SQ3R Method of Study

The SQ3R method is used to teach children how to systematically study a chapter of information.  It is a much more efficient way than reading and rereading a chapter several times.  Students will be utilizing SQ3R and other study methods at Great Bridge Intermediate School.  It would be helpful for parents to get familiar with the methods and encourage their children to use them as they study throughout the school year.

picture of book with turning pages1. Survey

Perhaps the most important single element in the procedure is the initial survey or preview step.  The survey should provide each student with an overview of the chapter content.  The survey step should take the students logically through the chapter, seeking to answer these questions: "What is this chapter about?" "What kind of information does the author tell us about this subject?"

The survey step then requires the student to read and think about the chapter title, the introductory paragraphs, the headings and subheadings, the concluding paragraph, and the end-of-chapter questions.  In addition, students are encouraged to survey the pictorial information with the chapter.

At the conclusion of this step, the students should have a general understanding of the chapter content.  The amount of time devoted to the survey of a particular chapter depends on the length and complexity of the topic and on the reader's own skill.  Something in the range of five to fifteen minutes generally appears appropriate.

picture of book with turning pages2.Question

Students should be ready for a more detailed study of the chapter.  The question step provides a purpose for reading the material in more detail.  Very simply, the student selects the first boldface topic in the chapter, reads it and proceeds to restate it in the form of a question.  An example may help to illustrate this procedure.  The subtopic "Causes of World War I" would become in question form, "What were the causes of World War I?"  The student is now ready to move on to the third step.

picture of book with turning pages3. Read

The first of the three R steps is to read the material immediately following the subtopic.  The purpose of this reading is to find the answer to the question posed in Step 2.  With this very specific question in mind, students will tend to move fairly rapidly through the material in pursuit of the answer.  Once they have finished reading the material under the first heading, students are ready to move to Step 4 of the procedure.

picture of book with turning pages4. Recite

In steps 2 and 3 above, each student formulated a question using the first subtopic in the chapter and then read to find the answer to the question.  At this point, students are asked to pause and reflect on the answer.  Students are encouraged to answer their question in their own words.  This recitation is also the point at which students may record brief notes in their notebook for later review and study.  Students then would repeat Steps 2-4 as they work through the remainder of the chapter.

picture of book with turning pages5. Review

Immediately upon completion of Steps 2, 3, and 4 for the final subtopic of the chapter, the student should spend approximately five minutes reviewing the notes and attempt to recall the main points of the chapter.  The student then reads each main heading and tries to remember the supporting or explanatory information.  Later review will also be helpful aids for long-term remembering.


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