Reading » Reading Strategy Instruction

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):
  • Generating Questions
  • Answering questions to find information that is literal, inferential, and associative (links to information beyond the text)
  • Using graphic and semantic organizers
  • Using story and text structure as a guide
  • Monitoring one's own comprehension and utilizing fix-up strategies
  • 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
  • Questioning
  • Self-corrections
  • Adjusting Strategy Use to Purpose
  • Making Connections


  • Reviewing and Reflecting
  • Summarizing
  • Repeated Readings
  • Questioning