Ohio Resource Center

Browse Reading Strategies

Setting a Purpose
Setting a purpose is a necessary part of any learning. If students have authentic purposes for what they are doing, motivation and engagement increase. Initially the teacher can help students to set a purpose, but the goal is that students will set their own purposes for new learning and extended engagement.
Synthesizing helps students to see the complete picture and to recognize how their thinking evolves over time. Synthesizing also makes students more likely to remember and to transfer their learning to new situations.
Questioning is a strategy that readers can employ at all stages of reading—before, during, and after reading. Questioning frames the way readers will approach the text and directs their purposes for reading.
Making Inferences
Readers make inferences when they combine their own experiences or prior knowledge with information gathered from the text to create meaning or draw a conclusion that isn't directly stated in the text. Teaching students to make logical inferences helps them discover deeper meaning in the texts they read.
Determining Importance
The strategy of determining importance allows readers to bring hierarchical order to the information and ideas they encounter at every turn of the page. Once readers can determine the big ideas and important facts, they can home in on what is crucial to their understanding.
Visualizing—creating visual pictures or imaging sounds, textures, smells, and tastes—is part of the process of thinking about an experience, whether it is reading a novel or a nonfictional text, solving a math problem, completing a science experiment, or locating information on a globe or map. If the senses are activated, the experience is deeper, richer, and more memorable.
Connecting to Prior Knowledge
Readers who are skilled at connecting to prior knowledge make links with what they know that enable them to grasp more easily what they are learning. In essence, connecting to prior knowledge fosters comprehension.
Comparing/contrasting is a major pattern in expository writing that is often found in content reading. If students can master the strategy, it will allow them to bring order to concepts, which in turn makes the information memorable and leads to successful learning across the curriculum.
Predicting is a strategy that turns reading into an active process that engages students, rather than a rote process in which students just read words. Predicting sets the stage for comprehension.
If predicting sets the stage for comprehension, self-monitoring is the on-stage action that results in comprehension. Self-monitoring impels readers to think about what they are reading, as they are reading, to ensure that they understand what the words mean.