Tampa English Tutor’s Guide to Improving Your Reading Skills for the SAT

Posted on 14th September 2011 in Tampa Reading Tutor

Tampa English Tutor Reveals How Smart Kids Read, Part I

There’s a secret to reading books and Tampa English Tutor is going to fill you in. Students who score high on the SAT test, smart kids, already know the secret and it’s high time you knew it, too. Before I fill you in, however, I’m going to touch on an exception.

In the unlikely event that I turn on the TV, more often than not one of my all-time favorite movies, The Princess Bride, is playing on some channel or another, and more often than not I end up watching it again. If you’ve never heard of the 1987 classic, click on the title and hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans will be happy to tell you what you’re missing.

Thankfully Facebook can fill you in, because I’m more interested in the fact that – oddly enough – William Goldman’s 1973 book The Princess Bride is also one of my all-time favorite books. This is unusual because I’m normally disappointed with film interpretations of my favorite books.

Why is that?

This is one of the secrets smart kids know about reading. A book isn’t page after page of little black squiggles. A book is a doorway into an alternate universe. Smart kids read books with their imaginations fully engaged. They may not be the screenwriters, but they put themselves right into the middle of the action and you can, too.

Think! Draw From Your Own Experiences and Use Your Imagination

When you think about what you’re reading and use your imagination, you become the casting director. You decide how the characters say their lines. You design the costumes. You design the sets. As cinematographer, you create the atmosphere.

Contrast that involvement with your role in a movie. When you watch a film, you have no control over the actors chosen to play each part. You can’t object when a favorite line is used to tug on heartstrings when you used it as a bit of comic relief. The setting might be a shock when you see how far off the mark it is from your own ideal. You might find yourself watching the final credits roll before you finally get the fact that one of your favorite scenes was cut from the movie altogether. The ending might have been completely different. Why did they mess with success?

The answer is: Hollywood has nothing on your imagination. There are no special effects, no actor with enough star quality and no editing genius that can compete with what you can imagine.

Smart Kids Put Themselves in the Action

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th-century American poet, essayist and philosopher, summed this secret up long before movies existed.

“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine,” he wrote.

Smart kids know books are their own private movie productions. Good readers engage their imaginations along with all of their senses. Smart kids invest in books when they join the action and become emotionally involved.

Guest blogger Kate Rowland is a multiple-award winning journalist on state and national levels. She enjoys blogging for I-Tutor-English.com, a private tutoring company serving Florida students in New Tampa, Lutz, Wesley Chapel and Odessa.

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