Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Direct Instruction: Comprehension Strategies

Direct Instruction: Comprehension Strategies


As part of a varied curriculum, explicit instruction in reading comprehension strategies from teachers can help older students use strategies meaningfully and flexibly. By focusing on an individual strategy, teachers can help students develop Metacognition around when and how to use different strategies to deepen reading comprehension. This is particularly helpful for older students who often encounter more complex texts as they progress through high school.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher uses a complex text to teach her tenth grade students how to close read. She teaches different annotation techniques, such as identifying the main idea and asking questions, and then models them through think-alouds.

  • Students can become more effective readers when they are explicitly shown how to use strategies like summarizing, asking questions, Inferencing, and monitoring comprehension. Direct Instruction can be integrated into everyday lessons along with student-directed practice opportunities to maximize effectiveness and increase Disciplinary Literacy. Using a model like "I do, we do, you do" provides scaffolding that can help students increase Speed of Processing and move strategies from Short-term Memory to Long-term Memory.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Starting at 5:55, learn how Subtext allows students to apply their comprehension strategies to a text. By providing features that promote discussion like annotations, questions, polls to the text, students deepen their engagement while reading a text.

  • It is important that as students learn new strategies, they have scaffolded support to master and independently apply them. Developers can include explicit instruction using avatars or other digital components to model and explain explicit comprehension strategies with multiple stages.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy