High School

Students who struggle with reading comprehension

How can Reading Comprehension Affect High School Students?

Students who can decode text (read fluently) but who can not understand what they are reading may have difficulty with reading comprehension. While difficulties with comprehension are often found in students who have learning disabilities, many students who have not been identified as having these disabilities still struggle with comprehension. In high school the more difficult subject matter and emphasis on reading affects almost all of the classes that they are taking including history, science, and many elective classes. When we find that students have reading comprehension problems the question becomes what can we do to improve it?

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Why teach comprehension in High School

Ask Questions, Summarize, Vocabulary, Predictions

Teachers should start by first modeling the four strategies, then guiding the students as they used them. As they are guiding the students they should assess the students, and provide more feedback as needed. After reading each paragraph students are told to ask questions, summarize what they read, clarify unknown words or text, and make predictions as to what will happen in the next paragraph.


Question Answer Response

When using QAR its is suggested that teachers use higher end questions that promote thought and discussion about the text that the students have read to promote comprehension

Main Idea Strategy

This strategy has four steps,

1.getting started - students should be given a pre-test to find out what they understand when reading. There are two sections, one to highlight key points and talk about what each paragraph says and the second to answer comprehension questions.

2.teaching the strategy - teachers teach the strategy one step at a time, first teach pre – skills, then describe the strategy, show them how details are related, and practice paraphrasing. Teachers then model the strategy.

3.practicing the strategy -after the students know how to use the strategy, they are given passages that are below their reading level to practice the strategy with guidance from the teacher before they are given passages at their current reading levels.

4 post-testing students and generalizing strategy use


TWA stands for Think before reading, Think while reading and Think After reading. Think before reading asks the reader to ask what the author’s purpose is, what they know, and what they want to know.

Think while reading focuses on reading speed, linking knowledge and re-reading.

Think after reading focuses on the main idea, summarizing information and asks the reader what they learned.

Teachers should model this strategy and have a guided lesson to ensure that students use the strategy correctly.


Title, Examine, Look, Look, Setting

First students are told to read the Title and form clues as to what it may be about.

Next, they Examine by skimming through the passage looking for more clues as to what it is about. They Look for important words, this may trigger prior knowledge, and then Look for words that they think are hard and find out what they mean. Finally students look again at it, this time for clues about the Setting, where it is, dates, different periods of time, descriptions of where it is and the area it is located


Ask, Read, Tell

This strategy has students first ask questions about what the book may be about based on the title. Next students read a chapter at at time. Students then tell what they read about to check for understanding. This is a good strategy to use in small or even large groups because the students can discuss what they have read together and learn from each other.

Carla Esworthy

I am a Special Education k-12 major with a concentration in reading. I hope to be able to work in the high school setting helping students be successful and reach for their dreams!