Prepared by Learning Support, Fossa N. S.
Reading comprehension is a skill that needs development over time. It is difficult to practice comprehension if decoding skills are underdeveloped. Strategies to promote reading accuracy and fluency, especially rereading, also results in marked improvement in comprehension skills and linguistic growth. Teacher modelling, through thinking aloud for example, will be crucial in the learning of the comprehension strategies listed below.
Strategies Prior to Reading
- Set goals for reading, by deciding on a purpose prior to reading.
- Identify the time and place in which a story is set.
- Predict what might happen in a story based on title, pictures, subheadings, chapter titles, captions etc.
- Gather further information for prediction making by reading the book through and discuss post reading comprehension questions and activities.
- Notice text structure and lay out i.e. narrative or expository.
Strategies During Reading
- Using visual imagery to make “mental pictures” as reading is progressing. This will increase the ability to recall, make inferences and predict what will happen next.
- Verifying or confirming that initial predictions were appropriate or not and if necessary modifying those predictions.
- Identifying the characters in a story and their links to one another.
- Identifying a problem besetting a main character and tracing how it was resolved.
- Describing a character’s reactions to events.
- Generating questions while reading.
- Thinking aloud after reading a part of the text. This helps pupils to make connections to the text they are reading.
- Monitoring whether reading makes sense or not and if necessary applying “fix-up” strategies. This is an important metacognitive strategy.
Strategies for After Reading
- Pupil retells or restates the main points of a story in his or her own words.
- Sequencing the ideas in a text.
- Relating prior knowledge or personal experience to the text.
- Analysing end of chapter/story questions and categorizing them as follows (1) questions looking for factual knowledge (2) questions asking pupils to make inferences by searching and thinking and (3) questions asking them for their own opinions.
- Revisiting pre-reading predictions and seeing how their thinking may have shifted as they interacted with the text.
- Read ahead to see if it makes sense.
- Reread the part that is confusing me.
- Change the pace of my reading maybe I should slow down.
- Change my original prediction, maybe it is hindering me.
- Ask for help.