Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - a practical classroom guide

Comprehension is one of the most challenging issues facing teachers of reading today. We know that although many students are accurate and fluent decoders, this does not always translate into having a good understanding of the text. In the past twenty five years there has been a growing body of research on reading comprehension. There is compelling evidence to show that we can improve students’ comprehension by the explicit teaching of reading comprehension strategies. So what are these strategies and how do you go about teaching them in the classroom? This book is the result of Sheena’s learning journey and experiences teaching in a real classroom to find the answers to these questions. It is a step by step guide that answers the questions many teachers have about how to go about improving reading comprehension.
The Strategies:
  • activating prior knowledge
  • predicting
  • self monitoring
  • questioning
  • making connections
  • visualising
  • summarising and retelling
  • inferring
  • synthesising
Other useful strategies
  • skimming
  • scanning
  • word attack strategies
  • fix up strategies
Each strategy has its own chapter in the book, which includes:
  • a research quote
  • an explanation of the strategy
  • how the strategy supports comprehension
  • the language we use when using a strategy
  • guided and independent student activities that support the strategy
  • support materials, including strategy starter posters, photocopiable masters, student checklists, bookmarks and certificates.

The book comes with a CD that provides the classroom resources in digital format, making it easier for the teacher to adapt and print to better suit their needs.


The Reading Activity Handbook is an essential reference tool for all teachers of pupils aged 4-14. It provides a collection of brilliantly simple teaching ideas designed to help pupils engage with what they read, deepening comprehension.

You can use the ideas with any reading material in shared, guided or independent sessions. A treasure-trove for busy teachers, the ideas in The Reading Activity Handbook are presented in a simple, practical style with ready-made examples so they're easy to implement. Most can be adapted to be used alongside whatever your pupils are currently reading, from a picture book to a magazine article to a novel.

Potential outcomes are highlighted for every activity, for example 'developing comprehension through in-depth listening or reading', so you can match activities to individual needs. Many activities lead naturally to work in other areas of the curriculum, for example a grid organiser could be used as a planning framework for a science report. The handbook also contains photocopy masters for extra support.
What are the benefits of using reading response activities?
Providing pupils with opportunities to engage in purposeful reading responses has many benefits.
These include:
  • allowing teachers to work with individuals and small groups
  • creating opportunities to observe and monitor students' comprehension
  • providing authentic reading, writing, talking and creative experiences for pupils
  • producing quality work that pupils value.
How will these activities benefit my pupils?
The reading activities in this book will benefit your students by:
  • providing opportunities for choice
  • increasing motivation and engagement
  • deepening levels of comprehension, by requiring them to return to the text for different purposes
  • enabling them to make personal connections with literature
  • developing independence and a positive self-image as a reader.


The Publishing & Display Handbook is a reference of information about classroom environment, display and student publishing. The first three chapters provide guidelines and ideas to assist teachers to create interesting and functional classroom environments. The second part of the book provides a reference of ideas for publishing and display formats to present student work. These ideas can be adapted for use across the curriculum and are able to be used in a number of different contexts.

The Publishing & Display Handbook is suitable for students at all levels of primary/elementary and intermediate/middle schools including students with special needs and gifted and talented students.

This book includes
  • ideas to help create a well organised and interesting classroom environment
  • exciting ideas for classroom display
  • over 80 trialled formats to inspire student publishing
  • over 70 photocopy masters to support student learning and save teacher time
  • student information sheets and checklists to encourage independent learning