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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reading Comprehension Strategies for Stories


Helping your students to develop excellent reading comprehension skills can help them to succeed in academics as well as life.  But simply decoding words is not enough.  Successful readers must remember content, understand inferences, maintain focus and make connections. It is a comprehensive process that requires mindful pre-reading activities, reading activities and post-reading activities.

Pre-reading Strategies

1.     Reading a summary of the chapter helps students to conceptualize main ideas so that they can read deeper and prepare to visualize the content.
2.    Questioning prior knowledge about the topic can help students make connections and it can capture their interest.
3.    Skimming a prior chapter or reviewing personal notes can help to bring back the story line or main idea for the reader.
4.    Predicting what will happen in the story can help to engage learners imaginations and creativity.

Reading Strategies

1.     Underlining important characters, settings and events can help the reader document important details.
2.    Annotating or taking notes in the margins can help students to document their thoughts and focus on important events or ideas.  Symbols such as S for setting and Þ for important event can help students to be mindful of key features and actions.
3.    Pretending to be a movie director and trying to make the characters and setting come alive can help students remain engaged and can improve memory for the story.

Post-reading Strategies

1.     Using a notebook or sticky notes to record 3 to 5 bullets that summarize each chapter can help the reader pull the story together.  In addition, this strategy can also be used to help students to write a summary of the book.  Furthermore, jotting notes can also offer a preview when the student returns to read another chapter.
2.    Drawing a picture or more for each chapter that summarizes the events can help students to develop their visualization capacity.
3.    Creating a timeline as the reader progresses through the story can clarify the structure and the sequence of events.  Colorful drawings can also be added to the timeline to help students imagine important details.
4.    Making marks in the book where there are descriptive sections or character descriptions can be a good strategy for students that have trouble visualizing while reading.  When they reach the end of a page or passage, they can go back and visualize the events and scenes.

I hope you found these strategies helpful.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  If you would like a free handout of these strategies click here.


To learn more about academic strategies as well as other helpful learning tools, consider purchasing Planning Time Management and Organization for Success. This publication offers methods and materials that teach learning strategies, time management, planning and organization (executive functioning skills).  It includes questionnaires, agendas, checklists, as well as graphic organizers.  You will also find advice and handouts for math, memory, motivation, setting priorities and incentives programs.  What’s more, the materials accommodate learners of all ages.  Lastly, I offer a free sample assessment from the publication too, as well as a free video on executive functioning.  To Access this Click Here
Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/www.goodsensorylearning.comwww.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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