Comprehension questions are designed to assess a student's understanding of reading text. Comprehension questions can be written in literal format with a definitive right or wrong answer, or they can be analytical in nature, requiring the reader to make connections between the text and their own personal experience. In either case, comprehension questions have text clues that help the reader to best answer the question. Teaching students how to identify text clues will help them to successfully answer comprehension questions.
Read the comprehension questions before reading the text. Students who read the questions before they read the text will get a clear idea of what they should be looking for while reading. They will be analyzing text as they are reading.
Teach your students to mark up text as they read. If possible, have students star, highlight or underline key phrases that will help them to answer the comprehension questions. If your students are not able to write on the text, teach them to make notes on key phrases. This way they won't have to remember every detail from the story.
Reread the text. Even though you have taught your students to take notes and mark up the text, there is always the possibility that they missed a key piece of information. Have your students reread the text at least twice, possibly more, to make sure they covered everything.
- Read the questions before reading the text so you know the information to search out.
- "Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding"; Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis; 2000
- StudyTips.org: Reading Comprehension Tips
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