David Pearson and other researchers studied proficient readers to identify how they process text. They identified seven core strategies that help readers comprehend.
A strategy is a plan of action a reader can use to increase their understanding of a text. With continued practice, the strategies become skills that the reader will apply automatically and flexibly when reading.
Activating background knowledge to make connections between new and known information. Proficient readers make many connections: text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world.
Questioning the text. Proficient readers are always asking questions while they read.
Drawing inferences. Proficient readers use prior knowledge about a topic and information in the text to make predictions.
Determining importance. Proficient readers prioritize information as they read.
Creating mental images. Proficient readers create mind pictures and visualize as they read.
Monitoring and repairing understanding when meaning breaks down. Proficient readers stop and use "fix-up" strategies when they don't understand.
Synthesizing information. Proficient readers make connections, ask questions, and infer to integrate new understandings.
To learn more about teaching comprehension strategies:
Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller
Into the Book: Strategies for Learning
Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Tools
Merging Comprehension with Content Learning
PODCAST with Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis