This is a part of our series on Close Reading. If you are looking for additional free resources, please visit our Complete Close Reading Collection.
THIEVES is a non-fiction reading strategy that helps children preview text in depth. We first learned about the concept while reading Close Reading of Informational Texts: Assessment-Driven Instruction in Grades 3-8 by Sunday Cummins. If you are trying to learn more about close reading, we highly recommend this text. The idea of THIEVES is that an in-depth preview of a text can help students set a purpose for their reading and therefore be able to have more success while reading. By introducing students to THIEVES and practicing as a class, your goal is for students to be able be able to preview and set a purpose on their own without the prompting of a teacher.
THIEVES is a mnemonic
T – Title H – Headings I – Introduction E – Every first sentence in each section V – Visuals and Vocabulary E – End-of-article or end-of-chapter questions S-Summarize thinking
Here is the way Cummins describes this mnemonic:
When you take something that is not yours, what are you trying to do? You are trying to get ahead! If we preview a text, in a sense we are trying to get ahead of the author. We are trying to get on top of the content by being able to predict some of the author’s central ideas and then by comparing these predictions to what we already know about those ideas.
We have created this poster to use as a visual for students who need reminders of the mnemonic:
We have also created individual signs for each piece of the thieves mnemonic. You might choose to display one at a time as you help students gain an understanding of each part or you might choose to display them above your board.
We have created a variety of graphic organizers for you to use. Choose the ones that work best for your lessons!
Simple THIEVES graphic organizer 7 blank boxes for recording notes covering each step
We have created basic graphic organizers for each of the seven sections of THIEVES.
As we were researching to learn more about THIEVES, we stumbled upon this great slideshow created by Derek Pizzuto. We love it for teachers trying to develop an understanding of THIEVES and think it is even better for students as they learn. Check it out! Getting Around Non-Fiction Like Thieves!
Looking for the cute detective clip art we used? You’ll find it here: http://www.printmagicpartyprintables.com.