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Lesson Plan

Scaffolding Comprehension Strategies Using Graphic Organizers

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Grades 3 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three to four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Susan Ruckdeschel

Susan Ruckdeschel

New York, New York


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, collaborative strategic reading (CSR) is initially presented to students through modeling and whole-class instruction. To facilitate comprehension during and after reading, students apply four reading strategies: preview, click and clunk, get the gist, and wrap-up. Graphic organizers are used for scaffolding of these strategies while students work together in cooperative groups.

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  • KWL Graphic Organizer: This handy chart will facilitate interactive responses for what your students know, K, want to know, W, and what theyve learned, L.

  • Clunks and Clues Graphic Organizer: Help your students to walk through each clunk, various fix-up strategies, and get the gist strategy with this useful handout.

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Klingner, J.K. & Vaughn, S. (1999). Promoting reading comprehension, content learning, and English acquisition through Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR). The Reading Teacher, 52, 738747.

  • CSR combines two instructional approaches: reading comprehension strategy instruction and cooperative learning. These approaches improve learning opportunities for students with learning disabilities and with limited proficiency in English.

  • To facilitate comprehension of content area texts, students work in small, cooperative groups and apply four reading strategies
1. Preview. Structured previewing of text allows students to generate interest and questions about the text, to stimulate their background knowledge and associations with the text, and to facilitate their ability to make predictions about what they will learn.

2. Click and clunk. Students are taught to use self-monitoring strategies while reading to aid them in recognizing information they know ("clicking"), and identifying words, concepts, or ideas they do not understand or need to know more about ("clunking").

3. Get the gist. Students identify the main idea from the reading to confirm their understanding of the information.

4. Wrap-up. The wrap-up session provides students with an opportunity to self-monitor their reading while applying metacognitive strategies that further extend comprehension.

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