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25 Ideas and Resources for Teaching Comprehension in the Classroom

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 3 min read

What will the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies look like in your classroom?

A solid plan for how you will explicitly teach your students’ comprehension skills is crucial. This builds the foundation for creating skilled readers who don’t just read but interact with the text.

This blog article will outline how I tackled the teaching of comprehension skills in my classroom. You may wish to tailor my ideas to suit your age group or perhaps you need to incorporate my ideas into an already existing school comprehension program. Either way, I hope it gives you some inspiration for how to build and encourage confident readers!

As I was an early years teacher, I focused on one comprehension strategy at a time! I felt spending time with each strategy helped to cement each comprehension skill into my students’ little brains!

The first thing you need to ensure is that you have access to visually exciting comprehension strategy posters, activities and comprehension texts.


Visual Displays

I would begin the week with placing the poster, that outlined the strategy we were focusing on for the week, on a comprehension strategy display.

Our Reading Comprehension Strategies posters are bright, informative and will help guide your students with the vocab associated with each skill.

Reading Comprehension Strategy Posters

I would also use our Comprehension Goals and ‘I Can’ Statement cards to set a goal for the week. Allow students to see how they have progressed with a visual display of goals they have mastered.

Create motivated learners who take ownership of their learning by creating a visible learning environment.


Activities and Worksheets ?

Once your displays are sorted and the explicit teacher instruction of the comprehension strategy you are focusing on has been taught, it is important to organise some activities and task cards associated with that particular strategy.

Our extensive comprehension packs are the perfect start up kit. Each pack includes a variety of visual displays, activities, comprehension texts, suitable questions, and worksheets that relate to a wide variety comprehension strategies.

I found these plastic A4 document folders at my local cheap shop, they are just the perfect size to hold all of the resources for each strategy.

Get organised with these packs so that you can really focus on your students achieving their comprehension learning goals.

Author's Purpose Comprehension Pack

Finding Word Meaning Comprehension Pack

To download these packs, click on the links below:


Introduce the Reading Detectives ?️

While you are focusing on a particular comprehension strategy, see if there is a matching detective from our Guided Reading Detectives resource pack.

Some of our Reading Detectives may link to a number of comprehension strategies.

Here is a list of the Reading Detectives and possible comprehension strategies that I believe fit nicely:

Detective Connector Compare and contrast

Detective Word Finder – Find word meaning in context

Detective Predictor – Make predictions and identify authors purpose

Detective Clarifier – Recognise cause and effect, distinguish between fact and opinion

Detective Questioner -Draw conclusions and make inferences

Detective Summariser – Find the main idea, recall facts and details, understanding sequence and summarise

Once you have worked out the best detective for the strategy you are focusing on, introduce them and use that detective during your guided reading sessions.

All the students will be that detective for the week, or however long you are spending on that strategy. This is a fun way to consolidate the comprehension strategy you are focusing on.

Why not encourage them to get dressed up as the detective?

Reading Detective Bookmarks


Practise, Practise, Practise

Depending on the skill level of your students, it is important to continually expose them to reading and answering questions about the text. We have a huge range of comprehension texts and questions. In these texts, students apply a range of comprehension strategies to locate key information and link ideas when reading a variety of text types. Here are some of my favourite:

Image of Comprehension - Roald Dahl

teaching resource

Comprehension - Roald Dahl

A comprehension activity using a biography of Roald Dahl.

Teach Starter Publishing5 pagesYears: 3 - 4
Image of Comprehension - Stop Polluting The Ocean

teaching resource

Comprehension - Stop Polluting The Ocean

A comprehension activity using a persuasive text.

Teach Starter Publishing4 pagesYears: 3 - 4
Image of Comprehension - Why Bears Have Stumpy Tails

teaching resource

Comprehension - Why Bears Have Stumpy Tails

A comprehension activity using a narrative text for lower grades.

Teach Starter Publishing5 pagesYears: 3 - 4
Image of Comprehension - Hansel and Gretel

teaching resource

Comprehension - Hansel and Gretel

A comprehension activity using a known fairy tale.

Teach Starter Publishing5 pagesYears: 3 - 4
Image of Comprehension - Homework  is Unnecessary

teaching resource

Comprehension - Homework is Unnecessary

A comprehension activity using a persuasive text for lower grades.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: 3 - 4
Image of The Park - Comprehension

teaching resource

The Park - Comprehension

A comprehension activity using poetry.

Teach Starter Publishing4 pagesYears: 3 - 4
Image of Comprehension - Family Day At The Beach

teaching resource

Comprehension - Family Day At The Beach

A comprehension activity using a recount for lower grades.

Teach Starter Publishing4 pagesYears: 1 - 2

Another fantastic resource is our 60 Comprehension Strategy Task Cards, 144 pages of amazingly engaging comprehension texts and matching questions!

Comprehension Strategy Task Cards

6 Comments

Login to comment
  • Denise Mendham
    ·

    Fantastic collection of resources. Saves a lot of time, Thanks

    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      ·

      You're most welcome Denise. Thanks for your lovely comment.

  • Margie Ray
    ·

    Fantastic post. I love the way there are links throughout to download the resources. Thank you for making it so easy to teach English!!

    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      ·

      Thank you for your kind words, Margie! We are so happy that you have found this blog to be useful in your teaching! Kind regards, Holly

  • Alexandra Pate
    ·

    I thoroughly enjoy reading the blogs and downloading the content Teach Starter post! Beyond impressive! Thank you for saving me time!

    • Holly (Teach Starter)
      ·

      Thank you for your lovely feedback Alexandra. I am so glad this blog and our resources save you precious time! Kind regards, Holly

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