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. This can happen during whole-group read-aloud or small-group reading instruction. Students should be able to state the key idea or most important point in the story in whole-group discussions. Students needs to be able to consider more than one detail in the story to support choosing the key idea. It is important that students can explain how they came to their decision. A teacher can prompt students by asking questions.


  • What is the most important part in this story? How do you know?
  • What is the key 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/idea of the text?

The teacher can assess student responses by keeping a checklist of student responses and using a scale. The scale might look like this:

- The student needs more practice.

* The student understands key idea but needs more support with expressing his or her thinking.

+ The student understands key idea and can articulate how he or she determined what the key idea was.

specifics, ideas, facts, or points included by an author that contribute to the author’s purpose and message
Key ideas are the ideas that must be understood to fully comprehend the meaning of the text. While reading, students should look for relationships between details and how they are organized so they can determine which key ideas the details focus on and support.


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.