Reading Comprehension

Strategies for Reading

  1. Set a purpose for reading the text: Setting a purpose for reading gives students a specific reason for reading and helps the understand the value of reading the value of a given passage. This can also help students anticipate what they will be reading about.

  1. Generate questions: Generating questions before, during, and after reading can help students focus on the main idea and purpose of the text. After reading, students can go back and write answers to the questions they have written.

  1. Pay attention to text structure and features: Text features can quickly provide information about a given text. Paying attention to headings and subheadings can provide a brief overview of what sections of a text will be about. Pay attention to signal words that provide cues to the types of text that may be read (for example, description, sequence, compare/contrast, etc.).

  1. Make connections to the text: Making connections to the text can take many forms. Students can make connections between their personal experiences and the text (text-to-self), connections between the text and other texts they have read (text-to-text), and connections between the text and the world around them (text-to-world).

  1. Summarize the text: While reading, students should be encouraged to regularly stop reading and summarize what they have read. When summarizing, students have the opportunity to integrate and generalize the most important ideas from the text. This practice makes it easier to comprehend long passages.

  1. Use context cues to determine the meaning of unknown words: Students can use hints that an author provides in a text to discover the meaning of an unknown word or phrase. Context clues may be in the form of:

    1. Roots and affixes: origin of the word
    2. Contrast: recognizing how the word is compared or contrasted with another word in the sentence
    3. Logic: considering the rest of the sentence to understand an unknown word
    4. Definition: using a provided explanation that follows the word
    5. Example or Illustration: using a literal or visual representation of the word
    6. Grammar: determining how the word functions in a sentence to better understand its meaning
  2. Slow down and re-read: When approaching an unfamiliar or difficult text, students can slow down and reread the text to improve comprehension.

  1. Exit slip: Students can answer a question or brief set of questions after reading such as “What are 3 things you discovered? What are 2 interesting things you learned? What is 1 question you still have?”