Reading Strategies for Older Students

  • Reading without comprehension or understanding is not really reading.  Many children can pronounce words fluently but when asked what they have just read, they are unable to respond.  Although they may score high in terms of reading rate or fluency, they are not really good readers.

    A good reader is someone who has a purpose for reading, whether it is to look for specific information or to read for pleasure.  A good reader is involved in a complicated thinking process as he or she reads. There are strategies that we can teach children to help them become purposeful, active readers.  The following is a list of these strategies.  A printable copy of these strategies and suggested ways to help readers make use of these strategies as they read is available by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

    1.  Making Connections - This involves making connections between prior knowledge and the text.  Readers pay more attention and comprehend better when they think about the connections they make between the text, their lives, and the larger world.

    2.  Asking Questions - Questioning is the strategy that keeps readers engaged.  When readers ask questions, they clarify understanding and read on to make meaning of the text.

    3.  Visualizing - Active readers create visual images in their minds based on what they are reading.  The pictures they create enhance their understanding of the text.

    4.  Making Inferences - Inferring involves taking what the reader already knows, and combined with clues from the text, the reader is able to think ahead to make a judgment or speculate about what is to come.

    5.  Determining Important Ideas - Thoughtful readers must be able to differentiate between less important ideas and key ideas that are important to the meaning of the text.

    6.  Synthesizing Information - This involves combining new information with existing knowledge to form an original idea or interpretation.

    7.  Repairing Understanding - If confusion disrupts meaning, readers need to stop and clarify their understanding.  This is often done by rereading the text or discovering the meaning of new vocabulary.

    - Taken from Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey

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