Say Something Reading Strategy

"Say Something" is an interpretive reading strategy that allows learners to increase understanding of the text as they read silently to determine the comment or question that they will make about the text. Learners read individually and silently. When each student has read and determined what they will say, they pair and share their comment or question. As Partner A shares, partner B listens and then responds. Then, Partner B shares and Partner A listens and responds. The process then continues with the next section of the text.


  1. The instructor selects the text that students will read and determines how the text is best divided into sections that can be read in no more than 5 minutes.

  2. Pair students before they begin reading silently. Establish a signal that all students will use when they are ready. For example, students might move something to the corner of their desk.

  3. Have students read silently making note of a comment they want to share or a question they want to ask,

  4. Have students read silently making note of a comment they want to share, a question that they want to ask, etc. If some students finish more quickly than others, set the expectation that those students reread and add to want they want to say.

  5. Call time when most students have given the signal that they are ready. Have students pair and share telling them which person (tallest, shortest, longest hair, etc.) should go first. That person shares while their partner listens.

  6. If necessary, call time on sharing and have the second person share.

  7. If expanded discussion is desired, have students pair differently to discuss the same section of text.

  8. Have students return to the text and read the next section silently and individually.

  9. Repeat the process.

Helpful Tips

  1. Model the strategy by doing a think aloud as you read a text passage. Share aloud what you would say, the question you would ask, the way you might attempt to work with an unfamiliar word, etc.

  2. Provide a copy of the text that students can mark up and write on. If that is not possible, provide post-it notes so they can add comments easily.

  3. Do not create a process where partners alternate who speaks first. Always make it a random selection in order to ensure that each student prepares well.

  4. All individual students to share their thinking or the thinking of their partner(s) with the class after each section or a certain number of sections.


  1. Display a question for learners to consider as they read silently.

  2. Provide 3 or 4 key words from the section and have learners be prepared to say why they are important in the context of the text.

  3. Provide a list of sentence starters or question frames that may be helpful as learners prepare to comment.

  4. Embed accountability strategies as necessary. Have students write their thinking before speaking with a partner. Give each student a graphic organizer where they can record their thinking and the thinking of their peers.


  1. The text that students will read