What are Content Area Reading Strategies?
Strategies (CARS) are specific actions readers take to make meaning from
Reading is like a conversation between author and reader. Authors
make decisions about how to effectively communicate through a piece of
Readers use specific strategies to help them understand what authors are
trying to communicate.
and Writing Connections
Practice Instruction of Reading Strategies
Informational texts permeate our everyday lives. To become reflective
readers and writers, students need extensive and intensive experience
with engaging, high-interest selections. Strategies need to be modeled
through many examples. Students need guided practice with authentic reading
materials as they are learning how to use each strategy. They also need
opportunities for independent application of the strategies.
Strategies Before, During, and After Reading
a selection, students preview the text. Readers think about the title
of the selection. They make predictions and ponder questions. They set
expectations about what information may be revealed in the text. They
skim for text structure (headings, bold print, italicized words, illustrations
and other visual presentations) that may reveal clues about the text.
Readers think about the author’s purpose for writing the selection.
They set their own purpose for reading. They scan their background knowledge
for relevant information that may help them understand the text. Before
reading strategies focus on setting the stage for reading comprehension.
During reading strategies
focus on problem-solving skills readers use to monitor their
understanding of the text. The strategies include word attack skills,
vocabulary work, visualizing details, rereading for clarification, and
adjusting the pace of reading in order to construct meaning. Readers develop
a repertoire of strategies in order to extract meaning from text.
strategies help students read between and beyond the lines.
They respond to what was read. Readers revisit a selection to closely
examine elements of the text to achieve deeper levels of understanding.
For example, readers revisit the selection to determine the essential
details and themes of the text. Revisit strategies help readers respond
to text, make connections, and evaluate various aspects of the selection.