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Reading Comprehension Strategies

Six Essential Reading Strategies

Researchers have identified six essential reading strategies for developing comprehension abilities. Each strategy and teaching/learning activities which help students learn the strategy will be described. The six strategies are:

  • Making Connections
  • Questioning
  • Visualizing
  • Inferring
  • Determining Importance
  • Synthesizing

Each of these strategies is integral to comprehension, and together they represent the active mindset children must assume in order to become effective learners as well as readers. The steps for teaching each strategy involve explicit instruction.

Misconception Rejections: A Lot of ‘What They Know’ Isn’t So

It is warmer in the summer because the Earth’s orbit takes it closer to the sun. Good writers say exactly what they want without the need for editing.

Eastern North America was sparsely populated when Europeans began to arrive. People who are dieting should not eat fat. Any fluids you drink will keep you from becoming dehydrated.

Or not. Each of the above statements represents a misunderstanding regarding some important concept that influences the way we look at the world. Yet many people, including some who are highly educated, subscribe to some of these misconceptions.

KWL (Know/Want To Learn/Learned)

Using Teaching/Learning Activities to Develop Strategic Readers

A persistent challenge for teachers is to encourage students to be active thinkers while they read. Active readers make predictions about what they will be reading.

Before they start, active readers consider what they already know about the story or topic. Then as they read, they confirm whether or not their predictions were on target. Active readers have an idea of what to look for, and when they are done, they evaluate what they have learned or experienced.

Many of our students are not active readers, and they are confused about what they should be thinking about as they read. KWL Plus (Carr and Ogle, 1987) is a technique that helps students take stock of what they know before they dive into a reading assignment.