Reading Power: The Power to Transform

posted Mar 27, 2017, 6:23 PM by Patrick Johnson
Students have been working on the Reading Power: The Power to Transform. 

What is the Power to Transform?
Transform is rooted in the strategy of synthesizing text. Reading a book can sometimes change the way we think about ourselves, others or the world around us. Sometimes, a book can have an impact on the way we think about something, or can alter or adjust our thinking in someway. When this happens, we say that the book has “Transformed” our thinking. Active readers know that when they have finished reading the book, they have not finished thinking about the book. Being aware that reading can change our thinking and reflecting on how a thought we had prior to reading may been “re-arranged” or “re-organized” by something we read is thought to be the highest level of understanding. (Gear, Adrienne. Transform Handout. Retrieved from

Below are three books we read in class and the questions that guided our discussions

Our Big Thinking Questions:
What did the character do to make a difference in the world? 
How might this story change your thinking? 
What could you do to make a difference?

Ish by Peter Reynolds

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

How to “transform your thinking” at home with your child:  The strategy Transform is most likely to occur when reading books about topics that can be tied to social responsibility and that your child will already have some ideas and thoughts about: kindness, empathy, taking risks, being true to yourself, peace, telling the truth. 

 Before reading, discuss with your child what their thoughts are about the particular topic or theme of the book.  Read through the story, stopping to practice all/any reading powers: connections, questions, inferences. 

 When the story is finished, ask your child: “What are you now thinking about….? How has this book changed your thinking?”  Model to your child: “I used to think….. But now I’m thinking…” (Gear, Adrienne. Transform Handout. Retrieved from