6 Extremely Effective Reading Comprehension Strategies To Spark Student Interest & Understanding

Improving reading comprehension is a gradual process, and these strategies require regular daily reading and practice of techniques to significantly enhance your ability to comprehend and retain information while reading. As Malcolm Gladwell mentioned, any improvement in an area physically or cognitively requires 1000s of hours, translating into years. To improve and become an outlier of reading comprehension, one must read a diversity of short and long pieces of narratives and genres to build vocabulary knowledge, word and sentence fluency, and a clear understanding of sentence and paragraph structure that helps create meaning of content.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Preview the Text

Students can take a quick glance before the plunge – have them survey the landscape of headings, subheadings, and visual snapshots. This brief pre-reading unveils the text's structure and brings out new knowledge, ensuring a richer comprehension of the narrative.

Activate Prior Knowledge

Students can link the new text to their existing knowledge to build a cognitive scaffold, easing the understanding of fresh information. When the familiar information from other narratives links with the novel, comprehension becomes fluid with student understanding and equates with higher interest and enjoyment.

Annotate and Take Notes

Have students create a canvas' of personal ideas – let them underline the key concepts and note understandings in the margins. As their ideas and notes merge with the text, a complementary cognitive relationship forms, enhancing reading flow and comprehension resonates through the text and notes, similar to Robert Greene's 500+ page books that readers love.

Ask Questions

Students can transform the margins into questions inviting creative thoughts with the text. With such questions in the margins, students create pages of dialogue, developing a critical understanding of the text or novel with thought-provoking questioning.

Visualize and Create Mental Images

For the visually creative artistic students, while they read, have them briefly sketch or draw mental images that bring words to life. This visual narrative description materializes concepts into lasting understandings in their mini art gallery of narrative comprehension.

Summarize the Information

As individuals and in small groups, students can take mindful pit stops to write concise, simple sentence summaries in the margins, on paper, or on Google Docs and share in conversation. These condensed reflections act as mini-synopsis, reinforcing comprehension and increasing interest for further exploration.

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