Beyond the Yellow Highlighter - Teach annotation skills to improve reading comprehension.

I’ll Have Mine Annotated, Please: Helping Students Make Connections with Texts - Encourage students to consider how active interaction between reader and text is vital to their understanding.

Teaching Student Annotation: Constructing Meaning Through Connections - Teach students about the purposes and techniques of annotation by examining text closely and critically.


Ask Read Tell (ART) - Explains three crucial phases that improve comprehension.

Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA) - Guides students in asking questions about a text, making predictions, and then reading to confirm or refute their predictions. 

Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) - Teach students how to ask questions about their reading and where to find the answers to them.

Reading Comprehension: Retain Text Information With Paraphrasing (RAP) - Teach students who fail to retain important details from their reading a self-directed paraphrasing strategy.

Reading for Meaning - Help all readers build the skills that proficient readers use to make sense of challenging texts.

THIEVES Preview Strategy, Grades 6-8 - Use this strategy to guide students through a preview of a nonfiction text.

Tracking Your Thinking Form - Find a tool to help students track their thinking throughout a book.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic Organizers - Use this list of organizers that align with specific CCSS Reading Standards, as a starting point for choosing the best tool to help students think through the Standards.

Making Inferences

It Says - I Say - And So... - A use during- and after-reading tool to help students get beyond just “finding” information in a text.

Structured Note-Taking

The Cornell Note Taking System - Teach students strategic two-column note-taking.


Get the GIST - Utilize a summarizing activity for any content area.

Short Writing Often: Not Just Long Writing Seldom - Provides summary, compare/contrast, and comprehension and reflection strategies for writing practice and comprehension.


Comprehension Classroom Strategies Library - Find a library of before, during, and after reading activities to integrate into explicit strategy instruction.

Effective Instruction for Adolescent Struggling Readers - Provides background knowledge about best practices for older students, Grades 4-12, who struggle to read.

Reciprocal Teaching - Use an activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting.

Teacher Read-Aloud That Models Reading for Deep Understanding - Focuses on the gradual release of responsibility as teachers demonstrate for students the ways the reading process works.

Using Paired Reading to Increase Fluency and Peer Cooperation - Encourage students to read aloud to each other, pairing more fluent readers with less fluent readers.

What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide: Improving Adolescent Literacy -  Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices - Presents recommendations to help students gain more from their reading tasks, improve motivation for and engagement in the learning process, and assist struggling readers.

Word Generation - Builds reading comprehension by providing students with engaging texts incorporating academic vocabulary, opportunities for discussion and debate, and weekly expository writing.


Achieve the Core’s Fluency Packets - Utilize sets of materials uniquely designed to address the skills needed to read fluently in Grades 3-12. Read three short Aligned blog posts, which provide a foundational understanding of fluency.


Question the Author Strategy (Grades 3-12) - Requires students to challenge their understanding and solidify their knowledge while reading a text.

Questioning to Promote Learning - Create a classroom environment that encourages critical thinking through model formulating and responding to higher-order questions.

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions - Provides a simple, yet powerful way to get students asking their own questions and building off their peers’ questions.

Teaching Cognitive Strategies

Teach the Seven Strategies of Highly Effective Readers - Includes definitions of the strategies and a lesson plan template for teaching each one.

Teaching Complex Texts

Guide Students Through Complex Text Effective Scaffolding - Choose scaffolds that meet the needs of students as they navigate text complexity.

Supporting Students in Close Reading - This resource is one in a series produced by the Center for Standards and Assessment Implementation (CSAI) and guides teachers in the process of instructional planning for close reading with students.

Teach Content-Rich Nonfiction and Informational Texts - Find resources and lesson plans on text complexity and teaching with nonfiction and informational texts.



Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices - Presents strategies that classroom teachers and specialists can use to increase the reading ability of adolescent students.

Reading Next: A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy - Offers research-based as well as practice-based knowledge to promote ongoing literacy development. 

Text Complexity

Achieve the Core’s Academic Word Finder - Utilize a tool specifically designed to surface the high-value words from complex texts.

7 Actions that Teachers Can Take Right Now: Text Complexity - Discover actions teachers can take to support their students on the staircase of text complexity.

The Lexile Framework for Reading - Access tools to match readers with appropriate texts.

National Council of Teachers of English - Find lesson plans and resources on text complexity.

Navigating Text Complexity - Provides a curated collection of text complexity resources, tools and research.

Text Complexity - Access tools and research to support teachers' understanding of text complexity.  

Text-Dependent Questions

ELA Literacy/Text-Dependent Questions - Find tools to help write and evaluate text dependent questions.

QAR Questions and Answers by Type - Use this guide when planning and teaching students the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR).

ReadWorks: Passages and Text-Dependent Questions (Grades 3-12) - Create a free account to access passages and text-dependent questions.

Text-Dependent Analysis Toolkit - Offers a series of video modules to assist educators in understanding and deepening their knowledge of text-dependent analysis questions.

Thoughtful Threads: Spark Rich Online Discussions - Provide students opportunities to discuss a literary work using online literature circles.

Text Sets

Achieve the Core - Utilize resources to supplement a curriculum with knowledge building text sets, including information on creating a text set.

Creating Text Sets for Whole-Class Instruction - Find guidance on the development of high-quality text sets.

Newsela - Discover text sets by teachers for ELA. Note: A free account is required to access.

Websites for Locating Books to Create Text Sets