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The Purpose of the Post-Reading Phase

by Alicia Anthony, studioD

The main purpose of the post-reading phase is to check for accurate comprehension of the text. Too often students are asked to read a selection and then never get a chance to discuss the piece they have read. By using simple post-reading strategies, you can help your child derive meaning from what he has read and address any misunderstandings that he may have encountered.


After your child has finished a selection, you can ask him to retell what he has learned or what the story was about. If your child struggles to perform this task, help him along by asking specific who, what, when, where, why and how questions. You can also use terms like setting, characters, problem and solution to guide his responses. Answering these questions will help him focus his responses and provide a guide for retelling what he has read in the future.


In this post-reading strategy, your child can write about the new content or ideas she learned and describe how this new information relates to her previous knowledge. For example, if your child has read a book about polar bears, ask her to write about something new she learned and why that information is important. This practice will help her when she is asked to provide supporting details to back up answers for school work.

KWL Charts

KWL charts are a type of graphic organizer that work best with nonfiction books and can be used throughout all three stages of reading: before, during and after. It consists of three columns, one labeled K for "things I already know," W for "what I want to know" and L for "what I have learned." Before reading, you can have your child fill in the K and W columns. After reading, he can fill in the L column to let you both know the main points he has remembered from the text.

Sequencing Charts

Sequencing charts are another type of graphic organizer that work best with fiction texts. The charts can vary, but generally have boxes in which students can record what they understand to be each element from the text. For example, for younger students, they may need to fill in a box for the beginning of the story, one for the middle and one for the end. For more advanced students, you may ask them to explain the setting, characters, problem and solution.

About the Author

Alicia Anthony is a seasoned educator with more than 10 years classroom experience in the K-12 setting. She holds a Master of Education in literacy curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She is completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing: fiction, and working on a novel.

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