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two elementary girls talking about an assignment in class

Comprehension: Introduction

Comprehension is the whole point of reading. Skilled readers do more than decode the words on the page; they understand and interpret what they read. They construct meaning from text. By reading actively and purposefully — and by reading a lot — skilled readers can learn from and enjoy what they read, which motivates them to keep reading. This self-reinforcing cycle of knowledge, satisfaction, and motivation is what we all want for our students.

Certificate of Completion

After completing this module and successfully answering the post-test questions, you’ll be able to download a certificate of completion.

Skilled readers are active

For our students to make sense of what they read, they need to think about and actively engage with text. They need to talk about their reading, too. The discussions that promote comprehension may begin with books we read aloud or, for more fluent readers, books that students read quietly to themselves. By talking and writing about what they read, students deepen their understanding of the text and they are more likely to remember what they’ve learned. Our ability to facilitate a good conversation about books can make a big difference in how much our students get out of their reading.

Engaging nonfiction readers

In Salt Lake City, teacher Margaret Barnes uses a framework called CORI (Concept Oriented Reading Instruction) to teach reading comprehension skills to second and third graders.