Look and Listen... | Regardez et écoutez ...

Synthesize | Synthétiser

Critical readers piece together evidence to gain new insights.

Download this Reading Strategy as a PDF.

Synthesizing is a reading comprehension strategy that involves merging new ideas or information gained from reading, with background knowledge, experiences and/or other sources to create original thoughts, opinions, and/or interpretations. The reader first summarizes (and analyzes) information to establish key points and big ideas. He/she then integrates these into his/her existing knowledge or found sources to create new understandings of the text and to generate different and unique insights.

Synthesizing occurs throughout the process of reading.The reader continuously monitors the overall meaning, important concepts, and themes in the text as he/she reads.

Synthesizing encourages readers to:
  • integrate, connect and combine new information with prior knowledge
  • integrate their new understanding into their lives and world view
  • combine and contrast information from different sources
  • transfer information to new situations
  • collate information to reach new conclusions
  • develop opinions
  • find alternative solutions
  • rely on original and creative thinking
  • debate

Tips to help your child synthesize
Synthesizing requires readers to combine ideas or information from more than one source or point of view.

  • Have your child gather meanings from several texts and genres to create a larger or more complete picture of a topic. 
  • Have your child use his/her schema to find connections between:
  • the text and another story or text that he/she has previously read
  • the text and something in his/her own life experience
  • the text and something that is occurring or has occurred in the world

Questions that help readers synthesize information:

How has my thinking changed? Why?
Comment ma façon de penser a-t-elle changée? Pourquoi?

What would happen if . . . ?
Qu'arriverait-il si. . . ?

What parts of this text can I use to create new ideas or products?
Quelles parties de ce texte puis-je utiliser pour créer des nouvelles idées ou produits?

Does the new information from other sources help me understand the text in a different or deeper way?
Est-ce que les nouvelles informations provenant d'autres sources m'aident à comprendre le texte d'une manière différente ou plus profonde?

How can I use the facts I have learned to write a _________________?
Comment puis-je utiliser les nouvelles informations pour écrire un(e) _________________?

Did I have an “Aha!” experience (new insight) that helped me understand the text in a different or deeper way?
Ai-je eu une expérence «Eurêka!» (moment d’éclaircissement) qui m'a aidé à comprendre le texte d'une manière différente ou plus profonde?