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