Reading Strategies: Bookmarks

Contributor: Emily Love. Lesson ID: 10605

Ever try metacognition? It's not an energy drink but a way of thinking about your thoughts. Join Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and learn to use a clever bookmark to summarize and comprehend anything you read!



learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Take a look at this illustration. Do your best to describe what process is being portrayed in this image:


This image is based on a process called metacognition.

Metacognition is the ability to think about your thoughts.

Dr. Donna Wilson, an expert in metacognitive strategies, compares metacognition to driving a car. When you start driving cars, you have to keep the car moving in the right direction. At times, you'll have to step on the brakes; in metacognition, this is like pausing to re-read material. At other times, you'll have to step on the gas; this compares to the brainstorming process.

Metacognition can help you become a stronger reader. When you think about the author's word choice, or ask questions about where the story is going, you are practicing metacognition. This might seem difficult at first, but you can follow simple steps to use this tool to help you comprehend what you read more fully.

One way to make this process easier is to create a bookmark to keep in your book that has reminders of certain text features to track. When you create the bookmark, try using the following types of "marks":

  • Mark My Words
    * Record interesting or unusual words you encounter during reading; be sure to define the words.
  • Marking Time
    * Track changes in setting and time progression.
  • Question Mark
    * Write down questions you have during reading; be sure to include page numbers, so you can revisit these sections of the text.
  • Mark Who?
    * Record information about the characters, particularly changes in their development.
  • Mark the Bold
    * Make a note of words or phrases that are in bold, underlined, or italicized; be sure to go back and think about why this material is emphasized.

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