Comprehension throughout the content areas:
Teaching comprehension is a challenging task for many of us. You may find many comprehension "activities" available for your students to do in workbooks and online but these will probably have limited effect unless they are used in conjunction with authentic approaches to helping students think and talk about what they are reading and what it all means. It is important to spend time actually teaching skills and strategies while engaging students in rich inquiry around texts. Effective comprehension instruction teaches students strategies that they will be able to use independently to find meaning when working by themselves. In essence the goal of reading comprehension instruction is to build more thoughtful, strategic, independent readers rather than to simply understand what any individual text might be about. Research tells us that meta-cognitively focused approaches are effective. Teach them explicitly WHAT the strategy is, HOW to use it and WHEN it is likely to be effective. The resource sets below will give you some easy-to-follow information for teaching comprehension effectively while engaging students as active, thoughtful and reflective readers.