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All Reading Comprehension articles

By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.



By: Reading Rockets (2014)

Just a few pages from your newspaper can be turned into lots of early learning activities. Here you'll find "letters and words" activities for the youngest, plus fun writing prompts and tips on how to read and analyze the news for older kids.



By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know what the four main areas of the Common Core reading standards mean and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in these areas.

By: Heather Schugar, Carol Smith, Jordan Schugar (2013)
Learn about the features in e-books that may distract, support, or extend comprehension and the need for more scaffolding of reading instruction with e-books. The article also addresses ways to familiarize students with multi-touch tablet devices while encouraging students and teachers to transfer print-based reading strategies to this new medium.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Your child may be at a school where they are using an approach called "flipped classroom" or "flipped lesson." If so, keep reading to find out more about the concept, and three ways that you can support flipped learning at home.

By: Reading Rockets (2012)
Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a "book walk" with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.

By: Reading Rockets (2012)
Our interconnected and digital world demands a lot of our learners. Here are five simple ways to help build your child's critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

By: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (2012)

By: Alise Brann, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2012)

Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities in acquiring background knowledge and vocabulary, improving their reading comprehension, and making connections between reading and writing.



By: Reading Rockets (2011)

Inferences are what we figure out based on an experience. Helping your child understand when information is implied (or not directly stated) will improve her skill in drawing conclusions and making inferences. These skills will be needed for all sorts of school assignments, including reading, science and social studies.



By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Discover some simple hands-on activities and games that can be done at home or in the backyard to help your child develop a deeper understanding of cause and effect — and strengthen reading comprehension and scientific inquiry skills.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Helping children understand the concept of sequence develops both literacy and scientific inquiry skills. Here are a few simple activities that families can do together to give kids opportunities to observe, record, and think about sequencing.

By: Sheri Vasinda, Julie McLeod (2011)

The struggling second and third graders in this study increased their reading comprehension after a 10-week Readers Theatre podcasting project. Podcasting made the students aware of a wider audience, which enhanced the authenticity and social nature of the strategy, and made their performances permanent so they could be stored and conveniently retrieved for later listening and evaluation.



By: Carole Cox (2011)
Research has shown that fluent oral reading learned through performance reading leads not only to engagement in and enjoyment of reading for students, but to reading comprehension. Learn how to integrate performance reading activities into your classroom.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Learn more about how to increase higher order thinking, developing comprehension across the content areas, the value of read alouds, effective classroom strategies, and more.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Scientists, just like readers, make predictions all the time. Help your child begin to see the connection between what she does as a reader and what she can do as a scientist. Here are two simple ways you can encourage your child to put her prediction skills to work as a scientist.

By: Masoumeh Akhondi, Faramarz Aziz Malayeri, Arshad Abd Samad (2011)
Expository text can be challenging to young readers because of the unfamiliar concepts and vocabulary it presents. Discover ways to help your students analyze expository text structures and pull apart the text to uncover the main idea and supporting details.

By: Elaine K. McEwan (2011)
Reading in the "comfort zone" means that students read well enough to understand the text. Here's a simple technique that students can use to determine if a book is right for them.

By: Vanessa Morrison, Lisa Wheeler (2010)

Learn about evidence-based practices that encourage first graders' engagement with texts. The authors review reading as a transactional process, revisit the benefits of reading aloud to students, discuss three literacy strategies implemented in one first-grade classroom, and share examples of student work.



By: Roberta Sejnost, Sharon Thiese (2010)
To help students comprehend expository text structures, teachers can acquaint them with the signal or cue words authors utilize in writing each of the structures and use the graphic organizers offered in this article

By: Reading Rockets (2010)
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically.

By: Michelle J. Kelley, Nicki Clausen-Grace (2010)
The text feature walk guides students in the reading of text features in order to access prior knowledge, make connections, and set a purpose for reading expository text. Results from a pilot study illustrate the benefits of using the strategy, and practical suggestions for implementation are offered.

By: Paula Kluth (2010)
Reading comprehension is often a concern for the teachers of students with autism. The comprehension strategies described in this article may help some students gain comprehension skills and improve their ability to read and communicate about written material.

By: Carol McDonald Connor, Sibel Kaya, Melissa Luck (2010)

This study describes a second-grade science curriculum designed to individualize student instruction so that students, regardless of initial science and literacy skills, gain science knowledge and reading skills. The instruction incorporates flexible, homogeneous, literacy skills-based grouping, use of leveled science text, and explicit use of discussion and comprehension strategies.



