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Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop

Comprehension and Response Put It Into Practice | Comprehension and Response

Choose Activities

In this section, you will apply what you have learned to your own teaching. The three activities are designed to assist you in developing resources for your comprehension instruction. Choose one or more of the activities from the list below.

Activity 1.
Match Books to Strategies

Target comprehension strategies and identify books that best support teaching the strategy.

Activity 2.
Develop a Lesson Plan

Use the principles explored in this session to develop a lesson plan for teaching comprehension strategy. Watch examples developed by the workshop participants.

Activity 3.
Create a Handbook

Collect literary resources for each workshop session in a Handbook for Effective Literacy Practices.

Match Books to Strategies

In this activity, you will target specific comprehension strategies and identify books from your classroom library and school that best support teaching the strategy.

Selecting appropriate books for explicit and strategic instruction is an essential component of planning a successful comprehension strategy lesson. When making decisions for teaching comprehension you should match the book to the strategy:


Try this activity with other teachers in your study group or with teachers during grade-level meeting times.

  1. Target specific comprehension strategies you would like to teach your class.
  2. Identify books from your classroom library and around your school that would be effective in supporting each specific comprehension strategy.
  3. To add a level of higher understanding, identify a theme for each book. Encourage children to make connections between their own experiences and the events in the story, and relate them to the theme.
  4. Record this information on searchable index cards.

For example:




Frog and Toad

Organizing Information: story structure


Brave Irene

Elaborating on Ideas: character description

Reaching goals

Here are some suggestions of genres that are useful in teaching the following strategies:



Folk Tales

Story structure, summarization



General Fiction

Character change

Realistic Fiction

Making connections with child’s own experiences


Sorting and categorizing

You may also choose to arrange these titles by reading format — those books that are best used as read-alouds, shared reading, or guided reading groups.

Assignment: Submit a list of books from your classroom library and the strategies and themes they support.

Develop a Lesson Plan

In this activity, you will use the research-based principles presented in the lecture and your readings to develop a lesson plan for teaching comprehension strategy.

First watch the workshop participants design a lesson plan for the story Stone Soup in grade-level groups. As you watch, note the issues the workshop participants considered in their planning. Use the video image below to locate where to begin viewing.

Video Segment – Develop a Lesson Plan

Find this segment approximately 40 minutes after the beginning of the video. Watch for about 9 minutes.

Before planning your lesson:

  1. Think about these questions based on the video segment:
    1. How did the workshop participants’ planning reflect the principles of explicit and strategic instruction?
    2. What should you consider when selecting books to teach?
    3. How would you have changed or modified the instruction to meet the needs of your students?
  2. Review the principles of explicit and strategic instruction using Dr. Paratore’s lecture posters and your notes.
  3. Print the Lesson Plan Template (PDF) and use it to develop your lesson.

Structure your lesson plan around a book you have taught or plan to teach to your students. Identify the comprehension strategy you want to target. When planning the different stages of your lesson, consider the following questions:

  1. Introduction of the Strategy
    1. What supporting activities could you use to introduce the strategy?
    2. How will you provide background knowledge? Introduce new vocabulary?
  2. Modeling and Demonstration
    1. How will you model and demonstrate the strategy? Will you use other texts?
    2. What support materials are needed?
  3. Guided Practice
    1. How will you prepare students to read the selection?
    2. How will you scaffold student learning as they use the strategy in their reading? How will students respond to their reading using the strategy?
  4. Independent Practice
    1. How will students apply the strategy independently?
    2. What activities will allow them to apply the strategy concept? How will they demonstrate effective strategy use?

Assignment: Submit your lesson plan.

Create a Handbook

In this ongoing project, you will collect literacy resources in a Handbook for Effective Literacy Practices to use in your classroom.

Today, you will create a section focused on comprehension strategies and instruction. Include resources you already use, and plan to use in the future. Place these resources in the section for Comprehension and Response. You may want to include:

Do this activity with your colleagues to create a comprehensive collection of resources and instructional plans.

  • the matched books and strategies you compiled in Activity #1
  • the lesson plan you developed in Activity #2
  • a list of books used specifically for modeling and demonstrating
  • graphic organizers for organizing information
  • other lesson plans you have designed for comprehension instruction
  • a list of books that are versions of the same story
  • questions for response (efferent and aesthetic) to use with any book
  • postreading written response questions to use with any book
  • easy books for struggling readers to practice strategies

Assignment: Submit a copy of your completed Handbook at the end of the workshop series.

Wrap Up: Reflect on Your Learning

In this section, you will review and revise your notes on Comprehension and Response.

Review the notes you have taken during this session. Return to the Comprehension Instruction Chart you completed at the beginning of the session. Add any new ideas and insights about comprehension instruction to the chart. Use your revised chart and the following questions to reflect on the ideas presented in this session. In a paragraph, respond to the following questions:

  • What other issues or questions do you have?
  • What questions were answered during the session?
  • Has your view of comprehension strategies or comprehension instruction changed?
  • What will you do differently in your planning and teaching of comprehension strategies?
  • What will you continue to do in your instruction?

Assignment: Submit your written reflection.

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop


Produced by WGBH Educational Foundation. 2003.
  • ISBN: 1-57680-681-2