What can teachers do to improve their students’ reading comprehension?
Page 7: Get the Gist Strategy
During their reading, Mr. Dupree’s students also apply the Get the Gist strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to help students to identify main ideas as they read and, in doing so, to increase the likelihood that they will understand the text.
Get the Gist Strategy
Activities: identify main idea, restate main idea in ten words or fewer
The teacher explains how to restate the most important point of a section of text in one’s own words. The teacher assigns a passage for the student to read.
Students identify the most important idea in a section of text by using the following steps:
- Identify whether the paragraph is primarily about a person, place, or thing.
- Identify which person, place, or thing is being discussed.
- Identify what is being said about the person, place, or thing that the paragraph is principally about (i.e., identify the basic argument, angle, spin, or perspective that the section adopts regarding its topic).
- Restate the essence of the paragraph in a sentence containing ten words or fewer.
Ecosystems: Making Connections
An ecosystem is part of the environment. In an ecosystem, big and small animals live in harmony with the rest of their natural world. A shoreline is one kind of ecosystem. Other kinds include deserts and rain forests. The parts of an ecosystem rely on each other for the health of the environment. That means that if one part is damaged, the balance of the whole can be upset. If this damage is big enough, the ecosystem might even collapse.
To help you understand ecosystems, you might imagine a spider-web. All of its threads are connected. If one part breaks or is torn, the rest of the web is weakened until it can be repaired.
As with the Click and Clunk strategy, the teacher needs to determine how much text students should read before they stop to Get the Gist.
Click on the movie to watch some students implementing the Get the Gist strategy (time: 0:15).
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