How can I use this resource?
This resource can be used in a range of different ways depending on the needs of your students and the organization of your classroom. Teachers may choose to:

1. Use Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts as a complete resource for teaching comprehension strategies.

  • Begin by teaching each strategy with a Modeled Lesson where the strategy is introduced to the group
    or whole class.
  • Follow this with a Supported Practice lesson where students work in pairs to practice the strategy.
  • When they have mastered the strategy, allow students to work individually on one of the three
    Independent Practice texts.

2. Plan to use Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts to introduce each of the six strategies to your class over the course of the year. Once each unit has been introduced, adapt by following
the lesson format but adding text from the topics or curriculum areas you are studying.
3. Use Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts to provide differentiated classroom instruction. The entire resource provides four different levels of texts chosen for different reading abilities, enabling teachers to select material from any of the four modules for students in their class.
4. Use Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts as an intervention program for students who need additional support.

  • Using a range of the four leveled modules, teachers can select material most appropriate to the needs
    of their students and provide additional reading comprehension support.

5. Use Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts as a resource to scaffold and develop English language learners’ comprehension. Back to top

What if I do not have access to an interactive whiteboard?
It is important that an enlarged version of the text is made available to the group or the whole class for the Model the strategy lesson. Students need to be able to follow the text as the teacher reads so that they can fully understand what the strategy is and how to apply it, as the teacher shares the reading and models the application of the strategy.

For maximum flexibility, further resources are supplied.

  • Digital resource: The digital version of the Model the strategy lesson will work very well with a data projector.
  • The interactivity built into the program will enable the teacher to move freely through the program, accessing and revisiting the various sections – such as Learning goals and Know your vocabulary –
    when needed.
  • Printable resource: For each strategy a full-color, printable version of the text for the Model the strategy lesson and the accompanying vocabulary explanations and photographs for each strategy are provided on the CD in the Printable resources folder. These files can be printed and used with a document camera so that the whole class can view the enlarged text.
  • Poster: A full-color poster presenting an enlarged version of the text is included for each Model the strategy lesson in the module. The teacher may need to take a lesson with a small group of students, and this is an appropriate resource to use in these circumstances. The vocabulary explanations and photographs are on the back of the poster.
  • Lesson Plan: The Lesson Plan for the Model the strategy lesson provides all of the instructional information for this lesson.

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Will I be able to cater for differing needs of students?
Yes, this resource can be used with small groups, large groups, and the whole class. This resource also enables teachers to use text materials and activities from different modules, ensuring coverage of all six strategies while selecting texts and activities that best match the reading abilities of different students.Back to top

Is this resource suitable for English language learners?
Yes. Explorations Strategies for Comprehension for informational texts has been designed to include scaffolded instruction, differentiated learning, linking to prior knowledge, and high quality vocabulary activities. In addition, the structure of the lessons and the layout of student support material is able to be used flexibly to best meet the learning and language needs of English language learners.

Digital versions of all texts designed for Independent Practice have been provided specifically for use with English language learners or any students needing extra support. The teacher can use the digital versions for small group work and model or support the strategy in whatever way is appropriate for these students. The activities are the same as those that the other students are doing independently.Back to top

How long will it take to teach each strategy?
The resource complements your existing literacy program and is designed to be flexible. The tables below show the flexibility of the lesson plans. One strategy can be taught over five days, or the teacher can choose to teach the strategy over a seven-day or ten-day cycle.

Five-day teaching plan

Seven-day teaching plan

Ten-day teaching plan: week 1

Ten-day teaching plan: week two

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How do I use the Independent Practice cards? I have 30 students and there are 24 cards.
The Independent Practice cards of this resource are designed to be used flexibly so that teachers can differentiate their instruction to meet the learning needs of their students. It is unlikely that any class of students would fit neatly into three even groups. For example, there may be 15 students in a class of 30 who are ‘on level’, so one group of eight students could work with the ‘on level’ Independent Practice cards on one day, and the remaining seven students the next day.

In addition, students might be ready for independent practice at different times. For example, for a group of underachieving students the teacher might introduce the text that is on the Independent Practice card using the digital version on the interactive whiteboard. When the teacher is satisfied that the students understand the text and can apply the strategy – that may take a couple of sessions – the students could then work by themselves with the Independent Practice cards.Back to top

What support does this resource provide for assessment?
The teaching of each comprehension strategy is supported by learning goals relevant to the strategy, self and peer assessment tasks, and teacher notes on assessment. Formative assessment is an integral component of this resource. It effectively develops independence in students’ use of a range of comprehension strategies and assists students to self monitor as they read.Back to top

Can I apply the processes in the Lesson Plans to other short texts?
Yes. Once the strategy is introduced to students and they have had the opportunity for supported and independent practice, you may apply the structure of the lessons to texts of your own choosing. The Explorations books provide a range of short texts on the same topic as the texts used in this resource.Back to top

How does the resource align with Common Core State Standards?
This resource is aligned with the Common Core State Standards – both the Reading Standards for Informational Text and the Language Standards. This resource supports teachers in ensuring that students meet the Common Core State Standards – Reading Standards for Informational Text:

  • Key Ideas and Details
  • Craft and Structure
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity.

It also supports teachers in ensuring that students meet the Common Core State Standards – Language Standards:

  • Conventions of Standard English
  • Knowledge of Language
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.

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