Question the Author

The questions that are raised by the students as they read historical texts can result in more active information processing, self-management of comprehension, and better retention of information (Rosenshine et al., 1996).

By employing a strategy called “questioning the author”, students can learn to engage in an inner dialogue with the author of a text, asking questions about his or her concepts and about the quality and clarity of his or her statements and conclusions.

The process of developing questions and ways in which to answer them during reading must be taught explicitly (Bulgren et al., 2011). Have students ask one key question that enables them to identify the main idea and the supporting details to explore the relationships between ideas.

Graphic organizers can be used to illustrate key concepts. Additional comprehension strategies can be taught to answer questions for which the students did not find answers.

Click here to access the LD@school article Keeping School Work on Track: Staying Organized with Graphic Organizers.

In general, students with LDs learn best when taught using pedagogical practices that involve explicit instruction, clear concepts, guided reflections, and high-level questions. Elements such as the active engagement of students, the use of graphics and note-taking, interaction among students, and metacognitive strategies also support comprehension of historical concepts.