Comprehensiom Instruction within the Literacy Block

Reading Comprehension Instruction at Oakwood School

Grades K-2

Comprehension instruction takes place primarily during the Modeled and Shared Reading block. During Guided Reading, students are supported as they use the strategies while reading texts at their instructional level. It is during independent reading that students have the opportunity to practice these strategies on their own while reading texts at their independent level.

Comprehension Strategies that Support Understanding:

Activating Prior Knowledge/Making Connections

What is Activating Prior Knowledge?

Readers activate what they know or don’t know about a topic and use this knowledge before, during, and after reading to understand and clarify misunderstandings about the text.

Student Definition:

I use what I already know to  help me understand what I am reading.

What is Making Connections?

Readers relate what they read to personal experience (text to self), to information from other texts (text to text), or to information about the world (text to world) in order to enhance understanding of themselves and the text.

Student Definition: I think about experiences I’ve had, other texts I’ve read, and the world around me to help me understand what I am reading.


What is "Visualizing"?

Readers continually create and revise images in their minds that reflect or represent the ideas in the text. These images come from the five senses, as well as the emotions, and are linked to prior knowledge and experience.

Student Definition: I make a movie in my mind while I’m reading to help me understand what I read.

Asking Questions

What is “Asking Questions”?

Readers ask questions about the text and the author’s purpose and look for information to clarify and extend their thinking before, during, and after reading.

Student Definition: I ask questions to look for new information and to understand what I am reading.

Making Predictions/Making Inferences

What is “Making Predictions”?

Readers use clues in the text and their own prior knowledge to think about what the text will be about or what will happen next. Predictions are confirmed or disproved during and after reading.

Student Definition: I use what I know and clues in the text to think about what it will be about.  Then I think about what I will learn or what will happen in the story. 

What is “Making Inferences”?

Readers use their prior knowledge and clues from the text to draw conclusions and form interpretations about the text. These conclusions may not be confirmed during or after reading.

Student Definition: I use what I know and clues from the text to think about what it really means.

Determining Importance

What is “Determining Importance”?

Readers identify key elements, information, or events in the text. Readers distinguish important information from unimportant information to identify key ideas or themes.

Student Definition: I think about what is most  important in the text.

Synthesizing Information

What is “Synthesizing”?

Readers monitor overall meaning, important concepts, and themes as they read and create original insights, interpretations, and perspectives.Understanding changes as the reader gains more information from the text and applies background knowledge.

Debbie Miller compares synthesizing to ripples in a pond. You throw a rock into a pond and first there is a splash. Then the water ripples out, making little waves that get bigger and bigger.  Our thinking gets bigger and bigger as we read.

Student Definition: I put the pieces together to understand what I read in a new way.

Monitoring Comprehension

What is “Monitoring Comprehension”?

Readers combine strategies as needed to develop a more complete understanding of the text. Strategies interact with each other, overlap, and are used multiple times during reading. Readers stop to check their understanding as they read and reread difficult parts.

Student Definition: I use strategies together to understand what I read.