Comprehension

What is comprehension?

Comprehension refers to the understanding that results from reading.  It is the ultimate goal of all reading.  Students may show that they understand what they read by explaining what they read to others or answering questions about it.  Using comprehension strategies such as predicting, checking to make sure you understand as you read, and summarizing after reading can also help make sure you understand.

How do we know when a reader does or does not comprehend what they read?

Proficient readers... Struggling readers...
  • understand what they read
  • can accurately answer questions about what they read
  • can explain what they read to others
  • realize when they do not understand what they are reading and know what to do when this happens
  • may not understand what they read
  • cannot accurately answer questions about what they read.
  • cannot explain what they read to others
  • realize when they do not understand what they are reading, but they may not know what to do when this happens
  • may not realize when they do not understand as they read

Strategies and tools to help struggling readers with comprehension:

Here are links to the following strategies and below are suggested ages/grade levels at which they will most likely be effective in tutoring:

  • 3-2-1 strategy  is a graphic organizer that can help give reading a text purpose and make reading more active. They think about 3 things they found out, 2 interesting things, and 1 question they still have.   
  • Talking drawings is an active reading strategy that builds in visualization.
  • G.I.S.T stands for generating interactions between schemata and text and is a tool for thinking about and summarizing a text.
  • Graphic organizers are great tools for organizing information learned from a text.
  • Story mapping work well with fictional texts as a way to engage the learner and get them thinking about what they are reading.
  • Story pyramids is another kind of organizer that gets readers and learners thinking about what they are learning from a text.
  • Author says/I say helps learners and readers make inferences from texts as they read.

Here are links to templates for the following strategies: 3-2-1 strategy and talking drawings.

Strategy
Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8 
Grades 9-12
say something X X X X
3-2-1 strategy X X X X
talking drawings X X X  
G.I.S.T   X X X
graphic organizers X X X X
story mapping X X X X
story pyramids X X X  
author says/I say   X X X

These strategies can be used for one-on-one tutoring as well as in small groups.