Teaching reading comprehension strategies plays an important role in students’ ability to comprehend and respond to text read.
So, what does a supportive classroom environment that promotes reading comprehension strategies and effective reading responses look like?
Duke and Pearson (2002, pp. 207-208) advocate:
- students need to read engaging texts daily
- teachers must select texts for students based on interest or topic
- students should be provided with a range of texts in different genres (multimodal, print-based, images, animations, graphic representations, video, audio, diagrams/charts, newspapers/magazines, fiction, non-fiction)
- teachers ought to identify and discuss vocabulary from rich texts with their students
- students would benefit from writing and reflecting on their reading.
There are many print and digital resources to complement the explicit teaching of reading comprehension strategies.
In this blog post, I’ll outline what I use in my classroom.
1. Print Resources
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies With Graphic Organizers
A graphic organizer is an effective tool to document information read.
Each reading graphic organizer that I use with students targets a specific reading strategy. It includes a definition of the reading strategy and guiding prompts to help students respond to the reading.
Once students complete their reading graphic organizer, they are able to see at a glance their understanding of the text read.
For instance, in the graphic organizer on characterization, students have good insight into the character under study.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies With Interactive Notebook Templates
Interactive notebook templates go beyond simple notetaking. They are also a means of reflecting effectively on a text.
Like the graphic organizer, each notebook template features a reading comprehension strategy.
For example, in the notebook template on ‘Making Connections’, the guiding question prompts help the reader make connections to text to self, text to text, and text to world.
These templates also require basic cutting and folding, thus making them easy to assemble.
There are two templates for each reading strategy in focus.
The first template is the Cover Template. This is glued at one end or at both ends over the Recording Template which is the second template.
The Cover Template also features the question prompts. Students will cut on the dashed lines of each Cover Template to create flaps.
Consequently, the flaps of the Cover Template when lifted, reveal students’ responses on the Recording Template.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies With Task Cards
Like the interactive notebook template, each reading task card features a definition of the reading strategy.
My students have the choice of using a collection of 20 task cards featuring 20 reading strategies. These task cards can be used with any book.
2. Digital Resources
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies With Digital Graphic Organizers
Another way to document reading is via digital graphic organizers in Google Slides. They are similar to the print version.
However, the only difference is that students need to type information, instead of writing, in each digital graphic organizer
Each graphic organizer also features a definition of the reading comprehension strategy.
In addition, the guiding prompts help students respond to the reading.
Digital Reading Responses in Google Forms
Using a Google Form is yet another way to have students respond to reading.
Once again, students can type their responses when responding to a target question.
Needless to say, this is also an effective way to reinforce the reading strategy in question.
Each question in the google form has a definition of the reading comprehension strategy. Consequently, students are guided in their responses as they reflect on the text.
The questions also require an open-ended response and adequately assess students’ comprehension skills.
When it comes to getting student data, the teacher has access to all student responses remotely via the ‘Responses‘ tab on the Google Form.
Additionally, the ‘Summary‘ tab provides an overview of all student responses to questions.
The ‘Question‘ tab shows student responses for each question.
And the ‘Individual‘ tab reveals the responses of each student.
All student data can be exported into an excel spreadsheet by accessing the green cross tab on the right.
Another useful feature is the ‘Share’ tab that enables the teacher to share all student responses with the class.
In addition, the ‘Required’ tab for each question makes the question mandatory.
Post Teaching of Reading Comprehension Strategies
It is important to note that students need to be given the opportunity to apply these reading comprehension strategies. This is possible:
- in small groups
- during whole-class discussion time
- by writing and reflecting on their reading
I find that using a variety of print and digital resources also give students ample opportunity to build upon their comprehension skills.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies With QR Codes
Reading comprehension strategies can also be taught with QR Codes. Students find them fun to scan.
This activity features a QR code on each task card. Each code links to a video explaining a comprehension strategy.
By accessing the video after scanning the code, students have a clear understanding of the comprehension strategy.
This will consequently help them respond to the guiding questions on the task card.
A Free Reading Response Resource
I hope this post was helpful in shedding some light on the resources that complement the explicit teaching of reading comprehension strategies.
Why not try out the digital reading response resource that features ten reading strategies?
You can assign this Google Form to your students via an assignment in Google Classroom.
The Google Form can also be used to reflect on any fictional text your students are reading.