Literacy Strategies for Teachers

Literacy Strategies for Teachers
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  • 0:04 Literacy Strategies
  • 0:39 Making Connections &…
  • 1:53 Questioning & Inferring
  • 2:54 Importance & Synthesizing
  • 3:55 Teaching Reading Strategies
  • 5:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde
The best way for children to grow as readers is for them to constantly practice and engage in reading. Reading research tells us that thinking about what your brain is doing when reading, or being metacognitive, helps one to progress in regard to comprehension. Children need to know what and why they're reading. Implementing specific literacy strategies will help them accomplish this.

Literacy Strategies

Research on reading indicates that good readers use a variety of strategies to make sense of what they read. This is often referred to as making meaning, or literacy strategies. This same research has shown that effective readers use specific strategies when reading that show they understand or comprehend what they're reading. Six such strategies are: making connections, visualizing, inferring, questioning, determining importance, and synthesizing. Let's take a closer look at how these six literacy strategies affect reading comprehension.

child reading

Making Connections & Visualizing

The brain is a learning machine. Everything you do, think, and wonder has the potential to be stored as a neuron, or a cell in your brain. These neurons form communities by branching out and connecting to other neurons. The neurons are grouped by similarities, forming memories that make sense. For example, your understanding of the word 'round' helps you understand and make connections to several objects, including the moon or a ball.

Reading is no exception. When children read, they're reminded of previously stored knowledge, or schema. The books they read can be connected in three ways: text to self, reminding children of something that happened in their own lives; text to text, when a book reminds them of another they've read; or text to world, when the text reminds them of something they've seen in the world at large.

Encourage readers to make connections first text to self, then text to text, then text to world.

All readers make mental pictures, or visualizations, of the words they read. When readers visualize the text, they are then able to understand elements of the story, such as plot, in a deeper way.


To make learning visible, have children draw and talk about mental pictures that a story prompts.

Questioning & Inferring

All readers ask questions as they read. They wonder what will happen next, or what a character is thinking, or when the story will shift. By asking questions, children engage with the text and become more deeply involved, which allows them to understand and comprehend in a rich, powerful way.

Point out the natural questions being asked in your head as you read stories aloud to children. Create a question chart for the books you read aloud, and begin questioning pages in your students' reading notebooks.

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