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How can I use clarifying to better understand what I read?
Learn to identify and then clarify points of confusion in your reading.

Time To Complete 

4-6 Hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.10

I Can Statements 

  • I can:
    • Monitor my own comprehension and apply an appropriate clarifying technique when my comprehension lags
    • Explain to someone else how to self-monitor and clarify
  • I will know my clarifications are of high quality when they:
    • Help me figure out what a text is about

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking them to share points of confusion in the text and to identify the clarification strategy or strategies they applied.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 


Possible Activities 
  1. Model reading a text aloud, while displaying it to the students.  As you read, stop at least twice to note something that is confusing to you (or could be).  Think aloud about why you are confused, and then think aloud about the process you go through to clarify the confusion.  Model different strategies for clarifying: rereading, looking back to earlier text, making logical inferences, or looking up a word.

  2. Students should practice clarification in groups and individually by reading texts and stopping periodically to identify confusion and offer clarification.

    • First, students should gain practice monitoring their understanding and identifying confusion.  Give each student a copy of a text and a highlighter, and ask them to highlight everything they don’t fully understand.  They can also record questions in the margins or on Post-its.
    • Then students should return to the text and identify the most important confusing elements.  Using three-column notes, they should record the confusing element, their clarification (“I think this means ____”), and the strategy they used to clarify.
    • In groups of two to four, students should take turns reading a text aloud, with each student identifying a confusing element and attempting to clarify it as they read.  They can record their clarifications on chart paper and present some of them to the class.
    • Students read a text individually, and record clarifications on Post-its.
    • They should continue various forms of practice until they are adept at making text-to-self connections.
  3. After several days of practice and once they have achieved mastery, students should annotate their chosen text with clarifications in the style they have chosen for their performance task.

Downloadable Resources 
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