Reading Strategy Instruction


"Text comprehension occurs most readily if the reader is engaged in an active dialogue with the text or the author of the text." Louisa C. Moats in LETRS, Module 6 - Digging for Meaning:  Teaching Text Comprehension," (Sopris West, 2005)

"This emphasis on actively engaging the reader in a dialogue with the text as a means to comprehension reflects a constructivist view of reading, generally regarded as the "The most current psychology of learning" (Fosnot, 1996).  Pearson and Stephens (1994) report that constructivism is a term used by contemporary reading experts to explain how a reader processes text.  In the constructivist model, teachers do not transmit knowledge to passive learners; instead, learners actively construct meaning by relating new information to what they already know, using reasoning supported by strategies.  The teacher's role is to introduce and encourage strategies that assist this understanding, in a non-formulaic way that helps students become increasingly metacognitive, that is aware of their own thinking process."  Linda Hecker, Landmark College



The National Reading Panel identifies the following comprehension strategies found to be most effective (each being systematically and directly taught):

  1. Generating Questions
  2. Answering questions to find information that is literal, inferential, and associative (links to information beyond the text)
  3. Using graphic and semantic organizers
  4. Using story and text structure as a guide
  5. Monitoring one's own comprehension and utilizing fix-up strategies
  6. Summarizing


Text Marking is systematically taught and reinforced in all areas of instruction through the use of:

  • Underlining
  • Highlighting
  • Using symbols to track reactions
  • Margin noting


Strategy Use with Fiction and Nonfiction


Classification of Reading Strategies


Before Reading

            Previewing the Text

            Activating Prior Knowledge

            K-W-L Strategy

            Prediction Making

During Reading

            Prediction Making

            Using Syntactic Information

            Drawing Inferences

            Identifying important ideas

            Crosschecking Sources of Information



            Adjusting Strategy Use to Purpose

            Making Connections


            Reviewing and Reflecting


            Repeated Readings