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ERIC Number: EJ837934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0271-6062
Purposeful Reading at the Middle Level
Conner, Jennifer M.; Farr, Roger
Principal, v88 n4 p56-57 Mar-Apr 2009
When readers don't know their purpose for reading, they lack the fundamental information needed in order to make decisions about how to approach the text and how to interpret information. This makes the already challenging task of navigating content-area texts more difficult, particularly for middle school readers who are relatively new to "reading to learn" from informational texts. One of the most notable differences between reading texts that readers choose themselves (which usually happens outside of school) and those that others ask them to read (which usually happens in the classroom) is the reader's clarity regarding the purpose for reading. When readers make a decision on their own about what text to read--whether that text is an informational text, a story, a map, or a cereal box label--they know why they've chosen to read it and allow that purpose to guide how and how much of the text to read. However, when a teacher decides for a reader what to read, the ultimate purpose or goal for the reading is not always clear to the student; he or she cannot decide what to focus on and what should be gained from reading the text. Teaching students explicit skills and strategies designed to support various reading behaviors and habits of mind is essential. But, the authors contend, recognizing the importance of helping students understand the role that purpose plays in using those skills and strategies, and providing a purpose for reading when assigning readings to their students, is just as important.
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-386-2377; Tel: 703-684-3345; Fax: 800-396-2377; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A