Back to Basics: Post-Reading

Welcome to our Back to Basics series! In this series we explore some of the foundational methods, practices and terminology for teaching reading and writing. This series is for those new to the field of literacy, beginning tutors or those who would just like a refresher. This week we discuss post-reading comprehension strategies.

In a previous post we discussed pre-reading comprehension strategies. Equally important are post-reading strategies. It is necessary for learners to understand that actively engaging with a text does not end once they have completed reading. Post-reading strategies will help the learner to process the information they just read. The tutor will help them to summarize, clarify, connect and evaluate the text. There are many excellent post-reading strategies available to tutors. Here we outline two effective strategies.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are also used for pre-reading and during reading comprehension. Select a graphic organizer based on a specific comprehension skill or strategy that you wish to practice with your learner. Post-reading graphic organizers can include story webs to outline the plot of a story, timelines to organize chronological events or concept maps to help learners visualize concepts and relationships between ideas. There are many graphic organizers tutors can use to help with specific post-reading skill development.


Ask the learner to write a summary of the main points in the text. A handout with an outline or criteria will help learners organize their thoughts and know what to include. It is also good practice to model summarizing with your learners. Once you have completed reading a portion of text, discuss some of the most important points. Write down all the points you discuss. Talk about which points should be included in the summary and what to exclude, such as minor details, specific examples and opinions. This is also a good opportunity to use the think-aloud and write-aloud strategies. Demonstrate how to paraphrase the text and write the summary in the learner’s own words.

“Teachers should help students to understand why a strategy is useful, how it is used, and when it is appropriate. Teacher demonstration and modeling are critical factors for success, and student discussion following strategy instruction is also helpful.” – AdLit

There are many more post-reading strategies that pair well with the other stages of reading. Check out the resources below for more about post-reading strategies.


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