Teaching Comprehension Skills and Strategies Using Mentor Texts

When I taught, we dug deep into books using different comprehension skills and strategies.  While Karis is almost in 6th grade and she reads on an 8th grade level, I would like for her to dig deeper into the novels that she reads.  Using mentor texts (picture books) really helps bring understanding to the text.  I have about 60 mentor texts labeled with each strategy or skill that I plan to teach.

Along with mentor texts, I will be using a resource that I bought on Teachers Pay Teachers which has sentence starters for every skill and strategy.  I was so happy to find this because it’s less work for me!

A Comprehension Strategy is what readers do to solve a problem while reading.

These are:

  • Making connections: text to text, text to self, text to world, and text to media
  • Predictions: what you think will happen next; a continuation of sequence
  • Visualizing: making a picture in your mind of the text
  • Summarizing: most important facts; usually includes setting, characters, problem, and solution
  • Asking questions: who, what, when, where, why, how
  • Monitor and clarify: checking your understanding throughout

A Comprehension Skill is what readers do to understand the text.

These are:

  • Compare and contrast: what is the same and different
  • Sequencing: First, Then, Next, Finally
  • Cause and Effect: What happens and why it happens
  • Fact and Opinion
  • Making inferences: background knowledge plus text evidence (clues); may or may not be answered; feelings of characters, why things happened, what happened
  • Author’s Purpose: To entertain, to inform, to persuade

Over time, I will be writing posts on each strategy and skill and what specific books I will use to teach it.

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