By: Reading Rockets (2010)
Students who comprehend the most from their reading are those who know a lot about words. These students know about word prefixes, suffixes, word roots, and multiple meanings of words. Families can help develop word knowledge through simple conversations focused on words.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
The best story times are very interactive: You are talking about and reading the story, your child is talking, and there is conversation taking place between the two of you — what educators call "dialogic" reading.

By: Mariam Jean Dreher, Jennifer Letcher Gray (2009)
This article explains (a) how to teach students to identify the compare-contrast text structure, and to use this structure to support their comprehension, (b) how to use compare-contrast texts to activate and extend students' background knowledge, and (c) how to use compare-contrast texts to help students expand and enrich their vocabulary. Although these strategies can benefit all young learners, the compare-contrast text structure is particularly helpful to ELL students.

By: Paola Pilonieta, Adriana L. Medina (2009)
Originally designed with seventh grade students, Reciprocal Teaching is a research-based strategy that teaches students to work in small groups to coordinate the use of four comprehension strategies: prediction, clarification, summarization, and student-generated questions. This article illustrates how to implement Reciprocal Teaching for the Primary Grades (RTPG). Modifications include: additional strategies, cue cards with pictures and scripts, group work interspersed with whole class follow-up, and an independent written component for individual student accountability.

By: Alice Thomas, Glenda Thorne (2009)
Parents and teachers can do a lot to encourage higher order thinking. Here are some strategies to help foster children's complex thinking.

By: Alice Thomas, Glenda Thorne (2009)
As students grow older, they are asked by their teachers to do more and more with the information they have stored in their brains. These types of requests require accessing higher order thinking (HOT).

By: Wendy B. Meller, Danielle Richardson, J. Amos Hatch (2009)
Teacher read-alouds are a vital part of literacy instruction in primary classrooms. Learn how to conduct read-alouds that feature high-quality children's books which will prompt children to think and talk about social issues that impact their daily lives.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
One way to help a child comprehend what he is reading is to encourage him to visualize parts of the story in his mind. These "mind movies" help clarify information, increase understanding, and can include any of the five senses. Try these practices below when reading with your child.

By: Barbara Marinak, Linda Gambrell (2009)
Exposing young children to informational text early on can help them to handle the literacy demands of fourth grade and beyond. Practical instructional techniques can be used to promote understanding and enjoyment of informational texts. The three techniques described here — Text Impression, Guiding Questions, and the Retelling Pyramid — can help children become familiar with the language and structure of non-fiction books.

By: Alise Brann, Judy Zorfass, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2009)

Technology tools and supports can be an excellent way to help struggling students engage with social studies texts in a meaningful way, and build deeper understanding through guided inquiry.



By: Alise Brann, Tracy Gray, Judy Zorfass, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2009)
To help students become comfortable with multimedia, it is useful to incorporate it into your instruction wherever possible. Providing varied means of representing information (Universal Design for Learning) can help improve your students' access to complex texts.

By: Sherrye Dee Garrett (2009)
Introducing elementary-aged students to local and community news through the newspaper can help them strengthen comprehension and research skills. Community news keeps it relevant to the kids, enhancing motivation to discuss and learn more about what they are reading. Classroom activities are included in this article.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
Reading with comprehension means understanding what's been read. It takes practice, time, and patience to develop reading comprehension skills. Here is a before-during-after approach that families can use to help children learn to read for understanding.

By: Reading Rockets (2009)
What is Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) and how does it work? Find out more about CORI and how it helps children's comprehension and motivation through science inquiry.

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
One of the most important skills students learn as they transition into middle and high school is how to get information from a non-fiction text. This skill can be especially challenging for ELLs, who may not have had much experience working independently with expository texts. This Bright Ideas article offers ways that teachers can help ELLs work effectively with non-fiction texts and includes strategies for introducing components, structure, and purpose of expository texts.

By: Kristina Robertson (2008)
As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students' background knowledge and experiences can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and make content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.

By: Reading Rockets (2008)
Children are full of questions about the world around them, and summer is a perfect time to tap into your child's interests. Here are some ways to start a journey of discovery together.

By: Regina Boulware-Gooden, Suzanne Carreker, Ann Thornhill, R. Malatesha Joshi (2007)
The use of metacognitive strategies helps students to "think about their thinking" before, during, and after they read.

