Skip to main content Skip to main content

Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop

Watch the Video | Comprehension and Response


In this section, you will watch Dr. Paratore’s lecture on comprehension instruction in two parts.

Print Dr. Paratore’s Comprehension Lecture Posters (PDF). Use the posters to take notes on the lecture.

In the first video segment, workshop participants share their questions and challenges regarding effective comprehension instruction in K-2. Dr. Paratore then discusses essential comprehension strategies.

An accompanying lecture transcript (PDF) is also available.

Video Segment – Comprehension Strategies Lecture

Find this segment approximately 3 minutes after the beginning of the video. Watch for about 7 minutes.

After watching this video segment, review your notes and consider these questions:

  • Which comprehension strategies characterize your most proficient readers?
  • Based on your reading and your experience, what other strategies do beginning readers use to make meaning?

Return to your Comprehension Instruction Chart and add any new questions or challenges you may have.

In the second video segment, Dr. Paratore discusses explicit and strategic instruction to promote comprehension. Use the video image below to locate where to begin viewing.

Video Segment – Explicit and Strategic Instruction Lecture

Find this segment approximately 10 minutes and 2 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

After watching this video segment, think about the following statement by Dr. Paratore:

“Research tells us that the more explicit we are about procedures, the more likely children will use the strategy on their own and acquire and use it successfully.”

Then review your notes and consider these questions:

  • Why is explicit instruction critical to comprehension and response? How do children benefit from explicit instruction?
  • What do teachers need to consider when planning explicit instruction?
  • What is the purpose of strategic instruction? How does it promote independent learning from text?
  • How does response differ from comprehension?
  • What factors determine how children will respond to text?

Classroom Excerpts

In this section, you will relate Dr. Paratore’s lecture and your reading to teaching practices in classroom excerpts.

Now you will observe comprehension instruction in four classrooms — one kindergarten, two first-grades, and one first- and second-grade combination. In these classroom excerpts, you will see teachers working with both the whole class and small groups to foster comprehension and response in fiction and nonfiction texts.

Video Segment – Word Study Classroom Excerpts

Find this segment approximately 15 minutes and 10 seconds after the beginning of the video. Watch for about 11 minutes.


After viewing the classroom excerpts, consider these questions:

  • What reading strategies did the teachers emphasize in their instruction?
  • How did the students demonstrate use of these strategies during the lessons?
  • In what ways was the instruction explicit? Strategic? Which lessons clearly reflected explicit instruction? Which strategic?
  • How did the lessons promote both comprehension and personal response?
  • What lessons have you used to teach similar strategies?
  • Would you have done anything differently in teaching any of these lessons?


In this section, you will watch the workshop participants discuss the classroom excerpts.

Following the classroom excerpts, the workshop participants discuss the lessons. Compare your ideas with theirs.

Video Segment – Discussion

Find this segment approximately 25 minutes and 50 seconds after the begining of the video. Watch for about 14 minutes.

After watching the workshop participants’ discussion, consider these questions:

  • How do the ideas generated in the discussion compare with your own?
  • Workshop participants commented on the teachers’ use of questions during all of these lessons. Were the questions used to assess or support comprehension? Did the questions advance comprehension and response to reading? How?
  • In the whole-group discussion, Dr. Paratore said that scaffolding is when “teachers provide children support that enables them to do with help what they couldn’t do on their own.” What evidence of scaffolded instruction did you see in these clips? How did it advance students’ comprehension and response to reading?

Two concepts here are “zone of proximal development” and “responsive instruction.” The ZOPD is seen as the distance between what the learner can do independently and what he/she can do with assistance or “assisted performance.” Responsive instruction is seen as instruction that falls within the zone — that is, not too easy or too difficult.

Robert Rueda, University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education

Series Directory

Teaching Reading: K-2 Workshop


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