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Learning Gym: Comprehension Skills Level 8

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Comprehension Skills: Level 8


The goal of this unit is to be able to read texts at intermediate levels and understand what you are reading. This unit will cover texts at level 8. 

If you read something and it doesn’t mean anything to you, that’s a waste of time. When you read something with comprehension, it should give you something to say. For example, if you read a note on the refrigerator, you’ll be able to say that your wife went to the grocery store. If you read a flyer, you’ll be able to say there’s a garage sale down the street. Or maybe you read the employee manual at a new job and you’d say that pretty much everything is the same as your last job except that you won’t get separate vacation and sick time here. If you read something and couldn’t have a conversation with someone about it, you haven’t really comprehended it.

You’ll start out with simpler readings and work until you can understand more complicated ones.  Every month you’ll get a chance to try to test out of the level that you’re working on and move up to the next level.


If you already feel confident using certain reading strategies, you may not need any coaching for comprehension practice.  You can just go to the practice section and find a text.  Then, read it using the strategies you have learned.  Be sure to pick a text at the level you are trying to master.

If you are understanding what you read, then keep reading!  If you are not understanding, talk things over with a coach.  Tell them what strategies you are using.  Maybe you need to practice those strategies more, or maybe you need to learn some new strategies. 

If you don’t know any comprehension strategies, you’ll need to learn some first.  There are a lot of different comprehension strategies you can use to help you understand what you read. There are things you can do before you read, things you can do while you’re reading, and things you can do after you finish reading.  If you don’t know any comprehension strategies yet, you should talk with a coach and maybe do some of the Before, While, or After Comprehension strategies units first.

If you’re working on learning a strategy but you don’t feel confident using it on your own yet, ask a coach to show you again how to use the strategy.


To practice using your reading strategy to understand what you’re reading, you will need to find articles at the level you are trying to master.  Go to the Leveled Reading Materials list for the Intermediate Reading Workout Plan to find good readings to practice with.  All of these sources have readings organized by reading level.  You may need a coach to help you learn how to use a new website or book. Once you have a reading to practice with, use your strategy to help you understand it.  After you finish reading, talk with a coach or another member about how well you understood the reading.  If you feel like you understood the article well, try answering some of the questions.  You will need to read many articles as you practice.

Articles for Comprehension Skill practice can be found in the Leveled Reading Materials list for the Intermediate Reading Workout Plan.


When you are working on this unit, your skill level will be tested every month with passages at the level you're working on.  A coach will give you two Level 8 passages to read and answer the questions about. Coaches can choose passages from the following sources: Reading Skills for Today's Adult; Newsela; Six-Way Paragraphs; Six-Way Paragraphs in the Content Areas; Endeavor; and Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers.  There are four tests for each passage.  If you can answer, "Yes!" to all four questions, you pass that passage.  If you pass both passages, you'll get the certificate for this level. 

  1. Do you feel confident that you understand what the passage was about and what it was trying to communicate?
  2. Did you talk about the passage with a coach? 
  3. After talking with you, did the coach agree that you understood what the passage was about and what it was trying to communicate?
  4. Did you answer 80% or more of the questions correctly?

If you don’t pass a test, you’ll keep practicing at the same level for next month.  Comprehension is the most important reading skill.  It may take several months to move up a level in this skill.  If you pass, you’ll get your certificate and move up one level for next month.