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 about books during whole-group read-alouds or during small-group reading instruction. Students should be able to state the main idea or most important point in the story through whole-group discussion. Students needs to be able to consider more than one detail in the story to support choosing the main idea. It is important that students be able to explain how they came to a decision. Prompt students by asking questions.


  • What is the most important part in this story? How do you know?
  • What is the main idea of the story? Why do you think that?
  • What is the key event in this story? How can you tell?
  • What are some things that you heard in the story that support your answer for the key event/main idea of the text?

A teacher can assess student responses by keeping a checklist of student responses and marking, if they are able to, on a scale. The scale might look like this:

- The student needs more practice.

* The student understands the main idea but needs more support with expressing his thinking.

+ The student understands the main idea and can articulate how he determined what the main idea was.

Details are specifics, ideas, facts, and points, included by authors that contribute to their purpose and message. In first grade, students must evaluate details by determining if a sentence supports the key ideas or central idea of a text. They must be able to identify a detail and evaluate it to determine which key idea it supports or decide if it is not a significant detail. Typically, a first-grade text will only have one or two central ideas so students should be asked to identify details that support that central idea and explain how they know.


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.