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Private: Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop

Building Comprehension Before You Watch | Building Comprehension

Session Preparation

To prepare for this workshop session, you will review the key terms, identify the strategies that you already use, and then read two articles on effective comprehension instruction.



What Do You Do?

Consider some of the practices that effective teachers use to support comprehension. For example, they teach key vocabulary and build background knowledge. They help students establish a purpose for reading, teach text structure, and provide explicit instruction in strategies that students can use when reading on their own. They also provide many opportunities for students to read and respond to texts.

Now, think about the strategies you use to teach comprehension as you answer the following questions:

  • What comprehension skills or strategies do you emphasize?
  • What teaching strategies or practices do you use to teach comprehension? What materials do you use?
  • What are some specific activities you use to engage students in reading and responding to the text?
  • What challenges do you face in your instruction?
  • What challenges do your students face in comprehending texts?
  • What goals do you have? (Complete this section at the end of this session.)

Use the chart below to document your answers and, if you are taking this workshop for credit, save your chart for your Literacy Practices Portfolio.

Components of Comprehension Instruction Chart (PDF)



Examine the Literature

Print out two copies of the Examine the Literature Response Chart (PDF). Then read each article listed below, recording your ideas on the charts during and after reading. When you have finished, save your charts to submit as an assignment.

Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension (PDF)
This article examines how teachers can make a difference by providing good comprehension instruction and ample amounts of time for students to read, write, and discuss what they have read.

Duke, N. K. and P. D. Pearson. “Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension.” In Farstrup, A. E., and S. J. Samuels, eds., What Research Has To Say About Reading Instruction, 205-242. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2002.

What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Comprehension (PDF)
In this article, Laura Pardo explains how teachers can support comprehension by scaffolding the reader, the text, the context, and the transaction that occurs while reading.

Pardo, L. S. “What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Comprehension.” The Reading Teacher 58, no. 3 (Nov. 2004): 272-280.

Series Directory

Private: Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2006.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-815-7