Directed Reading-Thinking Activity

Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA) is a teaching strategy that guides students in making predictions about a text and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. This is an excellent method of teaching to introduce to your students.
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How Can You Stretch Students' Thinking?

The more complex the reading passage, the more interpretation and analysis students will need to do to verify or modify predictions. Be aware of the reading levels of each student, and be prepared to provide appropriate questions, prompts, and support as needed.

Older students may be able to use a printed guide for DR-TA to run their own literature discussion groups. Monitor these groups to ensure all students are participating and the discussion leads students to a greater understanding of the text.

When Can You Use It?


Use the DR-TA strategy when introducing new picture books to young students or new chapter books to older students. With young students, you may want to read the book aloud, making predictions as a class or a group, and reading to confirm the predictions. With chapter books, have students make predictions at the start of each chapter so that their predictions draw from the chapters they have already read. For the first chapter, you can have students make predictions based on other books they have read by the same author or other books they have read in the same genre.


After students read a passage using the DR-TA strategy, have them write a summary of their initial prediction and why it was correct or needed to be modified. Students can justify their ideas based on evidence from the text.


Use the DR-TA strategy when solving word problems. Have students predict the math processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) or information (a dozen = 12) that might be needed to solve the problem based on the title, illustrations, and key words. Have students discuss the validity of their predictions prior to solving the word problem.

Social Studies

DR-TA can be useful to students who are reading to gain information from expository text. Ask students to preview a chapter of the social studies textbook, and to use the headings, bold vocabulary, maps, and charts to make predictions. As students read the chapter, have them verify or modify their predictions. At the end of the chapter, discuss predictions with them. Have students summarize the information they learned in a study guide.


DR-TA can be useful to students who are reading to gain information from a research article. Ask students to preview a research article on a popular topic that might appeal to them. Have students use the title, headings, vocabulary, and charts, as well as their own prior knowledge to make predictions. As students read the article, have them verify or modify their predictions, and draw conclusions. Then, ask students to write journal entries based on their predictions and the text.

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