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Lesson Plan

Using the Internet to Facilitate Improved Reading Comprehension

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time One 60-minute session
Lesson Author

Kellie C. Ellis

Kellie C. Ellis

Harlan, Kentucky


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



The ability to correctly make inferences is an important skill for beginning readers to develop, as it aids reading comprehension. This lesson uses a popular web-based technology, Really Simple Syndication (or RSS) feeds, to facilitate inferential thinking. Students use the clues provided by RSS feeds to predict the content of the linked post, article, or video. They use a T-chart to record and evaluate their predictions. Thus, the lesson combines several fundamental skills for reading success: inferential thinking, critical thinking, and new literacy skills.

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RSS in Plain English video: This short video explains the concept of RSS and how it can help save time on the web.

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Leu, D.J., Jr., Kinzer, C.K., Coiro, J., & Cammack, D.W. (2004). Toward a theory of new literacies emerging from the Internet and other information and communication technologies. In R.B. Ruddell, & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed., pp. 15701613). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Today's students must be trained how to use new technologies as they serve an important role in the use of information and acquisition of knowledge.


Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can't Read What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003.

  • An inference is "the ability to connect what is in the text to what is in the mind to create an educated guess" (p. 62).

  • Reading comprehension requires the ability to make correct inferences.


van Kleeck, A., Woude, J.V., & Hammett, L. (2006). Fostering literal and inferential language skills in Head Start preschoolers with language impairment using scripted book-sharing discussions. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15, 8595.

  • Children considered at-risk for reading disorders exhibit difficulty with inferential language.

  • Examples of questions educators can ask to facilitate development of inferential language skills include: "Why do you think that happened?" "What do you think will happen next?" "Do you know what that word means?" and "How do you think the character feels?"

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