Six Active Reading Strategies

Children and teens with executive functioning problems can have difficulty learning and often benefit from an education plan that addresses two specific needs: structuring and flexibility.  In this series of articles, Dr. Davenport outlines research based suggestions for actively reading to gather and consolidate details as they read.

Reading for Details

Research from the Brain and Behavior Center in Toronto has shown that children and teens with ADHD and related executive functioning problems struggle to consistently recall details from what they have read. This is often due to superficial processing.  To help your child or teen, try these suggestions. 

Actively Reading Textbooks

Does your student get bored and go to sleep reading the textbook? This article outlines an active reading strategy that thousands of students have used to improve their learning from textbooks while staying awake. Try these suggestions to help. 

Actively Reading Novels and Short Stories

Annotating is a fancy word used for marking or highlighting a text.  It is like actively talking with a book: annotating allows your student to ask questions, comment on meaning, and mark events and passages she wants to revisit. It is a permanent record of her intellectual conversation with the text.  Try this approach to help your student read novels and short stories actively. 

Reading for Cause and Effect

The idea behind cause and effect can be summed up by the statement “One thing leads to another.”  Understanding cause and effect, and the relationship between them, can make your child or teen a better reader.  Try these suggestions to help.

Reading to Compare and Contrast

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill. It helps your teen focus on specific details, such as characters or plot that forms the underpinnings of a story. This not only helps with reading comprehension, but is an essential skill in writing reports in middle school, high school and college.  Try these suggestions to help your student who struggles to compare and contrast.

Inferring: Reading Between the Lines

Inferring involves making a logical guess about unstated information based on facts in the text plus what one already knows from life.  Making inferences helps good readers better understand the text. Inferring also builds interest to continue reading to find out if inferences were or were not correct.  Read this article to learn how to help your child or teen with inferring.

Need Help Applying These Concepts?

If you need additional assistance with this or other educational needs, call 817.421.8780 to make an appointment with Dr. Davenport.


(c) 2010-2015, Monte W. Davenport, Ph.D.