By: Kristina Robertson (2007)
As you teach content areas to ELLs of diverse backgrounds, you may find that they struggle to grasp the content, and that they approach the content from very different perspectives. Drawing on your students' background knowledge and experiences, can be an effective way to bridge those gaps and to make the content more accessible. This article offers a number of suggestions to classroom teachers as they find ways to tap into the background knowledge that students bring with them.

By: Reading Rockets (2007)
Interesting experiences give kids a broader framework for new information they might encounter in books, and when kids have lots of experiences to draw on, they have a better chance of making a connection with what they read! Help your child build background knowledge this summer with these activities.

By: Lea M. McGee, Judith Schickedanz (2007)

Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening. This article describes in detail a technique for a three-step interactive read-aloud using sophisticated storybooks.



By: John T. Guthrie, Angela McRae, Susan Lutz Klauda (2007)
Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) teaches children reading comprehension through the integration of science and reading. Learn more about how CORI aims enhances students' reading engagement in order to increase reading ability.

By: Daniel T. Willingham (2007)
Learning critical thinking skills can only take a student so far. Critical thinking depends on knowing relevant content very well and thinking about it, repeatedly. Here are five strategies, consistent with the research, to help bring critical thinking into the everyday classroom.

By: Daniel T. Willingham (2006)
How does the mind work — and how does it learn? Teachers' instructional decisions are based on a mix of theories learned in teacher education, trial and error, craft knowledge, and gut instinct. Such gut knowledge often serves us well, but is there anything sturdier to rely on?

By: Daniel T. Willingham (2006)
The author, a professor of cognitive psychology, notes, "it's true that knowledge gives students something to think about, but… knowledge does much more than just help students hone their thinking skills, it actually makes learning easier." Factual knowledge enhances cognitive processes like problem solving and reasoning, and once you have some knowledge, the brain finds it easier to get more and more knowledge.

By: Daniel T. Willingham (2006)
Students often think they understand a body of material and, believing that they know it, stop trying to learn more. But come test time, it turns out they really don't know the material very well at all. Can cognitive science tell us anything about why students are commonly mistaken about what they know and don't know? Are there any strategies teachers can use to help students better estimate what they know?

By: Gina Carrier (2006)
In the last few years, an alarm has sounded throughout the nation's middle and high schools: too many students cannot read well. It isn't that they don't know their ABCs or how to read words. It's that they cannot understand or explain what they're reading. Johnny can read, but he doesn't understand.

By: Glenda Thorne (2006)
Effective and efficient memory is critical for reading and school success. Here are 10 strategies to help children develop their memories.

By: Kristina Robertson (2006)
ELL students learn new words everyday, and it's essential that they have a deep understanding of what those words mean. Without comprehension, new words are useless. The key to helping ELL students succeed is to give them explicit instruction in the academic language of the content they are learning in class. This article offers some strategies and resources for getting started!

By: Daniel T. Willingham (2006)
Learning happens when we connect new information to what we already know. When children have limited knowledge about the world, they have a smaller capacity to learn more about it. Here are four ways teachers can build content knowledge that will expand the opportunity for students to forge new connections — and make them better independent readers and learners.

By: Louise Spear-Swerling (2006)
One of the most misunderstood topics in reading instruction involves the extent to which children should be encouraged to rely on context cues in reading.

By: Susan Neuman (2006)
Background knowledge is crucial to a child's academic success. Young children, especially those from at-risk communities, need broad and deep exposure to informational text and rich vocabulary in order to develop more complex thinking skills.

By: Shutta Crum (2006)
Use picture books to teach young writers how to organize plot logically. This article includes examples of basic plot structures, along with picture books that use those structures.

By: Amy Hines (2006)
Educators may find timelines a useful strategy for a variety of educational purposes. They can be used to record events from a story or a history lesson in a sequential format. They can help students keep events in chronological order as they write summaries.

By: E. D. Hirsch, Jr. (2006)
The federal No Child Left Behind law requires more testing of students, and has spurred some frantic and ineffectual test preparation in many schools, says the author, E. D. Hirsch, Jr. Reading tests must use unpredictable texts to be accurate measures of reading ability, but if you cannot predict the subject matter on a valid reading test, how can you prepare students? Hirsch says you can't, and, therefore, you shouldn't try. The only useful way to prepare for a reading test is indirectly by becoming a good reader of a broad range of texts, an ability that requires broad general knowledge."

