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.

Task students to work in small groups to read a text and share the connections they make with the text. Instruct students to identify which details in the text prompted their connections. Through the group discussion, students will compare connections and places in the text that prompted those connections. Challenge students to include in their conversation connections to other texts.

Further Explanation

This assessment requires students to describe how a text connects to their own life experiences. Students interact with the ideas the text presents. They should be able to recognize the larger themes and messages and how they can apply knowledge gained from the text to their lives and the world around them to build a framework for understanding the text. Students demonstrate comprehension of the text as they recognize these connections and can draw comparisons between them.

Students make connections between what they have read and relevant personal experiences, other texts they have read, or things from the real world they are knowledgeable about to build a framework for understanding a text they have read. Using this background knowledge gives students a starting place for constructing meaning from the text. Students demonstrate comprehension of a text when they recognize these connections and can draw comparisons between them. For example, students reading a poem about a dry, hot summer day might compare the description to their own experiences.


1. VanDerHeide, J., & Juzwik, M.M. (2018). Argument as conversation: Students responding through writing to significant conversations across time and place. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(1), 67–77. doi: 10.1002/jaal.754

Summary: The authors illustrate how secondary students become more invested in the writing process when the topic is relevant to their lives. The authors examine how students can make connections from different aspects of their lives, whether through personal experiences, something they have read previously, or their knowledge of history and society. The conversation is ongoing and students participate in the discussion or topic. The authors also connect this method with social participation.

2. Borsheim-Black, C. Macaluso, M., & Petrone, R. (2014). Critical literature pedagogy: Teaching canonical literature for critical literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 58(2). doi: 10.1002/jaal.323

Summary: This article is a deep dive into developing reading comprehension. The strategy stems from critical social theory and assumes the premise that all texts draw attention to a certain idea (ideology), personal experience or connection, similar texts, and/or a reflection of society. The critical eye is trained to read with the text and to read against the text. The article reveals that taking a critical approach to reading for comprehension has the ability to disrupt perpetuated stories. The article includes references to literary canons, along with charts, examples, and other references.