Reading Strategies



Comprehension Strategies


We use the following reading comprehension strategies on a daily basis to improve our comprehension and "think about our thinking." You may like to try some of the comprehension strategies at home while you read. 

Making Connections

  • Means stopping during reading to consider what the text reminds you of in your own life, other texts, or in the world in order to help you understand, or comprehend, the text better.
  • There are three types of connections:
    • Text à Self, Text à Text, Text à World
  • Strategy Starter: This reminds me of…
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Think about what is happening in the text.
    • Ask yourself what this part of the text reminds you of in your own life, in other texts, or in the world.
    • Connect any feelings or ideas you may have had in the past to the text.
    • Ask yourself what you can learn from this connection.



  • Means asking and searching for answers to questions before, during, and after reading. This helps you better understand what is happening within the text and how this connects to your life.
  • Strategy Starter: I am wondering…
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Ask questions throughout your reading that will help you better understand the text.
    • Stop regularly while reading to see if your questions were answered and to consider new questions that have come to mind.
    • Continue reading using the new information you have learned.
    • Finally, think about ways you can answer any remaining questions and consider how your answers help you better understand the text.



  • Means using the author’s words and your schema (prior knowledge) to create a mind picture
  • Strategy Starter: In my head, I can see…
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Identify words the author is using to describe the setting, characters, or an object within the text.
    • Imagine what is happening in the text by using all of your senses.
    • Add specific details from your schema to make the text come alive.
    • Create a mind picture that helps you understand the text.


Making Inferences

  • Means reading “between the lines” and using your schema + text clues to come to a logical conclusion.
    • For example, if the main character has tears streaming down her face, you might use your schema to infer that she is sad.
  • Strategy Starter: I infer that… or The text says (information from text), which means (inference). I know this because (evidence from your schema or the text).
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Look for clues the author is giving you.
    • Think about your own experiences with these clues.
    • Think of an explanation for what the author is trying to tell you based on these clues and your experiences (schema).


Monitoring Understanding

  • Means being on the look out for times when you are confused about a word or part of the text, and using strategies to help you get back on track.
  • Strategy Starter: I am a little confused about…
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Stop when the text isn’t making sense.
    • Think about what word or section of the text you are confused about.
    • Try a Fix Up Strategy to repair your comprehension:
      • Use a comprehension strategy (visualize, question, infer, etc.)
      • Reread
      • Read on
      • Decode (chunk, look for spelling patterns)
      • Use your context clues
      • Recall text elements
      • Use your schema
      • Think about clues the author has given you
    • Check to see if you understand, then continue reading.


Identifying Important Ideas

  • Means using key information in the text to help you fulfill your purpose for reading
  • Strategy Starter: The most important idea(s) in this text is…
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Think about your purpose for reading the text.
    • Look for key words or ideas that help you understand the text and connect to your purpose for reading.
    • Determine which ideas you need and which ones are less important.
    • Ask yourself “What is this text really about?”



  • Means combining clues or details from a text to create your own message or conclusion about the text.
  • Strategy Starter: I used (clue), (clue), and (clue) to help me understand (conclusion).
  • The “Secret” to doing it
    • Store clues in your memory as you are reading.
    • Decide how you can connect these clues to create a message or conclusion.