Establish a Clear and Specific Purpose
When students get lost in a reading or their minds begin to wander, they need to be able to return to why they are reading. The more specific we can be, the more they will learn and remember from the reading.
Examples of Purpose Statements:
- Too Broad: To learn about the colonists before the Revolutionary War.
- Clear and Specific: To determine factors that united the colonists and factors that divided the colonists.
- Too Broad: To understand more about the Dark Ages and the transition to the Renaissance.
- Clear and Specific: To understand the main factors that led Europe out of the Dark Ages.
- Too Broad: To read about a current debate on driving age.
- Clear and Specific: to understand both sides of the debate about the driving age and to be able to support your own opinion.
- Too Broad: To learn more about the art of Georgia O'Keefe.
- Clear and Specific: To know the three biggest influences on Georgia O'Keefe's art, and to be ready to discuss your own biggest influences.
- Too Broad: To learn about the circulatory system.
- Clear and Specific: To know how blood moves around the body.
Your purpose should drive how you ask students to read and what strategies you want them to use. Here is a template that will help students know their purpose and understand what you want them to do to show their understanding of the purpose: