Reading Strategies

  • Reading Strategies



    • Sound it out: The letter hisses and spits the sounds given to each letter that makes up the word. This is the universal and frequent first choice for beginning readers.


    • Predict: The reader uses what is known about the story to determine what the text might say or mean. The reader can also use illustrations to anticipate the meaning.


    • Crosscheck: The reader uses more than one source of information to confirm or discount a prediction in order to construct meaning.


    • Sample or search: The reader scans the various sources of information, such as looking at the picture, looking for sight words, or looking for a repeating pattern.


    • Read into a word: The reader continues looking at all the letters and hears all the sounds that make up the word, rather than stopping at the first letter and guessing. This is sometimes called bulldozing through the word.


    • Look for “chunks” in the word: The reader looks for letter chunks (parts) in the word that might be familiar, then reads each chunk separately and then blends the chunks together to sound out the entire word (ie, unknown word: fantastic; chunks: fan-tas-tic).


    • Skip a word and read on: The reader skips a word in order to use the rest of the sentence to increase the context. The reader then returns to the unknown word and uses the extended context to figure it out.


    • Reread: The reader returns to the beginning of the sentence and rereads the sentence to get a running start using the sense of the sentence up to that point.


    • Lean on neighbor: The reader leans into the child next to him or her and listens to what that child says.


    • Appeal: The reader asks what the word is, generally without hesitation.

     If your child is having difficulty figuring out a word, you might say:

    1. Can the picture give you a clue?

    2. Let's skip that word and then go back and try it again.

    3. What word would make sense there?

    4. Look at the first letter of the word. Can you think of a word that begins with that letter and would make sense in the sentence?

    5. Do you see any little words or chunks inside that word that you know?

    6. Try blending the sounds together.



    Hamaguchi, C. (Ed.). (2002). Guided reading.  Huntington BeachCA: Creative Teaching Press.

    Saunders-Smith, G. (2003).  The ultimate guided reading how-to book: Building literacy through small-group instruction.  Chicago: Zephyr Press.