When reading, it's almost as if you have 2 voices in your head. One voice reads the words that are on the page and the other voice has thoughts related to the meaning of those words. Studying and practicing comprehension strategies models the invisible internal dialogue that goes on in a reader's head. Practicing these strategies guide students to purposefully develop these thoughts.
- Predicting - using the information from the text to guess what will happen next in the story. A prediction is a statement that we are making. As we read further in the text, we need to confirm or change our predictions. Predicting helps us understand the text because we need to ....
- Making Connections - when you make connections, you are realizing when something in the text reminds you of something else. There are three kinds of connections you can make:
- Text-to-Text: when what you read reminds you of something you have read in another text
- Text-to-World: when what you read reminds you of something that is happening in the world
- Visualizing/Picturing - creating a picture or a movie in your mind. Visualizing when you are reading helps you to see what the characters are doing. This assists you to make meaning of the text, understand the sequence, identify conflicts in a story, and make connections.
- Wondering/Asking Questions - asking questions about what you read. Asking questions while reading can include questioning the word meaning, or something about the character, setting, or plot. Questioning shows that you have either missed something in the text and need to figure out what you are missing, or leads you to extend your thinking beyond the book. Questioning shows that you are thinking about your thinking!
- Inferring - using your background knowledge and the words in the text to develop an understanding of what is being implied. Inferring is much like reading the facial cues/body language of a person. The person may not be directly saying, "I am busy, I cannot talk," but their actions are showing you this. In a text, the author will describe the actions of a character or the details of the setting and you must figure out what the author is showing you by using your background knowledge with the text to develop meaning.
- Summarizing - explaining the story using only the most important details including the main character, what they wanted to do or achieve, the problem they encountered, how the problem was solved, and how the story ended.
- We use the: Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then strategy to help students formulate a concise, cohesive summary. The video below shows an example of the SWBST strategy in action.