Comprehension Strategies: Application
How will I engage learners before, during and after reading the text?
Choose two strategies at each of these three phases e.g.
Two things to do before, during the after you read the text
Before During After
Pre-teach key words Create bookmarks as you
go through the text
Reconstructing the text
through turning the
paragraph into a diagram
Interacting with the text/words
Match word with definition
Bookmark – what do learners know before they read, what does the text
remind them of, how can they turn the text into something else?
What I know
What I want to know
What I learned (what I will know at the end)
K W L
What I know What I want to know What I learned
Before During After
KWL is about tracking learning and interacting with the text. It is an instructional
reading strategy that is used to guide learners through a text. Learners begin by
brainstorming everything they know about a topic. This is recorded in the K column
of the chart. Then they generate a list of questions about what they want to know
about the topic and these are listed in the W column of the chart. After reading,
learners answer the questions that are in the W column.
The new information that they have learned is recorded in the L column of the KWL
chart. It is a good idea to have a common chart displayed on the board or screen in
addition to supplying each learner with their own individual chart on which to record
their information. Discuss with learners what they wrote in the K column. Encourage
them to look for answers to their questions in the text as they read it. Discuss the
information they recorded in the L column. Encourage them to research any
questions in the W column that were not answered by the text.
This is a framework for helping learners to ask questions of a text, seek answers, note
details and provide a source for this information. A chart is used.
QuADS moves beyond KWL in that is pushes learners to use research and recording
Qu A D S
Learners list the
have about the
topic in this
Learners record the
arrive at in this
Learners expand or
including details in
the source of the
answer in this
Another example of interacting with text is the 3:2:1 Strategy
3 things I learned
2 things I found interesting
1 thing I still do not understand
3 2 1
3 things I learned 2 things I found interesting 1 thing I still do not
Make up 6 sentences in a grid. Ask learners if they agree/disagree with each one or if
they think the statements are true or false (T/F).
Will I agree with these after I read the text?
The teacher directs the learners what to look out for.
Scanning, skimming and summarizing
Teach learners to skip over some material and still continue reading. Teach them how
to skim read.
Teach them the structure/sitemap of textbooks; indices and tables of contents.
Make it explicit. Start with learners’ language.
Skim to find the section.
Scan to read the particular information in that section.
Skim the dictionary to find a particular section. Scan the meaning of a word e.g.
Kashrut. This can be applied to any text.
This helps learners to access information more effectively and become faster readers.
Survey, Question, Read, Review, Recall
Learners use skimming techniques to get a flavour of the text and identify questions
they want answered by a more thorough reading. Oral activity – whole class initially.
Approaching the text in an active way, anticipating and expecting that their questions
will be answered, information found and meaning revealed.
Look at the cover,
What do you
know about the
What is the
in writing this?
Is this fact or
Is there any
evidence of bias?
Ask yourself what
is this about
What do I need to
questions I have
What evidence is
there for the
Read the passage
identify the main
ideas and details.
Can you follow
the sequence of
between facts and
Reread the parts
you think are
important and any
parts you are not
Note key points.
This is done with
the book closed.
Have the questions
Remember the key
words or main
Working with Texts
The following are extended interactions with texts
Process stages Teaching strategies
1.Activation of previous knowledge
2. Establishing purposes
3. Locating information
Situating the learning in
4. Adopting an appropriate strategy Metacognitive discussion
5. Interacting with text
6. Monitoring understanding Teacher modelling
7. Making a record
8. Evaluating information Modelling
Discussion of biased texts
9. Assisting memory
10. Communicating information
Writing in a range of genres
Other alternative outcomes
Reading for Meaning Exercises
Marking a text Highlight main points. Annotate, underline or circle important parts/main points.
Helps learners analyse, understand and remember content. Use colours for good
visual effect. Use 2 colours to compare/contrast … advantages/disadvantages
Scan text and find these four keywords…
Underline in red the sentence that tells you why …
Underline in blue the sentence that tells you where…
Underline in black the sentence that tells you how …
Place key word in margin as a reminder of content.
Alternative to highlighting is to use stick notes. Give learners 5 post-its and ask
them in pairs the most important key points of the text.
The learning is in the completing, the searching the text and the discussion around
it – so don’t do it for them! Allow learners search the text. Use skimming and
scanning to categorise and clarify their learning. In pairs, fill in a table with
headings (like this table).
Fill in the
To reinforce key words and key concepts that are relevant to the topic.
Can supply key words or leave learners to search the text. Work in pairs.
Cloze exercises Oral exercise for pairs/groups. Cloze = complete missing parts of a passage. Not
an individual, written activity with predictable outcomes. It is an activity carried
out orally and in groups of at least 2. Learners are given text with words deleted
at regular intervals. Paragraph 1 is intact so they get a gist of the piece and a sense
of the style and purpose. They read it silently or 1 reads it quietly for the group.
When s/he comes to the first deletion s/he invites suggestions for the missing
word. Justify it. There may be several right answers. It is all about talking,
negotiating, clarifying, justifying. Whole class discuss solutions. Highlight clues
to the solutions that are contained in the text.
putting them in
the right order
Asking learners to put a ‘mixed up’ piece of text into the correct order – read the
text carefully and make sense of the ideas contained within. These are the
instructions for _____. The sequence is mixed up. Put the sentences in the correct
order by matching the number in the table with the correct letter e.g.
Or write out the instructions for …. In the correct order in the table below:
Reading with the aim of completing a task will focus the reader on the text.
Learners read the text closely, with the help of a task. Matching the heading is
one such exercise that allows learners to focus their reading. Learners are asked to
read a piece of text and choose appropriate labels or headings for each paragraph.
The teacher provides headings for learners initially. These exercises can be
increased in difficulty or simplified. Learners could come up with their own
headings for the exercise.
Read this paragraph about …
How many paragraphs are there?
Look at the list of words on the right. Each word is a heading for a paragraph in
the story. Can you decide which heading goes with which paragraph?
Spoken Language: Exploratory Talk – Talking to Learn!
Do not rush in to give an answer to
seek an answer. Give learners time to
think or discuss the questions in pairs
or small group and take feedback.
Ask questions worth pursuing –
encourage reflection, analysis,
compare and contrast, problem-
solving and critical thinking. What
might happen if… why do you think
… offer a counter-argument… what
argument could be presented from
another perspective … etc.
Record learners’ ideas and use as
a basis for further exploration.
Use learners’ own vocabulary in
taking and recording feedback
and build on this.
Real questions need to be
considered before answering.
Do not ask for a show of hands.
Nominate learners to speak
Use learners’ answers to develop
further feedback from others.
Use extended exchanges to help
learners to refine their own ideas and
to think critically.
When ideas are recorded on the board
identify the source/author of each
idea. Validates learners’ ideas or
Set homework based on ideas
generated by learners and related
to class discussion.
Classroom and homework should follow on from
ideas developed and refined through exploratory
talk. Avoid simple recall questions. Foster
higher-order thinking and problem-solving.
Encourage learners to explore perspectives,
apply to various contexts, identify the relevance
of the learning for their lives and for others.
Exploratory talk can help
learners master threshold
concepts or tease out