1 - SMART Strategies


Lesson 4
Bringing It All Together


Remember - S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

  • Summarize as you read
  • Make Inferences & Connections
  • Ask questions
  • Reread if necessary
  • Think about what you already know


So far, we have reviewed how to summarize as you read and make inferences and connections.  Whether you realized it or not, in the previous activities you would have used the remaining three strategies: Ask questions; Reread if necessary; and Think about what you already know.


Why?   …because these strategies are used at the same time, and at times, without even realizing it. 


Let’s go back to those examples about the Cheetah and the Historical Barbeque and add to our margin notes.




Example 1

The cheetah is an African cat that is different from lions and leopards living in the same area in Africa.  It is different in the ways it catches its food, the way it uses its claws, and in its incredible speed.  While the lion and leopard ambush their prey, a cheetah runs it down. Cheetahs can run 60 mph.  And though humans should fear a cornered lion or leopard, the cheetah is no threat.  In fact the reverse is true: cheetahs need to fear people.  The only place you can find them is where they are protected from hunters.

The question I automatically asked was - How/why is the cheetah different?


I would have reread certain lines in order to decide on the key words.


I automatically started to think about what I knew about wild cats in general.


Example 2

The Historical Barbecue


            During warm weather, a favourite American form of entertainment is the barbecue. Families light up the charcoal and cook chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs to eat in the open air.  Did you know that barbecues have been held for over four hundred years?


            The Carib Indians in the West Indies and in northern South America had wooden grills on which they broiled, smoked and dried meat and fish.  They called these grills barbacan.  The idea was introduced into the United States around 1700.


            A barbecue, originally, was simply the roasting or broiling of a large animal, such as a hog or an ox, over an open pit.  Later, it came to mean an open-air social or political gathering. George Washington often attended barbecues in Virginia.


            Perhaps the biggest barbecue on record was held in 1923, when John Calloway Walton gave a barbecue for 100,000 people, to celebrate his election as governor of Oklahoma.  A mile-long trench was dug to roast the beef, pork, mutton, buffalo, bear, reindeer, antelope, squirrel, opossum, coon, rabbit, chicken, goose and duck that was on the menu. In addition, a massive amount of bread and coffee was served.  The coffee was made in urns that held 10,000 gallons each.  All in all, it was quite a feast.

I would have reread certain lines in order to decide on the key words.


I automatically asked myself why it was titled ‘Historical BBQ?’ This question helped me identify the last paragraph as the main idea.


I automatically started to think about what I knew about BBQs in general.



Bring these strategies together when you practice the following online activities.


When you open the link, complete as many of the activities as you can.  Be sure to at least get to the Multiple-Choice Exercise. You do not have to complete the exercises on vocabulary or transitions.








Next: 2.0 Question-Answer in the table of contents