Lesson Plan - Get It!
- Have you ever encountered a text that made you feel like you were trying to decipher the image above?
You may have even experienced getting to the bottom of a page just to have to re-read multiple times to catch any of what you've read.
This lesson will teach you some of the most common and useful reading strategies that will improve your comprehension.
The difference between strong, confident readers and growing readers is not natural ability -- it's strategy.
The strongest readers use the same strategies this lesson introduces! Reading is a skill like any other, and it has to be practiced well to be performed well.
Think about the last time you had a hard time getting through a text.
- What did you do as a result?
The first and most important reading comprehension strategy is likely one you've used before: re-reading!
- Did you know that was a strategy?
It can feel like a defeat to have to re-read something to remember or understand what it said, but it's truly not a defeat at all. Even the best readers re-read texts.
Sometimes it is simply because they became distracted. However, they also re-read because it was difficult to understand or just to be more familiar with the text to recall details later.
Take a look at the following excerpt from Kaplan's GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice: Difficult Passages:
"This trend toward commodification of high-brow art took an ominous, if predictable, turn in the 1980s during the Japanese 'bubble economy.' At a time when Japanese share prices more than doubled, individual tycoons and industrial giants alike invested record amounts in some of the West's greatest masterpieces. Ryoei Saito, for example, purchased van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet for a record-breaking $82.5 million. The work, then on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, suddenly vanished from the public domain. Later learning that he owed the Japanese government $24 million in taxes, Saito remarked that he would have the painting cremated with him to spare his heirs the inheritance tax. This statement, which he later dismissed as a joke, alarmed and enraged many. A representative of the Van Gogh museum, conceding that he had no legal redress, made an ethical appeal to Mr. Saito, asserting, 'a work of art remains the possession of the world at large.'
Ethical appeals notwithstanding, great art will increasingly devolve into big business. Firstly, great art can only be certified by its market value. Moreover, the "world at large" hasn't the means of acquisition. Only one museum currently has the funding to contend for the best pieces -- the J. Paul Getty Museum, founded by the billionaire oilman. The art may disappear into private hands, but its transfer will disseminate once static fortunes into the hands of various investors, collectors, and occasionally the artist."
- Without looking at the text again, do you remember what Saito paid for Portrait of Dr. Gachet?
The passage above contains a lot of details in very dense text. It isn't the kind of reading that can be done passively if the goal is to remember the key facts.
While it's easy to remember (or guess) that Portrait of Dr. Gachet was very expensive or even record-breaking, the exact number isn't easy to recall.
Now go back and find that detail in the text.
- It's a little easier to find and remember when you know what to look for, isn't it?
You'll learn ways to leverage that later in the lesson.
If you're ready to put some strategies to use to improve your reading skills, move ahead to the Got It? section.