Questioning, visualizing, summarizing and retelling


  1. Questioning
  2. Summarizing and Retelling


There is a helpful formula in reading. It is called SQ3R. This strategy can be very helpful when you are given any reading assignment: reading assignments in all subject areas. Use it when you are reading your textbooks. This acronym stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review (the last three are the 3R).

Survey (S) tells you to survey – it could be the assignment or the textbook. Look at the pictures, if their are any. Read the title, headings, and subheadings. Read the first two sentences to help you prepare for reading. You need to have an idea of what you are going to read.

Sometimes there is not a picture. Reading can be a passive activity. It can be more enjoyable when you try to visualize what you are reading. Create pictures in your head while you read. Your understanding of the text will greatly improve

Question (Q) yourself about the assignment or textbook. After surveying, you can think about what you would like to learn and what would interest you. Questioning should help you open yourself to listening to what you are reading. Write the question down. It could be in a notebook or stick-on notes. One strategy for questioning is the 5W1H techniques. This helps you understand the details of what you read. Use this technique to form your questions.

Read, Recite, and Review (3R)implies that you read the assignment and look for answers to the questions you have in mind. Read for the main idea and recite it in your mind. Finally, review what you have read.


Summarizing and retelling involves the use of the details of the text. The details must be kept in the correct order. The only difference for the two task is that summarizing involves you pulling out the important events and writing it in your own words – some details are left out, but you must remember the main idea. Retelling is longer. When you retell a story, you may add some more details to the story. You can also use the authors words.

Use these graphic organizers to help you develop these skills. You an copy them when needed.