There’s a big misunderstanding amongst some teachers that when teaching reading comprehension, the passages that we use, especially in upper grades, need to be super lengthy. That is definitely not true! A short text, or also called a ‘one pager’ can be just as effective. Let’s chat about these comprehension passages and how to best use them!
Comprehension passages are a fantastic way to help students practice reading skills and strategies. If done correctly, comprehension passages are short and specific and more importantly, they are written to support a given set of comprehension skills. For example, a nonfiction text might be specifically written for cause and effect or main idea. The texts are written in a way to give students that skill-specific focused practice they need to help improve their skills.
Ways to Use Comprehension Passages
Comprehension passages are one of the best tools teachers can use in their classrooms to give students practice on a variety of comprehension skills and strategies. Here are a wide variety of ways you can use them in your classroom!
- Use the comprehension passages in small groups to help give students specific support on reading and using comprehension skills
- Use them in reading stations as rigorous practice. Pair them up with graphic organizers as a fun way to hold students accountable and keep the practice open-ended so all students can contribute
- You can also use them in your modeling. If students are working on a novel study, you can use specific comprehension passages to hone in on a skill to read and model for your students so that they can apply that same thinking to their novel.
- Use them for homework as they are quick and specific
- Finally, you can use them for interventions with students who need specific help on a given strategy or skill
Make them More Engaging
Sometimes, teachers get in their heads that comprehension are boring so they steer clear of using them. But that’s not true either! Comprehension one-pagers can easily be turned into engaging activities for students and teachers!
Using engagement strategies such as jigsaws or fishbowls are fun ways to get students to interact with the material in the text. You can also do activities such as concentric circles where one circle of students stands on the inside and another circle of students stands on the outside. The students face each other and interact with their partners as the teacher asks questions and ponderings about the text. At any time, the teacher can instruct the inside circle to move and stop and any point to create new partners.
Along with using engagement strategies, teachers can also have students use their comprehension passages to annotate and use the close reading process. This is an engaging process that allows students to take a step-by-step deep dive into the text with each step given a specific purpose. Students can also color-code, highlight, and interact with the text in many different ways!
What Comprehension Passages are Available?
You can find a ton of free passages on websites such as Read Works and NewsELA. These are wonderful passages but are not always written specifically for a given comprehension skill. To help fill the gap of needing passages that are specific to reading skills, I created some comprehension one-pagers myself! I designed them to be just what strong, comprehension passages need to be: short, rigorous, effective and centered around a given skill.
Each unit comes with 8 different passages, all aligned and written to support the given comprehension skill. Each passage comes with either comprehension questions to help verify the students’ level of understanding OR a graphic organizer for the students to complete. All of the passages also come with DIGITAL versions as well to help create opportunities for digital comprehension practice!
I have units created for the following skills:
- Main Idea
- Author’s Purpose
- Text Structure
- Text Features
- Making Inferences
- Compare & Contrast
- Point of View
- Cause & Effect
Teachers and students absolutely LOVE these passages and use them in a wide variety of ways. I know you will love them too! Make sure to head over to check them out! – Comprehension One Pagers. How will you use yours?
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