Comprehension Strategy Instruction 

What is Reader's Workshop?

Reader's Workshop is the delivery model used to teach all aspects of reading. It provides differentiated instruction to students as they work on areas of need in reading. It focuses on the teaching of reading skills and strategies that students apply to their own independent reading. Teachers investigate their students' needs, provide mini-lessons to address those needs, model good reading strategies, lead guided reading groups, set up literature circles, and confer with students as they apply what they have learned.

What are Reading Comprehension Strategies?

Research-based strategies derived from various educational publications and studies include:

  • Activating Prior Knowledge/Schema
  • Making Connections
  • Visualizing/Making Mental Images
  • Asking Questions
  • Making Inferences
  • Determining Importance in Non-Fiction
  • Text Structure of Fiction
  • Synthesizing Prior Learning with New Learning


The reading comprehension strategies are the basis for the mini-lesson.   Reading comprehension strategies are used by "good" readers to help them understand when reading. These strategies are modeled by the teacher during Reader's Workshop and students apply them to their independent reading.


What are the components of Reader's Workshop?

Reader's Workshop begins with a mini-lesson, approximately 10 minutes long, focused on a skill, strategy, or behavior that will help students become better readers. The lesson comes from the curriculum and is based on student need. During the lesson teachers may model, read/think aloud using literature, use shared reading, or have students practice a particular skill or strategy.

During independent reading time, students apply what was focused on during the mini-lesson to their independent reading. Students read books on their independent reading level and apply skills or strategies assigned by the teacher. In elementary and perhaps middle school, teachers meet with guided reading groups.

During the independent reading time of Reader's Workshop, the teacher confers with students one-on-one. Reading behaviors, skills, and strategies are looked at by the teacher. The teacher assesses the needs of the students' through these conferences and may use these needs as topics for future mini-lessons. The teacher provides guidance for each student during the conference and focuses on a reading goal for each student.

At the end of Reader's Workshop the students meet as a whole class again to share. The sharing typically addresses the mini-lesson and how it was applied to independent reading for that day. Many structures may be used for sharing such as; pairs share, whole class, group share, etc.

Where can I find out more about Reader's Workshop and reading comprehension strategies?

There are many books on the subjects of Reader's Workhop and reading comprehension strategies.