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Ten Top Reading Comprehension Strategies for Teaching Elementary and Middle School Students October 13, 2009

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Ten Top Reading Comprehension Strategies for Elementary and Middle School Students:

1. Main Idea – Can you figure out what is most important about this paragraph, chapter, or story? Can you see the big picture of what all the little details are adding up to?

2. Predicting – What do you think is going to happen and what makes you think that? Were there clues along the way that back up your prediction? Can you point out those clues?

3. Inferencing – Hey… you are a smart cookie! The author didn’t say that specifically… but yet you still figured it out! I guess you made a guess and you guessed correctly. Karen said her best friend was coming over and when Rhonda showed up, you figure out that Rhonda was Karen’s best friend. It’s only logical!

4. Visualizing – Can you imagine that? Can you picture it? Okay… well what would it look like if you could picture it?

5. Asking Questions – As you read… are there things you are wondering about? Are there things that you are reading that don’t make sense to you or you don’t think are logical? There should be things that you don’t understand or don’t seem logical to you… at first. Ask a question… Hmm…

6. Cause and Effect – As you read… for each thing that happens… what made it happen? What were the things that led up to it… that caused it? In science they say that for every action there in an opposite and equal reaction. In reading that lets us know that for every cause there will be an effect and for every effect… there was a cause.

7. Clarifying – Okay, admit it… you’re lost! What confuses you? How can you clarify what doesn’t make sense to you? You can back it up, slow down, and reread so that you can make sense of what you don’t understand.

8. Summarizing – If you understand what you have read, you want to be able to tell someone about it… but you don’t have all day to tell them. They are in a rush just like you! So make it quick and tell them just the most important ideas and what all those important ideas add up to. They will enjoy your summary and… this shows that you understand what you are reading!

9. Making Connections with Your Own Life – You have a lot in common with the people you are reading about! Yes… even the wizards and the talking toads! You all sleep, eat, do activities, and interact with living creatures. Can you think of a similar situation you were in? Maybe you weren’t eating delicious flies like the talking toad… but he probably feels the same way about those flies that you do about a delicious pizza!

10. Compare and Contrast – What’s the same and what different within the story? What’s the same and what’s different between this and other stories? What’s the same and what’s different between what you are reading and how you see the world? What’s the same and what’s different…

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