By: Rosa Lizardi (2005)
All students learn in different ways, and ELLs are no exception. Creating opportunities for hands-on learning in the classroom can provide another way for students to grasp difficult concepts.

By: Sebastian Wren (2005)
This article illustrates the difference between being able to decode words on a page and being able to derive meaning from the words and the concepts they are trying to convey.

By: Maria Salvadore (2005)
Kids and adults alike couldn't wait for the release of the newest Harry Potter book. Young readers embraced the young wizard and his friends, and have made Hogwarts, the rivalry between its Houses, the names of the faculty, and the passion for Quidditch household terms.

By: Cara Bafile (2005)
The reader's theater strategy blends students' desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice. Reader's Theater offers an entertaining and engaging means of improving fluency and enhancing comprehension.

By: Roger Farr, Jenny Conner (2004)
Students need to think while they are reading. By using modeling, coached practice, and reflection, you can teach your students strategies to help them think while they read and build their comprehension.

By: C.R. Adler (2004)
Comprehension strategies are conscious plans — sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. Comprehension strategy instruction helps students become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own reading comprehension. The seven strategies here appear to have a firm scientific basis for improving text comprehension

By: Akimi Gibson (2004)
This article provides tutors with proven techniques for helping students acquire comprehension skills and strategies. In addition to building background knowledge about comprehension, it looks at six comprehension strategies and activities that support eachstrategy.

By: Valerie G. Chapman, Diane Sopko (2003)
Combined-text books integrate a story format and an expository or informational format within one book. When used for instruction, combined-text books are best read in layers: illustrations; informational text; narrative text; and additional details, such as sketches and page borders. Addressing various layers individually during read-alouds provides a perfect opportunity to model revisiting text for various purposes.

By: Beth Antunez (2002)
Find out how teachers can play to the strengths and shore up the weaknesses of English Language Learners in each of the Reading First content areas.

By: Texas Education Agency (2002)
How can classroom reading instruction help poor readers — indeed, all students — become more like good readers? Research suggests that the answer may lie in providing students with instruction that both teaches them the comprehension strategies that work so well for good readers and helps them to develop the necessary metacognitive awareness of how and when to use these strategies.

By: Texas Education Agency (2002)
Effective comprehension instruction is instruction that helps students to become independent, strategic, and metacognitive readers who are able to develop, control, and use a variety of comprehension strategies to ensure that they understand what they read. To achieve this goal, comprehension instruction must begin as soon as students begin to read and it must: be explicit, intensive, and persistent; help students to become aware of text organization; and motivate students to read widely.

By: Texas Education Agency (2002)
Based on research and effective practice, these strategies help students learn how to coordinate and use a set of key comprehension techniques before, during, and after they read a variety of texts.

By: Texas Education Agency (2002)
The purpose of reading is comprehension — getting meaning from written text. Find out what else research tells us about the active process of constructing meaning, and how good readers consciously employing comprehension strategies.

By: Judith Gold, Akimi Gibson (2001)
This article discusses the power of reading aloud and goes a step further to discuss the power of thinking out loud while reading to children as a way to highlight the strategies used by thoughtful readers.

By: Judith Gold, Akimi Gibson (2001)
Children learn when they make connections between what they hear and what they know. One method parents can use to help make these connections is called a think aloud, where you talk through your thoughts as you read.

By: Michael Pressley (2000)
Without a strong background in basic skills like decoding and vocabulary-building, reading comprehension is impossible. This article offers research-based strategies for building on these and other skills to increase student understanding of what is read.

By: Joanna P. Williams (2000)
Some children can master decoding and still be poor comprehenders. Learn what interventions have been found to help these children read narrative and expository texts more strategically.

By: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000)
The National Reading Panel identified three predominant elements to support the development of reading comprehension skills: vocabulary instruction, active reading, and teacher preparation to deliver strategy instruction.

By: Learning First Alliance (2000)
Children need strong vocabularies, rich background knowledge, and well-developed comprehension strategies to become successful comprehenders. Learn about effective practices for teaching vocabulary and comprehension.

By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In first grade, children begin to read simple stories and can write about a topic that is meaningful to them. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support first grade literacy skills.



By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In second grade, children begin to read more fluently and write various text forms using simple and more complex sentences. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support second grade literacy skills.



By: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1998)
Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In third grade, children continue to extend and refine their reading and writing to suit varying purposes and audiences. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support third grade literacy skills.

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943