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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:

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

Comprehension Strategy Task Cards


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