I Used to Think/Now I Think

Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Text Evidence & Inferences

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will use the I Used to Think/Now I Think strategy to help them determine specific text evidence and infer information drawn from text. They will create a comic to demonstrate their understanding before and after reading.

Know Before You Start:

  • This lesson uses the thinking strategy "I Used to Think… Now I Think." Students will read a selected piece of text and determine facts from the text and infer information drawn from the text. This is an effective way to help students process their understanding before and after reading a text.
  • You will need to provide two passages for students to read.


  • Read and discuss a selected piece of text.
  • Display the sample comic and use it to model how to analyze the material presented by using the protocol "I Used to Think… Now I Think."
  • Ask students to share ideas or perceptions prior to reading the text. 
  • Then ask students to discuss new things learned or ideas that were clarified from the reading. 


  • Provide students with another selected text material. 
  • After reading the text independently, have students create a two-panel comic to demonstrate their thoughts before and after reading.
    • Panel 1: I Used to Think.
    • Panel 2: Now I Think.


  • Give students an opportunity to share their comics with others.
  • Discuss how using the "I Used to Think/Now I Think" strategy can be used with all types of text materials to better understand the content.


  • Adjust selected text based on students’ reading level or provide audio recording.
  • Print out panels with headings for students to plan their writing.
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.
  • Teacher selected text/reading material.