Read On Target
This series is designed as a supplement to a reading comprehension program and is built around the student learning to use graphic organizers or story maps to guide and enhance critical thinking about reading. The story maps are a tool to help students organize their thoughts and ideas to form a conceptual structure on which they can base a solid answer to questions that draw on critical thinking skills. As they work through this process, they will be developing a consistent system in which to process questions, think through and organize information before they answer a question. Approximately twenty-five activities are included in each book, and each activity is divided into four parts; reading the sample text, reading the student tips, using the reading maps, and tackling the critical thinking questions. Steps 2 and 3 specifically highlight the critical thinking skill that is being practiced, and give hints on what they should look at in particular in the story, and then step-by-step directions for using what they have learned in the story to fill in the graphic organizer are given. After they have filled out the graphic organizer, they can refer back to it as needed to answer the questions at the end of each activity. Specific critical thinking skills targeted in this program are analysis of literary themes (such as characters, theme and conflict), inference, prediction, comparison and contrast, fact and opinion, organizational structure, summarization, cause and effect, logical reasoning, critique of the text, and more.
The teacher/parent guide contains a fairly lengthy introduction and orientation to teaching with story maps, as well as a complete answer key, troubleshooting guide for helping students understand each concept, teaching tips for each lesson, a scoring rubric, and a list of additional resources. It is possible to use the student book without the teacher's guide if you don't mind scoring the answers on your own, but the guide does contain a lot of extra information and to orient you and your student better to the process of the lesson and the specific skills being practiced. - Jess