Maintaining Reading Attention

posted in: Reading | 0


Nordman (2020) makes the point that sustained attention is a critical component of reading success. Maintaining focus can be particularly difficult for students with weak executive functioning, ADHD or reading difficulties. She suggests the following tips:[divider]

  1. Reduce visual and auditory distractions
  2. Act out scenes from the story
  3. Break the activity into smaller steps (e.g., read one paragraph, page or chapter)
  4. Include tactile cues (e.g., manipulate action figures or cut-out characters on a story board)
  5. Take a visual vacation (e.g., imagine a relaxing or fun scene)
  6. Use non-verbal refocus signals
  7. Discover student interests and include at least some of these texts
  8. Start with a small amount of time in which students are expected to maintain focus and gradually increase over time
  9. Use active reading strategies (e.g., sticky notes)
  10. Include a mystery to solve (e.g., ask a question before reading)
  11. Allow sharing time as talking through a text can increase comprehension
  12. Take an activity break



Jenny Nordman, J. (2020). Increasing sustained attention in distracted readers. Literacy Today. 38(30), 40-41.