Putting It Together: Reading

You may have noticed that while this module provided guidance about the development of READING skills, an awful lot of it relied upon WRITING.

The two skills are very much entwined. Perhaps you’ve heard advice suggesting that the best way to improve writing ability is to read more. It turns out the reverse is also true, as this passage from Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading demonstrates:

“While writing is important in its own right, the evidence clearly shows that writing supports reading and reading development. Increasing how often students write has positive benefits on their development as readers,” [Steve] Graham, Currey Ingram Chair in Special Education and Literacy at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, said. “In addition, previous research demonstrates that writing about information presented in science, math, English and social studies also supports students’ learning in those subjects. If we want to maximize students’ accomplishments in these critical areas, writing needs to become part of the solution.”

Annotating while you read, and summarizing what you read after the fact, are acts of writing, of course. They also are vital ways of improving your reading skills overall.

Reading and writing are academic skills, to be sure. They are also success skills for life, at large. Consider this final thought from Writing to Read: 

“In an age overwhelmed by information, the ability to read, comprehend and write—in other words, to organize information into knowledge—must be viewed as tantamount to a survival skill,” Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, said. “As Americans, we must keep our democracy and our society from being divided not only between rich and poor, but also between those who have access to information and knowledge, and thus, to power—the power of enlightenment, the power of self-improvement and self-assertion, the power to achieve upward mobility, and the power over their own lives and their families” ability to thrive and succeed—and those who do not.”

Reading is a survival skill.

Reading is power.

corner of graphing paper showing a doodle of an open book