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Secondary Reading Comprehension

Course #:




Academic Development


Verbal Development

Suggested Age:



Must have at least a 3rd grade reading fluency for rate and accuracy, with average word attack skills and phonics recognition.

Secondary Reading Comprehension

Course Description:

In Reading Comprehension, we complete two Reading Detective courses in addition to a few science passages, history passages, a hands on object lesson from the Bible: The Potter and the Clay, 2 classic short stories (4 – 12 pages): The Christmas Truce (true WWI  story), and Ransom of Red Chief (O. Henry) and MORE! We do NOT cover whole classics (Romeo and Juliet, Moby Dick, etc.) in literature.

Reading Detective books have the following content:

  • Reading Detective RX for learning vital lessons in Main Idea, Inference, Theme, Symbolism, Vocabulary in context, Perspective, Literary devices such as Personification, Metaphors, Similes, Foreshadowing, Back flashes, Irony, etc. with stories geared to the interest level of 7th – 12th graders but written on a lower level 4th –7th grade level. Students complete 2 in class and 2 for homework weekly.

  • Reading Detective 5-6 for 5th – 6th grade level reading material that combines all the elements learned in the fall!

  • We analyze literature pieces, starting initially on a fourth grade level, then elevating throughout the year to 7th grade level. In the fall, we learn one lesson at a time… Main Idea, Inference, Theme, Symbolism etc., with a few stories each that focus on that skill. Students complete 1 lesson and story in class and 3 for homework weekly.

  • Throughout the Fall and Spring, I add passages from many genre / other courses as well (rom science to history, to government to humanities)

Each class begins with a fun, engaging activity in Practical Practice (detailed later in this document) or a similar exercise. In one class, we’ll have a relay race when we study Sequencing: each team gets 10 independent slips of paper (gleaned from the relay) with sentences from a passage, and must determine their order using key words in sentences that denote subtle sequencing.

In the introductory class activity, Practical Practice, students compete against each other using activity cards of increasing difficulty which are geared toward strengthening and understanding reading activities in everyday life. Some are tough! I want the students to be able to read ANYTHING with understanding – not only fiction and nonfiction, but also directions, instructions, directories, guides & maps, labels and packaging, schedules, menus and recipes, catalogs & internet shopping, as well as ads and coupons! Each activity card comes with 10 questions, helping them read for detail. We added a fun field trip to supplement the fun– Mall Madness (following directions, instructions and maps on a scavenger hunt)!

We finish the year with 5 weeks of hands-on reading comprehension activities: figuring out a complicated board game as a team, how to put together a model by following directions, determining the best schedule of ODA classes for a new student, a map quest, making an amazing brownie recipe on the last day of class and more!


All materials provided:

  • Reading Detective 3-4

  • Reading Detective 5-6

  • Practical Practice activity cards

  • Reading Detective Math, Science and History excerpts

  • Student Supply List:
    2 black pens
    4 pencils (#2)
    1 two inch 3-ring Notebook (No spiral bound notebooks!)
    5 notebook dividers: (Title: Syllabus/ Calendar, Notes, Weekly Worksheets, Tests)
    32 sheet protectors
    64 sheets of ruled paper (No spiral bound notebooks)

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