Introduction to Reading Guides

Introduction to Reading Guides


Science NetLinks uses reading guides to assist with developing students' comprehension. Reading guides help students to comprehend the main points of the reading and understand the organizational structure of a text. Reading guides can be particularly helpful to encourage students to think actively as they read and have a purpose for reading. Some of the reading guides have been designed to ask students to identify specific concepts or ideas; others may be more general.

The following steps are useful in helping you use our reading guides or in designing ones of your own:

  1. If you are using your own reading log, determine the major ideas from a book that you wish to focus on in your lessons. Science trade books can be useful in reinforcing or building on a wide range of ideas so it is best to focus your students on the concepts that are most relevant to what they are learning in class.
  2. Write questions or statements designed to guide readers through the major ideas and supporting details of the text. The main ideas can come from the book or from the bench
  3. Begin the lesson by introducing the assigned book, discussing the main ideas, and any new vocabulary you think might be helpful to your students. Do not focus on vocabulary for its own sake, but rather use it as a way to focus student attention on the ideas that have most relevance to what you want them to learn.
  4. Discuss the statements or ask the questions on the reading guide. Make sure that all students understand what is being asked of them. If you feel it will be helpful, you can model a journal entry with the students. See the Science NetLinks Tigerland lesson for an example of this strategy.
  5. Generally, as students read each chapter, they will write down sentences that relate to the main ideas. Sentences can relate to the main idea by providing evidence for it, supporting it, or by extending it. If students select sentences that extend the main idea, they should be able to explain how the selected sentences relate to the main idea.
  6. It may be appropriate for you and your students to work together to respond to statements or questions on the reading guides during the reading process, especially with younger students or if the text may be challenging to all or some of your students. You should monitor and support students as they work.


This teacher sheet is a part of the The Invisible Kingdom lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?