Without comprehension, reading is meaningless. Comprehension involves thinking about what has been read. Most reading experts agree that the thought processes and strategies involved in comprehending text can and should be taught directly and explicitly.
Findings and Recommendations
Comprehension is an active process that requires an intentional and thoughtful interaction between the reader and the text.
Following are seven key comprehension strategies that developing readers should be taught:
- Connecting what they are reading to prior knowledge of and experience with the topic
- Generating and answering questions as they read
- Monitoring comprehension
- Recognizing story structure
- Summarizing ideas in text
- Practicing visualization and imagery
- Using graphic organizers and visual devices, such as concept maps and Venn diagrams
Explicit and formal instruction in the application of comprehension strategies has been shown to be highly effective in enhancing understanding.
Good readers have a purpose for reading. They are active thinkers and are engaged in the reading process.
- Reading comprehension has become the “essence of reading” and is essential not only to academic learning in all subject areas, but to lifelong learning as well. (Durkin, 1993)
Reading A-Z Alignment with Research Findings
Each Reading A-Z Leveled Book lesson targets a comprehension strategy. The lesson indicates the strategy under the lesson objectives, cites it as a purpose for reading, and provides opportunities for discussion and practice before, during, and after reading. The teacher models the strategy using think-aloud techniques written into the lesson.
Each set of Leveled Book worksheets includes a graphic organizer or visual learning device to engage the reader and give purpose to the reading. These resources are aligned with the targeted comprehension skill of each lesson.
Generic graphic organizers can be used to teach comprehension skills and strategies.
Each Leveled Book is accompanied by a set of literal, inferential, and open-ended critical/creative thinking response questions.
Two generic retelling rubrics (scoring forms) are provided to assess a student\'s retelling of a story or book.
Reading A-Z Resources
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|Retelling Rubrics (Scoring Forms)|