comprehension TEKS talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Comprehension skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses metacognitive skills to both develop and deepen comprehension of increasingly complex texts.

Use an observational checklist. Prompt students to identify if they can establish a purpose for reading both assigned and self-selected texts. Ask things like the following:

  • What is the purpose for reading this story?
  • Why did you choose to read this story?
  • How will this story help you?

An observation checklist could be supported with a scale such as this:

- The student is unable to identify the purpose for reading a text.

* The student is able to identify the purpose for reading a self-selected text but unable to identify the purpose for reading an assigned text (beyond my teacher told me to).

+ The student is able to identify the purpose for reading both self-selected texts and assigned texts (e.g., I am reading this book so I can learn more about animal homes).


This type of observation should occur over time with multiple books.

When students establish purpose, they set their goals or intentions for reading. They answer the question “Why am I reading this text?” For example, the purpose for reading a text might be to learn a new recipe, be entertained, or learn about a historical event. In assigned texts, the purpose is usually established by the teacher or other adult: retell a story, make a book report, or write an argumentative essay in response to a text. However, in self-selected texts students must define for themselves the specific reason(s) to read a given text.
texts that a student identifies and chooses to read for independent reading


What Works Clearinghouse. (2010). Improving reading comprehension in kindergarten through 3rd grade: practice guide summary. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Science. Retrieved from

Summary: The goal of this practice guide is to offer educators specific evidence-based recommendations that address the challenge of teaching reading comprehension to students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The guide provides practical, clear information on critical topics related to teaching reading comprehension and is based on the best available evidence as judged by the authors.