Comprehension Strategy: Say Something

When I was working on my master’s degree online I remember reading an entire article and thinking “What did I just read?”

I also do that when I’m reading my 7th graders’ Social Studies book!

I know my students zone out,  exhaust themselves with decoding, or simply struggle with comprehension itself.

Not a new strategy, but new-to-me, I introduced a modified version of Say Something for my Resource Room.

One description of this strategy can be found here. Free downloadable bookmarks can be found here.

Here is how my version goes:

Phase 1:To introduce this strategy, I chose an article in a Scholastic magazine.

“Use your right hand and cover the first part of the text. That is approximately how much I am going to read to you before I stop. This is a reasonable chunk of text.  When I am done reading you will have to Say Something. 

You can:

1) Ask a question.

2) State a fact.

3) Make a prediction.

If you cannot do any of those three things, I will have to read it again, until you can.”

With only ten students, this is doable and everyone gets to Say Something.  I modeled this with several chunks of text. It only took one time of me rereading for all the students to be able to comment.

Phase 2: Have students read a small chunk with a partner and respond. Again, modeling may be necessary.

Phase 3: Have students read a small chunk silently and then, as a class, ask them to respond.

This strategy really forces the reader/listener to be engaged and think about what is being read. Knowing that they will have the opportunity to discuss and share after reading just a short selection keeps them interested as well.

I don’t use all the suggested prompts for my Resource Room, but I think I could introduce more response options over time. I just wanted to keep it simple as we started.

Did I explain this well enough?

Let’s try it!

Say Something in the comments!

2 responses

  1. This is a strategy that I really like. I used it back in September and need to use it again. Students were very engaged with each other and the reading, and I believe that comprehension improved as they “said something” about each chunk of text. Making “Say Something” starter cards is a great way to provide scaffolding for learners who lack the language to begin their own statements.

    1. I will make some cards for the tables. To start, I made a chart and hung it on the wall for reference.

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