Comprehension Strategies

Comprehension Strategies
(Information taken from, "7 Keys to Comprehension" by Chryse Hutchins & Susan Zimmerman)

1. Create Mental Images
Good readers create a wide range of visual, auditory, and other sensory images as they read, and they become emotionally involved with what they read.  "I get a picture in my head."  "It is like a movie in my head."

2. Use Background Knowledge
Good readers use their relevant prior knowledge before, during, and after reading to enhance their understanding of what they are reading.  "This reminds me of ..."  "I can make a connection to something that happened to myself or something I read in another book or saw on TV."

3. Ask Questions
Good readers generate questions before, during, and after reading to clarify meaning, make predictions, and focus their attention on what's important.  "I wonder ..."  "What does this mean?"

4. Make Inferences
Good readers use their prior knowledge and information from what they read to make predictions, seek answers to questions, draw conclusions, and create interpretations that deepen their understanding of the text.  "I predict that ..."  "I think this will happen ..."

5. Determine the Most Important Ideas or Themes
Good readers identify key ideas or themes as they read, and they can distinguish between important and unimportant information.  "This is really important to the story."  "This has nothing to do with the story."

6. Synthesize Information
Good readers track their thinking as it evolves during reading, to get the overall meaning.  "Yes, this makes sense now."  "I get it!"

7. Use "Fix-It-Up Strategies"
Good readers are aware of when they understand and when they don't understand text.  If they have trouble understanding specific words, phrases, or longer passages, they use a wide range of problem-solving strategies including skipping ahead, rereading, asking questions, using a dictionary, reading the passage aloud, and asking for help.

*If your child understands that it is great to visualize, make connections to his/her life, asks questions during reading, predicts what is going to happen in the text, and has an ongoing dialogue with the author, then he/she is well on his/her way to understanding that ... the point of reading is to gain meaning.