Why Authentic Active Engagement Should Be Part of EVERY Reading Lesson

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Authentic active engagement is NOT shading in circles on a worksheet. OR, completing assigned lessons on a website that advertises a guarantee to raise test scores.

Active engagement is motivating students to engage in their reading work for authentic purposes that will help them grow as a reader and a learner.

Authentic active engagement means that we must nudge our readers to have a go at trying out the new skill or strategy within their own reading.

**Clicking A B C or D on a webpage ain’t gonna do it!

**Circling the right letter on a multiple-choice question ain’t gonna do it!

**Regurgitating literal details from a text ain’t gonna do it!

Authentic active engagement means giving young readers a chance to "try it out" with your encouragement and guidance when they are learning about using a new strategy or skill within their reading.

Active engagement means giving readers time to make mistakes.

Active engagement means giving your readers something they can work with--breaking reading strategies and skills into smaller manageable chunks so readers can see how it all fits together and connects with prior learning.

But how? The reading process is SO complex!

Readers must be actively engaged in the reading process to see how all the pieces connect and work together.

Readers need to know HOW to interact with a text. They need to see how proficient readers navigate the reading process to make meaning and build comprehension of a text they are reading.

Readers need opportunities to practice with the teacher, with partners and by