Metacognition and Reading

By | June 10, 2018

Reading in schools takes up more than 80% of the school day. Finding meaning in any text requires us to think about how we think.** We must once again use these four basic elements:

Plan and Organize

skim and preview tasks

breakdown the parts

decide how to proceed


check your progress

troubleshoot problems

ask for help when truly ‘stuck’

Self Reflect

assess our strategies


with others

Direct Our Own Learning

know what we know

know what we need to move


In reading we must look also across 5 reading components: pre-read, read, reread, summarize, and evaluate. Our focusing/questioning strategies may include the following


  • Examine the cover, tile, illustrations, main headings, etc. What the text about?
  • Understand your purpose. What might you learn from this topic?
  • What invited you to be curious about this text?
  • How does it fit into what you already know about this topic?


  • What are the main ideas in what you are reading?
  • In fiction who are the main characters, setting, etc.?
  • In non fiction what is the focus of the author?
  • What is the author’s motive in writing this?
  • What images/personal movies help you understand this writing?


  • What additional information do you find when you  reread the text?
  • What notes/mind maps/outlines have you made to help you process the information?


  • What are the most important events/ideas in what you are reading?
  • What are the most important why, who, what, when, where, and how?
  • How clear is the intent or theme of the text?


  • Why did the author write this selection? Explain your opinion. Back it up with facts       from the selection.
  • For non fiction what is the author’s source of information? How valid is it?
  • What are your personal thoughts on the selection?


** These skills will take time to implement, but with practice they will help students become independent thinkers.