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.

Observe students during authentic discussions that occur in whole-group or small-group settings. A teacher can prompt students by asking them strategic questions that lead them to make inferences and use evidence to support responses. Although questions that are specific to a particular story are typically more effective for eliciting correct responses from students, some general questions can be asked as well.


  • What do you think the character is feeling in this story? How do you know?
  • What do you think will happen next? Why do you think that?
  • If _______ (insert character) did this _________ (insert action character takes), what do you think they are getting ready to do? How do you know?

A teacher can also ask questions about details that are not explicitly stated in the text but can be assumed because of the pictures. For example, if a book illustrates food on a plate, and on the next page the food is gone, students can infer that the character was hungry and ate the food.

When observing, the teacher may want to use a rubric to assess student responses.

Sample rubric:

  1. The student is unable to make inferences (can only recall what is explicitly stated).
  2. The student is able to make some inferences but is unable to use evidence to support understanding (e.g., he can understand that a character might be sad, but he cannot explain how he knows or how he drew that conclusion).
  3. The student is able to make inferences and can use schema (background knowledge) and experiences to support his thinking but does not point to text evidence. For example, the student might say, “The character is sad.” When asked, “How do you know,” the student might say, “Well I would be sad if I lost my toy.” This shows he understands the boy is sad because he lost his toy, but he was unable to refer to the text to support his thoughts.)
  4. The student is able to make inferences and use evidence to support understanding. For example, the student would respond, “The boy is sad,” and when asked, “How do you know,” the child would respond, “I know he is sad because the boy lost his toy and it says right here that he was bummed. Look even his face is sad!”
the available body of supporting, valid, and relevant details, facts, or information that supports an inference, idea, or proposition
Readers must be able to make inferences within and beyond a text to draw conclusions about information or ideas not explicitly stated in the text. Students should be able to use context presented in the text or illustrations, prior knowledge or experience, text features, and/or other comprehension tools to make reasonable, logical assumptions about the intended meaning in a text.


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.