Friday, August 19, 2011

Using Key Words to Increase Comprehension

A reading strategy that I often used with my lower readers was using key words from the reading selection to make predictions, increase comprehension, and to help students summarize what they read. The process is simple. (This is best used for short reading selections or for single chapters of a novel.)

Step One: The teacher reads the selection before the lesson and chooses 3-5 key words from the story that focus on the main idea/events of the selection.

Step Two: Before reading the selection with the students the teacher should present the words to the students, practice saying the words and discuss their meaning. These words DO NOT have to be vocabulary terms for the story.

Step Three: Tell the students the title of the reading selection and/or the cover of the novel if applicable and have them complete the following sentence: "I think/predict the story will be about ___________" and the students must use all of the key words in their predictions.

Step Four: Have students share their predictions and then read the story.

Step Five: Have students write a summary of what they read on the same paper as their predictions. They must use all of the key words in their summary.

This process helps build predicting skills, fluency, comprehension and summarizing.

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