The ERICA model provides guidance in comprehending informational text.
It is an acronym for Effective Reading in the Content Areas. It consists of 4 stages which are usually worked through in sequence, but with some texts it is possible to complete stages 2 and 3 together.
1. PREPARING (Before Reading)
2. THINKING THROUGH (During Reading)
3. EXTRACTING& ORGANISING (During / After Reading)
4. TRANSLATING (After Reading)
The Preparing stage involves the areas of
· Materials and
In this stage the reader needs to learn how to:
· recognise the organisation of a text;
· use this to predict content
· locate main ideas.
To do this readers ( and initially, teachers) need to examine:
· Title ( does it identify content? Eg Whose Bones?)
· Author – qualifications? bias?
· Publication date – is it current information?
· Publisher – bias? Reputable/
· Chapter headings – identifiable?
· Paragraph headings- locate?
· Pictures, maps, diagrams – relevant? labelled? essential? ease of reading?
· Glossary – is it needed?
· List of contents.
Before introducing a text to children it is a teacher’s task to assess these elements and determine whether the text is suitable and if any area will need special support eg lack of a glossary may mean the need to focus on vocabulary before reading the text.
With information texts the organisation and structure of the text is a major learning point. Children tend to be “swamped” by fictional genre of recount and narrative in their “learning to read” stages and grow accustomed to texts which move sequentially from beginning to end and are read in this way.