Teaching Comprehension Strategies
Tell me about it
When students are comprehending, reading seems automatic and effortless; without comprehension, reading is just sounding out words on a page. In order to understand a text, readers bring their experiences, background knowledge, and vocabulary to bear when trying to comprehend what it means. Building strong comprehension skills is an important part of being college and career ready because reading tasks become more demanding as students advance through school.
Considerations for instructional planning
- Start by making connections to what students already know.
- Ask students to visualize what they read, or use a graphic organizer to represent what they read visually.
- Get students to identify the "gist" of what they read orally or in writing.
Be sure to's
- Use formative assessment strategies to monitor comprehension.
- Continue to use complex text but provide scaffolds like text-dependent questions to guide comprehension.
- Strategically teach comprehension strategies to support deeper engagement with the text.
Tools and Resources
- Use graphic organizers to capture and organize students' thinking.
- Read how visualizing is a helpful comprehension strategy.
- Have students summarize to help them learn what is important in a text.
- Try these technology tools to improve comprehension and engage learners!
- In light of how students increasingly read text on-line, learn more about supporting online comprehension.
- Consider employing specific reading comprehension skills for English language learners.
- This chart from Scholastic describes six comprehension strategies.
- Into the Book is an interactive online reading comprehension resource for elementary students and includes eight helpful research-based videos of lessons for teachers.
- Learn about the key component of reading comprehension in The Progression of Reading Comprehension by David Liben and David Pearson.
- Daniel Willingham explores the Usefulness of Brief Instruction in Reading Comprehension Strategies in this scholarly article.
- Explore comprehension strategies for all learners in Effective Practices for Reading Comprehension by Nell Duke and David Pearson.