of critical reading, contrasts the act of reading to extract information with reading critically, and outlines a five-step process for critical reading. Wheeler’s process includes pre-reading, interpretive reading, critical reading, synoptic reading and post-reading.
Reading Circle Activities
Take a look at these hands-on ideas for active reading circles. You may be able to modify the activities for your class.
Reading Circle Activities PDF
Reading Circle Ideas
Engaged Listening and Reading to Write
Instructional handouts from Texas A&M University on how to help students “read to write” and listen actively. The bottom instructional link offers quick support for “Teaching Critical Thinking”.
Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty
Elizabeth Barkley’s book “is a comprehensive resource that offers college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students and includes over one hundred tips, strategies, and techniques that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions motivate and connect with their students.” This text was used for an RC faculty development “Teaching Circle” by Lysandra Perez-Strumbolo. Copies are available in the Faculty Resource Center.
The Owl at Purdue presents reader response criticism theory and its role in determining the meaning of text.
Learning to Learn, Marcia Heimen, Ph.D. “Learning to Learn ®(LTL) is a system of learning and reasoning strategies with a long history of research and development. The LTL system is based on research conducted at the University of Michigan on the thinking skills of successful learners.
Choices of Successful Students (Responsibility, Motivation, Self-Management, Emotional Intelligence and more…)
Oncourse, Skip Downing: “Synthesizing the best wisdom from innovators in psychology, education, business, sports, and personal effectiveness, the On Course Success Principles represent eight of the essential “things” that good learners believe and do. Founded on these timeless principles, the On Course text and the On Course Workshops give students and instructors alike a collection of practical success tools.”