Finding a reading strategy that works for your classroom can be extremely difficult. There are so many strategies out there and even if you find something that works for you, it might not work for your students. The first part of your year might be some trial and error seeing what steps are effective and what steps your students don’t benefit from. The nice part about reading strategies is you can usually personalize them and maybe take a step out or add a step in. If you see your students are almost there but might need a little more reflection, you might be able to add another step to the end to clarify what they read.
The strategy that I found today that seems to be pretty popular in several of my online teaching groups is the UNWRAP strategy. This strategy is made up of 6 different parts including underline, number, walk, read, answer, and prove. Through this blog I will walk you through the 6 steps and discuss the importance of each step individually.
The first step is to underline the title and predict the text. This step will help children pick out main ideas and key information before they even read. They will know what to expect when they start reading and understand what to pay more attention to going through the text. The second step is number the paragraphs. This can help your student keep track of where they are. It can also help them look back and find the key information they might need to reread. This leads them to the third step which is walking through questions. These questions are typically created by skimming through the captions and paragraphs and finding anything they don’t know or are curious about. This can help further understanding on any misunderstanding happen.
Out of all of the steps, I think the fourth is the most important because it is actually reading the text. What I like the best about the UNWRAP strategy is that it suggests the students read the passage two times. The first time just for fun, and the second time to take notes. It makes it nice because that gives the students another time to sort out all the information given. The last two steps include answering the questions and proving the answers are correct. These steps are important because the questions they come up with are usually things they don’t understand and need to know. Lastly, validating these answers are also important because you don’t want to mislead the students by letting them answer the questions incorrectly.
Overall, I think the UNWRAP strategy is a great one to use in 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. It gets the student thinking complex about the text and asking critical questions. There are many great reading strategies, this is just one I could see working effectively.