School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 3. Use strategies to make meaning from text (during reading)

Objective a. Select and apply appropriate strategies to make meaning from text during reading


Prior to this activity, the teacher should ask students what they do when they are reading and become aware that their comprehension is compromised. The teacher should list all of their responses and then review their responses to determine where gaps occur with the students’ during- reading strategies. Then the teacher should select a text where those during- reading strategies that students are unaware of or simply do not use are used in a modeling lesson. The teacher should select a portion of the text and demonstrate those previously unused strategies so that students have a full list of during- reading strategies from which to choose.


During the course of several weeks’ instruction, the teacher should model a series of during- reading strategies with different texts. Students should keep a running of list of the modeled strategies in a designated place within their notebooks so that they may access the strategies when they are reading independently and find their comprehension is lacking.


The teacher should set up a simulation lesson to help students realize the array of during- reading strategies and which ones might prove more helpful than others in certain circumstances. The teacher should read aloud a selected text and at a designated place stop the reading and indicate that there is a problem with comprehension. Then students should offer a during- reading strategy that might fix the comprehension problem. The students should suggest the strategy and an explanation about why it would be helpful. This simulation may continue to several parts of the text where the teacher will ask students about helpful strategies.


This strategy called “Say Something” is from Kylene Beers’s work. The teacher should place each student with a partner. The partners are both reading the same text and should agree which portion of text they are going to read. After both students have read silently, they stop at the agreed concluding point. Based upon a previous agreement, one student will ask the other to say something. The student who will respond should be able to make a prediction about the text, ask a specific question about the text, clarify something that could be misunderstood about the text, make a specific comment about the text, or make a connection between ideas in the text. If this is impossible, that student should realize that comprehension is lacking and rereading or reading aloud with the partner is needed.