Three Level Comprehension Guide for Active Reading

 

What it is: Leveled reading is a way to comprehend, interpret and apply difficult texts by working at the literal, interpretive and applied levels.

What it does: Leveled reading helps readers to go beyond the surface of a text in a step-by-step way.

 

Level 1 (literal – reading what is right there)

Here the reader finds the answer in the text. The reader might be asked to do any of the following:

  • Identify the main ideas of the paragraph or short story.
  • Recall details that support the main ideas.
  • Organize the sequence in which the main events occurred.

Examples of literal question starters: What happened . . . ? How many . . . ? How did . . . ? Who . . . ? What is . . . ?  Which . . . ?

 

Level 2 (interpretive – reading between the lines)

Here, the reader interprets the information to find answers. The reader might be asked to any of the following:

  • Predict endings and anticipate consequences.
  • State reasons for events.
  • Make generalizations.

Examples of interpretive question starters: Why did . . . ? What was . . . ? What do you think about . . . ? Can you explain…? How was this similar to . . . ?

 

Level 3 (applied – reading beyond the lines)

Here the reader makes links between the text and his or her own experience and knowledge to develop an answer. The reader asks open-ended questions to promote deeper understanding and do the following:

  • Make generalizations.
  • Make comparisons.
  • Make judgments.
  • Make recommendations and suggestions.
  • Make decisions.
  • Create alternative endings.

Examples of applied question starters: How would you…? Do you agree . . . ?  What would have happened if . . . ? How might . . . ?  What effect does  . . . ?  If you were . . .  What would you . . . ?

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