What You Need to Know About Reading Comprehension Strategies
Reading is not a passive activity. It is an activity that requires the brain to fully engage and think in order to comprehend the words on the page. When you begin to read, your brain naturally begins to use a variety of reading comprehension strategies to make meaning of the text. The reading comprehension strategies that you use have been developed through years of reading practice. You were either taught them in school or developed the strategies on your own to problem solve your way through the often tricky task of reading.
Successful reading comprehension strategies will result when a child is able to do the following things:
1.) Accurately read the words on the page
2.) Read the words fluently
3.) Comprehend what the words mean.
Understanding what the words on a page are communicating is the main goal of reading. The Thinking through Reading program will introduce children to a variety of reading comprehension strategies that will help them to improve their comprehension of books and other texts. Not only will our strategies help children to think their way through books, our reading comprehension strategies will train them to use a variety of thought processes that can be applied to other areas of their life. Children will learn how to useinferential thinking, ask meaningful questions and learn to communicate their thoughts clearly and effectively.
When you pick up a book, magazine or newspaper, you do more than just read the words. You connect the information on the page to information that you already know. You anticipate events and determine which words are most important to remember. You think about what the author is trying to tell you. All of the thinking that you do while reading, works to help you understand what you read. The Thinking through Reading comprehension strategies are listed below:
- Making Connections
- Asking Questions
- Making Predictions
- Making Inferences
- Understanding Text Structure
- Determining Importance
- Identifying the Author’s Message
Each of the reading comprehension strategies works like a piece in a puzzle. Once a child learns how, and when to use each of the reading comprehension strategies, they will be able to achieve a level of deep comprehension.
In order to comprehend, children must learn how to use each strategy and know when to use each strategy. They will learn to do this through practice. After learning and practicing the strategies a child should begin to read books for enjoyment and not for the purpose of practicing one isolated strategy. The goal is not for a child to pick up a book and think that visualizing is reading or making connections is reading. Instead, the goal, once they learn the strategies, is for a child to automatically use the strategies to deepen their comprehension.
Therefore, remember that the Thinking through Reading and Book Club programs are intended to support readers who are learning to employ reading comprehension strategies while reading. When a child is using the strategy cards, they should be focused on learning and applying a specific strategy. When a child begins to read the independently, they should be focused on reading and using the reading comprehension strategies when needed to deepen their comprehension of the text. Please, never tell a child to go visualize or go retell. That is not the purpose of reading. Rather the purpose of reading is to think your way through the text, and respond to it in some way.
Visit our home page to learn more about reading comprehension strategies or the lesson plan library to select book and lesson plans that will help you teach readers how to effectively comprehend.