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During Reading Activity: The Magnificent Seven Comprehension Strategies from Rozzelle and Scearce

Page history last edited by Mary Murray Stowe 12 years, 9 months ago


During Reading Activity:  The Magnificent Seven Comprehension Strategies

(Rozzelle & Scearce, 2009)


Rozzelle and Scearce (2009) suggest the intentional use of comprehension strategies and have presented seven for this purpose (http://files.solution-tree.com/pdfs/Reproducibles_PTAL/Comprehension_Strategies_Template.pdf).  Readers who are able to make meaning from what they have read use strategies but may be unaware of doing so.  For those who struggle with reading, the purposeful use of comprehension strategies is critical to understanding text.


 1.  Making connections to prior knowledge –  Readers should be continually connecting to prior experiences and world events. Experts in the field indicate that background or prior knowledge is basic to the understanding of any material being read.

2.  Inferring and predicting –  Making predictions about what will happen next in a passage assists the reader in reviewing what has been read and subsequently guessing what might happen next. Often this process involves reading “between the lines” to determine what is not directly stated in the passage.

3.  Asking questions  Rozzelle and Scearce suggest three guiding principles here: 

a) Ask questions that clarify meaning, predict what will happen, interact with the author's information, or find a specific answer within the text;

b)  Use sticky notes to ask "thick" questions (have multiple answers); and

c) Use marginilla to ask questions in the margins.

4.  Determining important ideas and summarizing – Students are asked to intentionally look for important information within the headings or in the organization of the passage.

5.  Visualizing  Readers are asked to create non-linguistic representations (http://www.tltguide.ccsd.k12.co.us/instructional_tools/Strategies/Strategies.html), pictures that assist in understanding what is being read, like a movie running in their minds as they read.

6.  Synthesizing and retelling  Readers are asked to identify themes by synthesizing or connecting information found in the passage being read.  Synthesizing is considered to be a higher-order thinking strategy, or HOTS.  Retelling what was read enures that students have understood what was read as well. 

7.  Monitoring and clarifying understanding of text – Constant monitoring and clarifying of understanding while reading requires the use of metacognitive skills.  The use of metacognitive skills can be a powerful tool leading to more critical analysis of material being read and the application or generalization of that information to other areas. 

 Multiple sources discuss the importance of the intentional use of comprehension strategies to ensure that struggling readers make meaning from what they have read.  Often these comprehension strategies can be used in combination.  Tovani (2000), in I Read It, But Don't Get It, refers to comprehension strategies that repair meaning as Fix-Up Strategies.




 Rozzelle, J., & Scearce, C. (2009).  Power tools for adolescent literacy. Bloomington,

            Indiana:  Solution Tree. 


Tovani, C. (2000).  I read it, but don't get it.  Portland, ME:  Stenhouse Publishers.




Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. 2001. Classroom instruction that works:

            Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement.  Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.



Data organized by Denise Gibbs, Ph.D. for a presentation at the Virginia Department of Education on April 14, 2011.






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