Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

Three Easy Ways to Increase Reading Comprehension

By Adam Waxler

The primary purpose of reading is comprehension, or understanding. Unless you comprehend what you read you might as well be reading a different language.

Unfortunately, for many students school reading may actually seem like a different language. That's okay - by using various teaching strategies teachers can greatly increase their student's reading comprehension.

Today, more and more teachers realize that reading is not the sole responsibility of the language arts teacher. However, many teachers struggle to come up with ways to actually increase reading comprehension in the classroom.

The key to increasing reading comprehension is to tap into students prior knowledge about a topic before actually reading about the topic. There are many ways teachers can go about tapping into students prior knowledge such as Venn diagrams, KWL Charts, and prediction strategies.

1. Venn diagrams - while Venn diagrams are usually used after reading as a way to compare and contrast something the students just read about, Venn diagrams can also be a great tool to use before reading as a way to increase reading comprehension. For example, students can create a Venn diagram on the similarities and differences between the North and the South at the beginning of the U.S. Civil War. Prior to the reading the students can create their Venn diagram based on what they already know about the topic. From there the students can pair up and share their Venn diagrams to further build on their background knowledge. Once the Venn diagram is completed the students can then read about the topic. After the students complete the reading they should go back and check their Venn diagram, make corrections, and add any new information. By encouraging the students to think about the topic prior to reading the assignment, the students will increase their reading comprehe!


2. Prediction Strategies - another way to tap into students prior knowledge and increase reading comprehension is to have students make predictions about the topic prior to reading. There are many different types of prediction strategies a teacher can use to increase reading comprehension. Here is an example of a simple prediction strategy:

Create 3-7 statements based on a reading you have selected to use with your class.

Change a few of those statements to be false statements.

Have students predict whether or not the statement is true or false before they read.

After the reading have the students go back and check whether their predictions were correct.

What will this reading comprehension strategy do? Not only will this reading comprehension strategy help students tap into what they already know about a topic, but it will also give students a purpose for reading. The students will know what to focus on when they read and they will read to determine if their predictions were correct.

3. KWL Chart - A KWL chart is a common strategy used among teachers to increase reading comprehension. The KWL chart stands for Know-Want-Learn. A KWL chart is divided into three columns and provides a place to record what the students already know, what the students want to learn, and what the student learned once they have read. By giving students a few minutes to write down what they know and what they want to know before reading, the KWL chart provides the students a tangible structure for enhancing their involvement in their own reading. The KWL chart prompts students to access prior knowledge, identify their own purposes for reading, and reflect and summarize text.

All three reading strategies (Venn diagram, prediction strategies, and KWL charts) have the common feature of tapping into and building upon prior knowledge as a means to increase reading comprehension.

Copyright 2005 Adam Waxler

About The Author

Adam Waxler is a middle school social studies teacher, teacher mentor, and author of "eTeach: A Teacher Resource for Learning the Strategies of Master Teachers". Learn more about how to increase reading comprehension in his book here: or check out his blog for free reading comprehension tips here:


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd