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Skill Overview

What are products of comprehended text?

Products of comprehended text are the outcomes that are derived from having decoded the text accurately and used critical thinking strategies effectively while reading.  Products (e.g., main idea, cause and effect) of comprehension are often confused by teachers and textbook authors with the strategies needed to comprehend text and therefore, a key reason why readers struggle to comprehend.


What tasks should students be able to demonstrate to indicate mastery of this skill?

  • Articulate what the text says using specific details

  • Determine the main idea or theme

  • Analyze the text

  • Interpret word choice and author's purpose

  • Determine the text structure

  • Distinguish the point of view 

  • Form opinions and make claims

  • Compare texts

  • Read with meaning independently 


Why is understanding the products of comprehended text important to reading?

Products of comprehended text demonstrate a deep understanding of the text and it's purpose at a level which builds the general knowledge of the reader.  These products are achieved through explicit instruction and modeling of the critical thinking strategies used by good readers to gain understanding.   

Structured Literacy Tools

Sequential and Cumulative

Systematic and Explicit

To Mastery

What is traditionally thought of as comprehension “strategies” are really the products of comprehended text.  Critical thinking strategies are what lead to these products or outcomes that are outlined sequentially in the Common Core Standards and the MS CCRS:

  • determining what the text says explicitly

  • drawing central ideas and themes

  • analyzing development of ideas

  • interpreting author’s word choice and meaning

  • structure of the text

  • understanding point of view 

  • evaluating arguments and claims

  • comparing texts

  • reading independently

Students benefit from seeing examples of the products of comprehension before being asked to identify them independently.  As with all instruction related to building comprehension, these “products” can be made much more explicit by selecting texts that illustrate each of the literary mechanisms and text features clearly.  Highlighting and annotating text as it is being read aloud is an effective way to show students examples of the products of comprehended text.

Remembering that comprehension relies on automatic decoding and strategic language comprehension, the ability to recognize the products of comprehension also rely on these two domains.  In addition, it is possible to assess mastery of individual products (e.g., main idea or cause and effect, etc.) through simple performance tasks for each using a variety of texts.  Mastery is achieved when students are able to demonstrate these skills independently in complex text at or above grade level. 

Practice Resources

Downloadable Files From BRI Resources
Downloadable Files From Literacy Partners
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