Comprehension Road Maps, Grades K-12 Item: 204
Comprehension Road Maps, Grades K-12
by Kristina Smekens
Comprehension strategies should be taught in explicit mini-lessons all year long. A single skill is not mastered in one lesson or even in a week’s worth of lessons. Rather, students need to first STUDY the skill within simple text. Later in the year, they need an opportunity to EXTEND their understanding of that skill as it is applied to various text types. Finally, students DEEPEN their understanding when the skill is used in sophisticated and complex ways.
At the top of each Comprehension Road Map is a suggested list of target skills to teach in yearlong mini-lessons. These color-coded skills are plotted on the 36-week calendar to show the instructional progression from Study to Extend to Deepen.
Along with which skills to teach when, each week also identifies the text type (e.g., L/literature versus IT/informational text) to use. This helps ensure two things: 1) the text complexity is appropriate for the students’ current ability level, and 2) the text types are varied across the whole year. In addition, the close-reading icons sprinkled throughout the calendar indicate when to transition from targeted instruction of one skill to juggling numerous reader thoughts all in one sitting.
Each 36-week calendar is printed front to back on heavy cardstock and offers a suggested progression of skills appropriate for K-1, 2-4, 5-8, and 9-12.