Teaching Reading for
Critical Thinking

Stages 4&5 ONliNE Course

Consolidate Critical Thinking Skills to Make Readers for Life

Add in Additional Layers of Valuable Thinking Strategies.
Develop Active Thinking Habits while Reading.

Now that you AND your students have mastered Stage 3, it's time to move on and add additional complexity and flexibility of thinking WHILE your students are reading. 

This course is designed to unleash the ability of the mind to bring stories and text to life. Firstly, we encourage students to think in different ways about text and get excited about how pictures, knowledge, questions and hypothesis can explode in their heads. Then, we move on to big picture comprehension, stretching the brain to look for and hold onto the 'big picture' of the whole text. 

This can be quite transformational for you the teacher. Once again we are giving you the tools and the routines that will enable your students to gain control of all the higher order thinking required to be a truly independent active reader.

"I love the addition of making up their own questions.  ITTM and the Deep 4 are an ingrained part of the students reading behaviours"

Melody McCombe, Christchurch

This Course Gives You...

Clear, Concise Step-by-Step Learning

These two stages have a total of 7 units of self-contained learning. We explain the new learning, provide video models of what it looks like, guide you through some practices and send you off with Teacher Scripts and resources to have a go with your class.

If you have gained confidence with Stage 3 you will quickly pick up the logic of this follow-on course.

Icon of a person running up steps to respresent that we have clear steps to teaching critical thinking

At-Your-Own-Pace Flexibility

Twelve months access to the course means you can plan to work quickly in a short space of time or adopt a more measured approach and take your time mastering each step.

WEBINARS and WORKSHOPS - For those that want to get immersed quickly, then our start-up workshops and webinars will sling shot you through all of the online units.

Icon of a clock to show you can work at your own pace - fast or more leisurely

Everything You Need is Included

  • Teaching Scripts support your delivery of the routine.
  • Reading Strategy Examples to help you model each strategy.
  • Templates for planning and data collection are all provided. 
  • Downloadable Course Books - an at-your-fingertips reference for the classroom.
A picture of a book to show we give you the resources you need to teach

Expert Video Samples of the Teaching

We put you in the driver's seat as we show you what to do with real classroom footage. Subtitles and important notes make it very easy for you to process and adopt our structured routine.

An icon to indicate we give you plenty of video examples to show you how to teach reading

A Learning Pathway for your Students

We give you specific guidelines for what you should teach and what comes next. Quickly identify where each of your students fit and where they should go next using our school-wide Development Progression and Scope and Sequence. 

A pathway to indicate that we have a clear approach to developing reading ability


If student satisfaction leads to teacher satisfaction then you will enjoy watching your students beam as they learn how to use The Deep Four strategies or clearly summarize using the text structures in Stage 5.

A person running up steps to indicate that we have a step by step approach to developing reading ability

" I’m really enjoying Stage 5…my kids have amazed themselves with how well they can retell the article based on their trigger words and they can actually come up with the main idea/heading which is notoriously difficult."

Julie Woods, Highlands Intermediate.

Have Confidence in the Direction of the Program

Knowing where you are at and what to teach next is one of the biggest boosters to teacher confidence. 

With the knowledge you now have about building the literal meaning of sentences, you can confidently teach the wonder of the language used and explore the way it is put together ... without getting hijacked into all sorts of unprofitable discussion.  You will literally show your students how to enjoy their thinking as they read.  

Our guidelines for explicitly teaching this and our routines for practice provide you with an easy framework for confident teaching. If in doubt, the SharpReading Developmental Progression shows how all the stages fit together.  

Remember, you can always contact us for clarification.

A picture of an upper school teacher confidently teaching using our critical thinking program

Course Overview

Start your course at any time – all year round.


GST will be added to NZ purchases.



Each unit requires 45 minutes of reading and processing time. Stage 4 has 5 units and Stage 5 has two units.



Each unit requires some classroom practice. Allow for 1 unit per week. 

7 weeks


Video examples showing you how to teach and improve the reading routine.



12 months access. Plenty of time to review your new learning.

12 months


Working online means you can
start the course at any time.


Access to students for practice is desirable.
Some computer skills and Internet access needed.
Stage 3 is a prerequisite.

What People Say About Online Study

"I can go on the tutorial and I can see you doing it and so I have a good model for myself. If I tried it in class and it didn't go to well I can go back to it again.

Linda, Year 5&6 teacher - Christchurch

Course Writers - Your Tutors

Hilton Ayrey

We are very passionate about teaching and we are always looking for ways to make it easier and more enjoyable. It has to work for students AND the teacher.

'Teaching Reading for Critical Thinking' is our top end course. It has great appeal for your upper primary teachers as they see very strong connections to their writing program and meets the needs they have for critical thinking across the curriculum. It is also the course that we enjoy teaching the most.

Brian Parker

A picture of Brian Parker, one of the SharpReading Directors

Although the course is stand-alone training we are always available to discuss your training during your 12 months access to the Stages 4&5 ONLiNE Course. For face-to-face introductions you can register for our webinars and workshops and also negotiate in-school support.


Stage 4: "The Deep 4"

Unit 1 - Learn how to use 'I have a picture'
Learn how to use 'I know that because'
Learn how to use 'I wonder'
Learn how to use 'Maybe its because'
How to practice fluency with the strategies

Stage 5: Analysing Text

Learning to analyse fiction text
Learning how to analyse non fiction text
Stages 4&5 Course Completion Certificate


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Click on the Buy Now button below to be taken to SharpReading ONLINE to fill in your details. Once your payment has been processed you will automatically be connected to your online course.

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