• Reading Focus Skills

    Author’s Use of Language- Figurative/descriptive language is language used by authors in writing to create a special effect or feeling or to make their writing more interesting.  Author’s language includes personification, similes, metaphors, and symbolism. It is used to describe people, feelings, and objects in the text.


    Author’s Purpose- Author’s purpose is the reason an author decides to write about a specific topic.  (inform, persuade, entertain, express, or explain)


    Author’s Perspective- Author’s perspective refers to an author’s opinion and/or attitude about his/her topic.


    Cause and Effect- Cause and effect notes a relationship between actions or events such that one or more are the result of the other or others.


    Compare and Contrast- Compare and contrast examine the similarities and differences between the characters, settings, events, author’s purpose, and/or main ideas of multiple texts.


    Informational Text- Informational text gives information about real people, places, and events. 


    Text Features- Text features are important features of a story or informational text that help the reader understand the text.  (table of contents, bold/italicized words, titles/subtitles, headings/subheadings, captions/text boxes, footnotes, key/legend, index, illustration, diagram, maps, etc.)


    Main Idea- The main idea is what the passage/text or section of the passage/text is mainly about.


    Supporting Details- Supporting details describe or support the main idea.


    Sequence/Chronological (time) Order- Sequence is the order in which things happen in a passage/text.


    Inference- Inference is using information that is implied or inferred; the information is never clearly stated.


    Story Elements- Story elements are made up of the plot, characters, and setting of a story.  Good readers use a story’s  elements to help them figure out a story’s theme and problem/solution, or conflict/resolution.


    Text Structure- Text structure is the general organizational plan, framework, or form of text. The author may use comparison/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, and sequence of events to organize text.


    Theme- Theme is an idea, message, or lesson that is suggested by a story. Theme is different from main idea!  

    - A main idea is specific, there is usually only one, and it cannot be used across stories. For example: John learned how to be a good friend. 

    - A theme is general, there can be several, and one theme can apply to many stories. For example: Friendship requires work.


    Multiple-Meaning Words- Multiple-meaning words are words with more than one meaning. 

    Ex: right   

    1. You had the right answer.    
    2. Take a right at the corner.

    Shades of Meaning- Shades of meaning are the degrees of meaning of a group of words.

    Ex:     hungry < starving < famished


    Context Clues- Context clues are figuring out the meaning of an unfamiliar word by using the words and sentences around it.  (look for definitions, synonyms, antonyms, examples, and general clues)


    Base Words/Affixes- Affixes are prefixes and suffixes that are added to base words to change their meaning. 

    • Prefixes are added to the beginning of base/root words

    Ex.: pre + heat = preheat (meaning heat before)

    Ex.: dis + ease = disease (meaning not at ease)

    • Suffixes are added to the end of base/root words 

    Ex.: care + ful = careful (meaning full of care)

    Ex.: care + less = careless (meaning without care)



    -Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. (good/bad) (Gators/Seminoles-- just kidding!)

    -Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings. (chilly, cool)

    -Homophones are words that sound alike, may or may not be spelled alike, and mean different things. 


    -Homographs are words that are spelled alike, may or may not sound alike, and mean different things.  

    • bear “to carry; support” and bear “animal” 
    • lead “to conduct” and lead “metal.”