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High 5! : Reading Comprehension Strategies Adapted from “’High 5!’ Strategies to Enhance Comprehension of Expository Text” by Susan Dymock and Tom Nicholson printed in The Reading Teacher November 2010Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
A simple 5 step strategy to help improve reading comprehension Does your mind go blank when you are asked, “What was this article (or chapter) about?” Do you write reading notes about an article or book chapter but cannot boil it down to four or five main points? Do you keep asking your professor for some easy strategy on how to summarize texts? If you answered yes, then there is a simply strategy called the High 5! that you can use to help enhance your reading comprehension. It involves 5 steps: 1. Activate Background Knowledge 2. Question 3. Analyze Text Structure 4. Create Mental Images 5. SummarizeLisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
1. Activate Background Knowledge Making connections between what you know and what you are reading, helps improve your overall understanding of the text. Research shows that comprehension is boosted when readers stimulate or make connections to prior knowledge Prior Knowledge = understanding that stems from previous experience either through “hands on” involvement or earlier formal learning (from books or classroom instruction) If you lack prior knowledge, do a quick internet search to find effective websites to gain some basic information so that you have a starting point for reading the text.Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
2. Questioning You should generate and answer question before and during your reading. Good readers continually ask and answer questions while they read. Preceding the reading of the text, ask questions to activate prior knowledge. While you are reading, ask yourself these three types of questions: Right There Questions = factual questions…such as, what are the facts being explained in the text? Think and Search Questions = analytical and inference questions…such as, what does the writer want me to figure out based on the facts? Beyond the Text Questions = assumptive and critical questions…such as, what is not being said here that I should check by doing some background research?Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
3. Analyzing Text Structure Analyzing text structure involves knowing how writers organize information and how the ideas in a text are interrelated to convey a message to a reader. The reader’s ability to see the pattern or the direction the writer is taking in a piece of text has an influence on effective and efficient comprehension. The various types of structure fall under these main categories: 1. Fiction structures – these focus on relating an imagined story generally using the features of setting, characters, and various plot elements. Fiction structures are generally categorized into genres, such as, fantasy, science fiction, historic realistic fiction, etc. 2. Expository structures – these focus on informing, describing, explaining, or defining the author’s subject matter to his or her reader. Expository text can be made up of at least six different structures. These structures are: cause and effect; compare and contrast, time sequence, problem/solution, definition/description, and enumeration or steps to accomplish something 3. Argument structures – these focus on presenting the writer’s view on a particular subject and persuading the reader to hold that same view by presenting evidence or giving reasons. The categories of argument are defined by the type of appeal the writer is using: Ethos, Pathos, or Logos and the form of the argument: inductive, deductive, etc.Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
4. Creating Mental Images Good readers form a picture in their mind of what they are reading. Great readers move beyond just pictures of content to structural images as well. They visualize how the text is structured. For this reason, strategies 3 and 4 reinforce each other. Structure is the key to comprehension…it gets at the writers purpose, whether it is to simply inform their audience , analyze a complex topic, or argue an interesting or controversial issue. Purpose shapes the content of a text and also shapes the mental images the reader creates.Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons ManagerDefiance College ~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
5. Summarizing Summary is “the ability to delete irrelevant details, combine similar ideas, condense main ideas, and connect major themes into concise statements that capture the purpose of reading for the reader”(Block & Pressley 117). To Summarize using the High 5! Strategies follow this methodology: 1. Read the text 2. Identify the text structure 3. Make a diagram of the structure 4. Discard redundant information so only the key ideas remain 5. Circle only the critical ideas that you need for the summaryLisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons Manager Defiance College~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons
Sources: Block, C.C. and M. Pressley. “Best Practices in teaching comprehension.” Best Practices in Literacy Instruction. Ed. L.B. Gambrell, L.M. Morrow and M. Pressley. New York: Guilford, 2007. 111-126. Print. Dymock, Susan and Tom Nicholson. “’High 5!’ Strategies to Enhance Comprehension of Expository Text.” The Reading Teacher 64.3 (Nov. 2010): 166-178. EBSCOhost. Web. 30 Apr. 2012.Lisa Crumit-Hancock, Learning Commons Manager Defiance College~ Pilgrim Library & Learning Commons