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Spotlight on Reading Comprehension 6-Book Set
Ages: 7-10   Grades: 2-5

Teach the reading comprehension skills good readers use!  Students become purposeful, active readers as they develop six research-based reading comprehension skills. 

Outcomes

  • Learn to detect the main idea, identify details, and think about vocabulary and semantics of reading passages
  • Develop specific reading comprehension skills
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Each book in this research-based set has 11 reading lessons with three levels of controlled readability: 2.0-2.9, 3.0-3.9, and 4.0-4.9.  Each lesson consists of a one-page, illustrated reading passage and two pages of these reading comprehension tasks:     

  • questions to detect the main idea and identify details
  • questions about vocabulary and semantics
  • questions targeting the comprehension skill for each book
  • formulate a question related to the story topic
  • a writing activity

The reading comprehension questions are similar to those found on classroom and national reading comprehension tests.  Questions challenge students to think about the reading passage and use reasoning skills.  Most of the questions are multiple-choice with some true/false and oral response questions.

Each book targets a specific reading comprehension skill.  The books may be purchased as a 6-book set or individually.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Characters and Actions
Studying characters and their actions helps students comprehend the story. 

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Comparing and Contrasting
Students compare and contrast information in reading passages and grasp the meaning of what they read. 

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Figurative Language and Exclusion
Well-thought out questions help students understand figurative language and exclusion in reading passages. 

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions
Comprehension questions challenge students to think about what they read and look for hints in the reading passage. 

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Paraphrasing and Summarizing
Students summarize what they read and tell the story in their own words. 

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Sequencing and Problem Solving
Identifying the components and order of events in a story helps students comprehend the stories.  Questions for problem-solving give students a deeper understanding of the stories.

 

Copyright © 2005

Components
6-Book Set: each book 40 pages, answer key
  • Speech-language pathologists play a direct role in the development of literacy for children with communication disorders (ASHA, 2001).
  • Instruction of text comprehension can help children become independent, self-regulated, thinking readers (NRP, 2000).
  • Instruction in comprehension can help students understand, remember, and communicate with others about what they read (NIFL, 2003).
  • Teacher questioning improves students' learning from reading because it gives them a purpose for reading, focuses their attention on what they are to learn, helps them think actively as they read, encourages them to monitor their comprehension, and helps them review content and relate what they've learned to what they already know (NIFL, 2003).
  • Explicitly teaching and reinforcing inference-making leads to better outcomes in overall text comprehension, text engagement, and metacognitive thinking (Borné, Cox, Hartgering, & Pratt, 2005).
  • Summarization is a skill that helps students identify main ideas, generalize what they've read, and recall information needed to answer comprehension questions (NRP, 2000).

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.

References

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2001). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Position Statement]. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from www.asha.org/policy

Borné, L., Cox, J., Hartgering, M., & Pratt, E. (2005). Making inferences from text [Overview]. Dorchester, MA: Project for School Innovation.

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL). (2003). Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from www.nifl.gov/nifl/publications.html

National Reading Panel (NRP). (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction—Reports of the subgroups. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/nrp/upload/smallbook_pdf.pdf

Author(s)

Linda Bowers, Rosemary Huisingh, Paul Johnson, Carolyn LoGiudice, Jane Orman

Biography

Our lively team of speech-language pathologists and educators includes LinguiSystems owners and employees.  Together we have many years of experience in working with students to boost their language, thinking, and reading skills.  We share a zest for life and a passion for high-quality instruction for all students.  We hope the materials we present reflect our philosophy.

Introduction

Story Comprehension To Go was developed in 2003 for students in grades two through five, especially those who have difficulty with reading comprehension tasks.  It includes numerous brief reading passages with reading comprehension questions for each one.  This resource highlights essential reading comprehension tasks, including these:

  • detecting the main idea                
  • recalling details
  • vocabulary and semantics          
  • comparing and contrasting
  • exclusion                                         
  • problem solving
  • characters and actions                
  • figurative language
  • predicting                                       
  • making inferences
  • drawing conclusions                    
  • paraphrasing
  • summarizing

Due to the popularity of Story Comprehension To Go, we developed six books as sequels in the Spotlight on Reading Comprehension series.  Each book includes stories and comprehension questions for detecting the main idea, identifying details, and thinking about the vocabulary and semantics.  In addition, each book includes comprehension questions for a specific skill area.  The six books are:

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Characters and Actions

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Comparing and Contrasting

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Figurative Language and Exclusion

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Spotlight on Reading Comprehension Sequencing and Problem Solving

The readability of the passages is controlled, based on the Flesch-Kincaid readability statistics.  These statistics were revised in 2002; the new statistics yield a higher grade level in most cases than the previous ones.  The range in readability is from grade levels 2.0 through 4.9.  Each book includes eleven passages with the following readability ranges:

          Passages 1-3           Readability 2.0-2.9

          Passages 4-7           Readability 3.0-3.9

          Passages 8-11         Readability 4.0-4.9

The question pages for each passage also ask students to formulate questions about what they have read.  The last task for each passage is a related writing prompt.

Use these passages for groups of students or individuals.  Photocopy the material so each student has a copy.  Encourage your students to highlight or underline key information as they read each passage and to jot down any questions they have.

Research proves that repeated readings improve reading comprehension and that three readings are usually sufficient repetition for a student to grasp the content, assuming a passage is at or below the student's reading competency level.  We recommend training students to read a passage three times for adequate comprehension before trying to answer the comprehension questions.

The reading comprehension questions are similar to those found on classroom and national reading comprehension tests.  Have your students read each possible answer for the multiple-choice questions before they select their answers. 

The answers for most of the comprehension questions are listed in the answer key.  In some cases, the answers are just examples of appropriate responses.  Accept all logical responses as correct.

As you present this information to your students, model your own reading comprehension strategies.  Talk about ways to rescan a passage to find key information and other tips that will help your students improve their reading competence and confidence.

We hope you will find Spotlight on Reading Comprehension a welcome resource to help students understand and find satisfaction in what they read.

Linda, Rosemary, Paul, Carolyn, and Jane