Group comprehension standards by thinking skills

Whether you teach kindergarten or high school, mapping out a plan for teaching all of the grade-level reading comprehension standards for literature and informational text can be overwhelming. This is illustrated by the fact that these two strands alone represent up to 20 different areas of mastery in the college and career-ready standards.

However, as noted by Calkins, Ehrenworth, and Lehman in Pathways to the Common Core, the skills for reading literature and the skills for reading informational texts are reciprocal.

In other words, readers apply a common set of thinking skills when tackling both types of text. It’s not a matter of reading one way for literature and a different way for informational text.

With that in mind, rather than finding time to teach all the literature and informational text standards in isolation, it makes sense to pair reading comprehension standards together when the skills overlap.

For example, instruction on summarization applies to both literature and informational text. Similarly, teaching students how readers analyze author choices is relevant in both literature and nonfiction. Additionally, the overall comparative thinking process is the same regardless of the genres being compared.

Realizing that reading literature and reading informational text are two sides of the same coin can streamline both your planning and your instruction.

The emphasis shifts away from teaching about a single text or text type. Instead, the focus is on the most important part of reading comprehension instruction—teaching thinking.

Comprehension Playbook learning center

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