Pick a Card, Any Card- During Reading Strategy

Pick a card, any card is a during reading strategy that provides thinking prompts for students while they read the story. You will need to create a deck of cards with the prompts below, one per card (You can add, take away or change the prompts as you so choose). Have each student draw one or two of the cards before they begin reading. Pile the rest of the cards in the center of the table. Give Each student will respond to their prompt on a sticky note whilte they read. They the share either with a partner, in a group or as a whole class.

Here is the list of prompts:

  • I never thought that.....
  • I thought....
  • I can't believe...
  • I think the author...
  • I wonder why...
  • What if...
  • I was surprised...
  • It reminds me of...
  • I really can't understand...
  • I like the way...
  • Is this character similar to any others) I have read about?
  • Can I write a summary of this part of the story?
  • What do I know so far?
  • What did the author do to make me think this way?
  • Am I satisfied with this story?
  • How does this information differ from other things I know?
  • Why is this difficult for me to understand?
  • Does this information give me any clues as to what may happen later in the story?

  • Why would his information be important for me to know?

Why Use Pick a Card, Any Card:
This is a great strategy to scaffold struggling readers. It provides them with a prompt and sets a purpose for the student as they read. Students will also enjoy the game-like element of choosing a card and responding, which will keep them engaged. It is also a great tool to encourage discussion and the sharing of opinions between students.

Steps to Using Pick A Card, Any Card:

1. Create a deck of cards using the prompts above. (One prompt per card)
2. Choose a content-rich narrative to pair with this activity.
3. Have students pick 1-2 of the cards from the deck.
4. Give each student 1-2 post-it notes, where they will write their responses to the prompts.
5. Explain to students that while they read, they will need to focus on the prompts they have selected and respond to them on the index cards.
6. Once they have read and responded pair students up, put them in a group or hold a whole-class discussion to share their responses to their prompts.

How I Would Use Pick A Card, Any Card:

I would use this strategy while having students read a chapter from When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago. I would assign a chapter to be read. I would then put students in groups of four. Each group would be given a small pile of the think-prompt cards to choose from. They will read independently and respond to their individual think prompts. When everyone in the group has finished, they will do a round robin where they share their prompts and responses and all the other members of the group to give their own opinions to prompts that were not theres.

Works Cited:
Gregory, Mandy. The How To Reading Strategies.