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Reading Comprehension Strategies

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  • 0:00 Making Connections
  • 0:55 Visualizing
  • 1:30 Making Inferences
  • 1:50 Determining Importance
  • 2:30 Synthesizing
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jessica Whittemore

Jessica has taught junior high history and college seminar courses. She has a master's degree in education.

Learning to hone the skills of reading comprehension can be difficult. To help in the process this lesson explores visualizing, making connections and inferences, determining importance, and synthesizing text.

Making Connections

Many of us pick up a book and take for granted how easy it is to not only read, but to comprehend what we read. We've long forgotten the days of sounding out letters and taking reading comprehension tests. To refresh our memories on the process and to learn some tools to help young readers along, today's lesson will discuss strategies for reading comprehension.

Our first strategy for reading comprehension is making connections. Using this tactic, readers are instructed to connect their background knowledge to the text they are reading. For instance, if an elementary school teacher is introducing a new fiction book about a boy losing his pet, she could foster making connections by asking students questions like: Do you have any pets? or Have you ever lost a pet? In doing this, she will be helping her students use their own experiences to better comprehend the text.

Visualizing

Another popular strategy for reading comprehension is visualizing. Using this tool, readers are prompted to create mind pictures of what they are reading. Sort of like guided daydreaming, the teacher employing visualizing may asks students to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the pages of the book.

Another visualizing tactic is to have students draw what they are imagining as they read. This is especially helpful when the text being read does not include illustrations.

Making Inferences

Making inferences also helps aid in reading comprehension. Using this strategy, students make assumptions about what is being read. This helps the reader to become invested in the text. To help a reader make inferences, teachers often offer questions like: How do you think the character is feeling right now? or What do you think will happen next? Queries like this aid in comprehension by allowing students to feel ownership of the text.

Determining Importance

Determining importance is also a great way to increase reading comprehension. With this approach, students identify the most important points in the text. It is especially effective when reading nonfiction. This strategy teaches readers to discriminate between the need to know stuff and what is more fluff. When employing this tactic, educators often encourage young readers to play close attention to things like captions, illustrations, and even changes in fonts.

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