How to Teach Reading: Planning and Execution

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  • 0:01 The Skill of Reading
  • 1:03 Know the Standards
  • 2:09 What Evidence?
  • 3:14 Instruction
  • 4:33 Assessment
  • 5:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Feeling overwhelmed with the immensity of teaching reading comprehension? Watch this video lesson to learn four easy steps to plan and execute reading lessons.

The Skill of Reading

As an English language arts teacher, perhaps the most important aspect is teaching reading comprehension. This is because reading is truly an essential skill for all people in all walks of life. Even in simple everyday tasks, a person relies heavily on reading skills. Street signs, personal emails, social media, the newspaper - reading any of these inaccurately can have dire consequences. In anything a person does in life, reading will be a part of it.

The trick with teaching reading comprehension is that it is so different from the other subjects. There is no one true answer like in a math problem. You can't simply teach one method, do a few practice problems, and then move on. Reading is a skill that constantly adapts and changes. There are so many types of reading materials and types of reading skills needed to comprehend the written word. This lesson will go through a step-by-step process to help you plan and execute reading lessons in the classroom.

Know the Standards

The first step for any reading teacher is to know the standards. Every state has different standards, which are the guidelines for what each student needs to be able to do by the end of the grade level. There are numerous reading standards, each with a different focus. To help us with this video lesson, we will use a standard from the state of Ohio for the 6th to 8th grade band level.

Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

Looking at this example standard, as the teacher, you should immediately see some overall concepts you must teach. The terms 'theme', which is the message or moral of the story, 'setting', which is the time, place and social situation, and 'plot', which are the events in the story, need to be familiar to your students. For whatever piece of literature you decide to use in your class, you need to make sure to address those concepts in various lessons. Overall, you must find the important concepts you need to cover in your state's standards.

What Evidence?

The second step after you analyze your standards is to determine the evidence that will prove the students have learned a particular skill. For our sample standard, you could ask yourself, 'What activity will demonstrate that a student understands the importance of the theme?' Note how this is just one small part of the whole standard.

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