Reciprocal Teaching (FINAL)

Name of Instructional Strategy: Reciprocal Teaching

 Target Audience for this Device: Reciprocal teaching can apply to all types of students including all grade levels. As the student becomes older the challenge is finding the appropriate reading level book for the group of students. For students that are having difficulty reading or with reading comprehension, it can be a great tool to help make improvements in those areas.

 More information or materials are available from the following sources:

 Description of Instructional Strategy:

Reciprocal teaching is when students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teacher’s model, then help students learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarizing, questioning, clarifying, and predicting. Once students have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read.

Summarizing is where students will highlight all important information and details in the text. Summarizing can be an important skill for students to be able to choose which information from the reading was important enough to discuss further. Predicting is when students make connections to the text to their prior knowledge. Connections may include text to text, text to self or text to world. Students should practice using all three connections in order to relate to differently. Questioning is when students create their own questions from the information that they highlighted when summarizing. The questions can be used for class or small group discussion. Clarifying is when students define any concepts that they do not understand.

Reciprocal teaching should be used during reading working with a student one-on-one, in small groups or as a whole class.

 Directions for Use/Purpose of Product:


  1. A selection of any given text is distributed or assigned to pupils individually or in a group (a teacher can also be included in the reading of the text depending on the ages and stages of pupils).
  2. A discussion then takes place between teacher and pupils (or between the pupils assigned to small groups) about the selection.
  3. If small groups are used, a group leader is assigned. The leader of the group is suppose to be the acting teacher, the student can do so by posing different types of questions and creating a positive environment for all students in the group to feel comfortable in seeking answers to anything they do not understand.
  4. In any case, a discussion leader leads the discussion on a given passage or selection and creates a summary of what was read, generates a question or set of questions to explore, identifies concepts or terms that need clarification, and leads the discussion that will ultimately determine a prediction about what will be discussed next in the text.

 Explanation of Why this is Helpful for People with Disabilities:

Children with disabilities can benefit from this type of activity because in smaller groups students can feel more comfortable to ask questions and generate a discussion. Every student in the group will be asked to contribute their input to facts from the text, language components of the text, and their own reflection based on how they interpreted the text. It will also allow not only students with disabilities to gain a different perspective or feedback from their own peers. This type of activity will also promote communication and social development with access to the general curriculum. For students with disabilities it can be a helpful exercise with goal-directed instruction. If the teacher can assign a student with a disability the leadership role it can be great for their independence, and future confidence in reading different material.

 Picture/Graphic/Video of Device: Below is three different videos which are examples of Reciprocal Teaching, and as well an attachment of a graphic organizer with some additional information.

Youtube video #1-

In this video, the teacher begins by modeling for students a process for engaging with text, to move them toward active, independent and complete comprehension of the material. Students placed in their guided reading group work through the four stages of reciprocal teaching: predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing. In this cooperative environment, students lead each other to develop greater understanding of the text through discussion and reflection.

YouTube Video

Youtube video #2-

In this video, both the students and teacher take turns acting as the instructor and asking text comprehension questions.

YouTube Video

Youtube video #3-

This video is an example of a Reciprocal Teaching Strategy in a fifth grade classroom to help students become better readers.

YouTube Video


What challenges does Reciprocal Teaching create for you as a teacher? What would be important for you in preparing a student with a disability for this activity?

See attachments below for additional information:

Paul McFarland,
Jul 20, 2011, 7:50 PM
Paul McFarland,
Jul 20, 2011, 7:50 PM