How to Improve Reading Comprehension with Video

Copyright 2006 Adam Waxler

Most educators today realize that teaching students how to read is not the sole responsibility of the language arts teacher, yet many teachers still struggle to come up with effective ways to actually improve reading comprehension in the classroom.

After all, the primary purpose of reading is comprehension. Unless you comprehend what you read you might as well be reading a different language. Unfortunately, for many students, reading in the content areas may actually seem like a different language.

This is particularly true in social studies classes when using primary sources that may date back several hundred years. I can recall a lesson I did in my own 8th grade social studies class in which I used a primary source written by Gustavus Vassa, an ex-slave who wrote about his experiences on board a slave ship during the middle passage. Unfortunately, for the students, the primary source reading might as well have been written in a different language, for while my students read the passage, they certainly did not comprehend its meaning.

However, the Gustavus Vassa reading was, and still is, an excellent primary source to use in the classroom. It was my job as a teacher to figure out how.

What I needed to do to improve reading comprehension was tap into students