Introductory Challenge


Chances are, you remember being bored in school at times when the teacher had the whole class read an assignment silently, fill out a worksheet, and then turn the worksheet in. As you might guess, this is not an effective way to help students enjoy reading and improve their reading skills.

Because high quality teaching is the most important factor in improving students’ reading comprehension, it’s important that teachers and paraprofessionals who work with students use effective instructional methods. Generally, the most effective methods give students an active role in the reading process. For example, having students discuss a story from one character’s perspective has been shown to improve their ability to re-tell the story. This kind of active approach is especially important for struggling readers, who are at a disadvantage with routine paper-and-pencil tasks, such as filling out a worksheet.


As you work with the materials in this unit, see if you can come up with some of your own ideas for offering students a more active role in reading in order to build their vocabulary knowledge, their skill in making inferences, or their ability to use conventional features of texts.