Reserve several instructional sessions to introduce the steps in this comprehension strategy.
Have Students Write Text-Lookback Questions for Assigned Reading. For homework, encourage students to compose several challenging text-lookback questions based on their assigned reading. Use these questions later for class review.
Let students select Reciprocal Teaching passages. Allow the group to vote for a preferred passage from among several possible choices. Choice often increases student motivation and investment.
Start a 'Reciprocal Teaching' Tutoring Program. Once students become proficient in using the Reciprocal Teaching package, consider assigning them as peer tutors to train other students to use Reciprocal Teaching strategies.
Students are taught to boost their comprehension of expository passages by (1) locating the main idea or key ideas in the passage and (2) generating questions based on that information.
Use "Gist" Sentences to Organize Student Research Notes. When students are writing research papers, they often find it challenging to synthesize their scattered research notes into an orderly outline with sequentially presented main ideas.
Students who have mastered the skill of assembling key ideas into "gist" sentences can identify their most important research notes, copy these notes individually onto index cards, and group cards with related notes. The student can then write a single "gist" sentence for each pile of note cards and use these sentences as the starting point for a paper outline.
Collect Exemplary Examples of Student-Generated Questions as Study Aids. If your class is using an assigned textbook, you may want to collect well-written student-generated questions and share them with other students. Or assign students different sections of an article or book chapter and require that they 'teach' the content by presenting their text-generated questions and sharing the correct answers.
Select Student Questions As Quiz or Test Items. You can build classroom interest (and competition!) in using this question-generation strategy by occasionally using one or more student text-questions as quiz or test items.
Use Text Prediction to Prepare Students for Homework Reading. You can apply the Text Prediction strategy to boost student comprehension of homework reading assignments. When assigning the homework passages, take students through the steps in the strategy. Then require that students take their own written predictions home to compare to their actual reading.
Transition from Group to Individual Application of the Strategy. As your students become proficient in applying the strategy, you can gradually train them to use the strategy independently.
As the instructor, you might hand out the three main ideas for a story and then direct students to take each idea and write out (1) a short account of their own experiences with the topic, and (2) a prediction of what the article or story will say about the main idea. You can collect these written assignments to monitor student understanding and follow-through in using the technique.
This intervention builds student motivation and interest by having them participate along with the teacher in repeated public readings of a story across several days.
Let Students Vote on Stories to Be Recited. To build student motivation for this activity, you may occasionally want to let the class vote on a book that they would like to recite. If your range of book choices is constrained by your curriculum, you might offer 4-5 acceptable stories and have students choose from that list.
Make Your Book Recitations Public Events. Oral recitation lessons are intended as public performances. Once your students become comfortable reading aloud to an audience, you might invite other classes or parents to attend your final readings.
Another idea is to help your students to turn an oral recitation lesson into a community service experience. For example, students might ask residents of a nursing home to select a story that they would enjoy hearing and then visit the facility to give an expressive reading.
By constructing "mental pictures" of what they are reading and closely studying text illustrations, students increase their reading comprehension.
Have Your Students Become More Active Reading Participants. As your students become more adept at using mental imagery and text illustrations to comprehend their reading, enlist them in critical discussions about the strengths or drawbacks of a particular book, chapter, or article. How clearly does the author write? Is it easy or difficult to form mental pictures of the passage's content, and why? How would they grade the author on the quality and clarity of his or her illustrations?
Use a Giant 'Main Idea Map' to Teach The Strategy. You can make the teaching of this strategy fun and highly interactive by drawing a giant version of the Main Idea Graphic Organizer onto newsprint and laying it on the floor.
Assign each individual in the class to read through a practice passage and write out a summary main-idea phrase and key ideas or facts for each paragraph. Review the passage with the group.
For each paragraph, invite a volunteer to stand on the space on the giant organizer that corresponds to the paragraph and read aloud his or her summary for class feedback. Continue through the passage until all paragraphs have been reviewed and student volunteers have occupied each point on the graphic organizer.