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Lesson Plan

Using the Check and Line Method to Enhance Reading Comprehension

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Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time Thirty minutes for introduction; teacher discretion for independent reading and practice of the technique
Lesson Author

Cammie Singleton

Mobile, Alabama


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Careful monitoring of content area reading assignments can significantly increase comprehension and retention of the information, but students are often not consciously aware of their understanding. The Check and Line method described in this lesson encourages awareness by requiring readers to place a light pencil check in the margin if they have understood the line of text, and a dash or line if they have not. At the end of the paragraph, students use the GMR method to go back, motivate their brains, and reread any text marked with a line. If they are still confused after rereading, they can turn to an outside source-a peer, a teacher, or a print or online resource. The end result is that students pay closer attention when reading, thus increasing their comprehension and retention of the text.

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Dunn, J.E. (2000). Reading in the content areas: Unlocking the secrets and making them work. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44, 168-170.

  • Many students skim assigned text material quickly, failing to think about what they are reading. Teachers need to integrate a method whereby students discipline themselves to notice what they are reading and monitor their own comprehension of the information.

  • When students are consciously aware of their understanding, they are mentally aware while reading and can monitor their own comprehension.


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