Comprehension Strategies

Good readers automatically use comprehension strategies to construct meaning from what they read. Newport News Public Schools has adopted the following six universal strategies to teach to our students across all subject areas.

  1. Visualizing: Visualizing is the process of creating pictures or images while reading. Mental images can include sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, and emotions. Good readers form mental images to help them understand, remember, and enjoy reading material.
  2. Inferring and Predicting: Not everything communicated in reading material is directly or clearly stated. Good readers use their prior knowledge and the information in the book to understand implied meanings. Readers take what they know, gather clues from the reading material, and think ahead to make a judgment.
  3. Questioning: Good readers wonder and ask questions to focus their reading and clarify meaning. They wonder what the reading material is about before they read, and they make guesses or predictions about what is happening while they read. They also ask questions after they read to see if they have understand the reading material.
  4. Determining Importance: Noticing important ideas in reading material helps readers identify information that is essential to know and remember. Readers must know the difference between less important information and key ideas that are most important for understanding the text.
  5. Making Connections: Readers understand what they read by making connections between their prior knowledge and the new information in the reading material. They can connect what they are reading to their own lives, another story they have read, or something in the world.
  6. Synthesizing: Synthesizing is the most complex of comprehension strategies. When good readers synthesize, they take individual pieces of information and combine them with prior knowledge. Then, they form a new idea from the pieces of information.
  7. Monitoring Comprehension and Repairing Understanding: Good readers think about their own thinking.  They realize when they don’t understand something they’ve read, and employ a reading strategy to assist with comprehension.