Effective reading comprehension techniques: Clicks and Clunks
The “clicks and clunks” technique was originally introduced by Christine D. Bremer, Sharon Vaughn, Ann T. Clapper, and Ae-Hwa Kim in 2002. Read their original article here.
When it “Clicks,” all is well in the world of decoding and easy comprehension. Reading is a joyful way to explore the world!
But when students encounter parts of the text that are not understood, they “Clunk!” and the reading process slows down.
Students can learn to recognize when their reading is Clicking and when they have encountered a Clunk.
When the Clunk is due to unknown words, follow these simple and effective steps to return to Click mode.
- Reread the sentence with the clunk.
- For more difficult material, reread the sentence before the clunk, the sentence containing the clunk, and the sentence after the clunk.
- Ask the student to substitute a word for the clunk word that might make sense in the context and continue reading. The student will usually be able to confirm the prediction with further reading.
- Substitute a word such as “candy” for the unknown word! Not only will this keep the flow of the reading going, but it will also lesson the student’s discomfort as a smile and chuckle result.
- Mark the clunks in the margin — repair by looking up in a dictionary.
- Keep a dictionary of clunks, using them in future writing assignments.
Read more about research-supported reading teaching strategies.
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