Susan McMillan is a parapro who works in a high school biology class alongside the teacher, Mark Johnson. Susan’s job is to help struggling readers understand their biology textbook and other written materials. Mark has provided Susan with information about different reading strategies that students can use to improve their comprehension of difficult texts, such as the biology book.
Can you think of something about a biology textbook that might present a challenge to some readers?
What strategies can you think of that might help students deal with that challenge?
In the last unit, you learned about the how different parts of written language interact to help students understand what they read. This unit will discuss things that readers bring to the text to help them read and understand what they’re reading. We call this strategic reading, and it is the final step on the road to understanding texts.
Strategic reading involves planning for actions that take place before reading, during reading, and after reading. These actions link the individual skills and techniques a reader possesses to the goal of understanding the text. Readers instinctively use certain strategies depending on the text they’re reading. With good instruction, they can also learn other strategies and how to make good choices about which strategies to use.
What is “Strategic Reading” and Why is it Important?
Reading comprehension happens when a learner puts all the reading skills together so he or she can understand a text. Strategic reading or reading with purpose involves a kind of planning. It’s a plan to read with a particular purpose in mind. Some typical purposes are:
(1) reading in order to learn factual information,
(2) reading in order to perform the steps in a process,
(3) reading in order to broaden your horizons.