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The Primary Comprehension Toolkit, K–2

"Children are eager to find out what's in the world and how it works. Kids are ready to work hard, not because we 'motivate' them, but because they want to know stuff. As teachers we can draw on all the curiosity, energy, and comprehending experience that kids bring to school, and we systematically link it to the skills and strategies that more experienced learners use. People too often underestimate what primary kids can do. But in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit, we start high and go higher." —Stephanie Harvey & Anne Goudvis

The 22 lessons in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit model Stephanie and Anne's comprehension instruction and give you an explicit framework for your teaching. Through its carefully crafted language, lessons, and professional support, the Primary Toolkit equips you to design your own strategy lessons, using informational text of your own choice.

Download a slide presentation for an overview of the thinking, organization, and components in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit.

Professional Support
A series of resources introduce, support, and extend the Primary Toolkit's core lessons.
  • The Teacher's Guide shares the philosophy behind Toolkit, describes the components, and shows how to use the Toolkit in the classroom.
  • The Primary Comprehension Toolkit DVD-ROM includes live-from-the-classroom video footage of the authors teaching lessons; slideshows of an active literacy classroom and strategy instruction in science and social studies; and downloadable research articles, thinksheets, and full-color lesson texts.
6 Strategy Books
Instruction in The Primary Comprehension Toolkit centers on six strategy books (22 lessons) organized around fundamental comprehension strategies.
  1. Monitor Comprehension encourages readers to think about their thinking as they respond to the words, pictures, and ideas in a text.
  2. Activate & Connect teaches young readers how to build knowledge and understanding by connecting the new to the known.
  3. Ask Questions shows children how to use questions to expand their thinking and discover new information.
  4. Infer & Visualize prompts young readers to create pictures in their minds and to merge their background knowledge with text clues to draw inferences.
  5. Determine Importance helps children identify, organize, and share the important ideas and information in a text.
  6. Summarize & Synthesize guides readers to see the bigger picture, pull together their thinking, and share their learning about the world.
Informational Text
In the Primary Toolkit, students explore comprehension strategies as they read short, engaging, real-world informational text.
  • Lesson Text Poster Pack contains six large posters from TIME For Kids Bigger Picture Edition and an issue of National Geographic Young Explorer.
  • The Trade Book Pack contains the nine popular trade books referenced in some Primary Toolkit lessons (optional purchase).
  • Keep Reading! A Source Book of Short Text provides two kinds of nonfiction text: Lesson Text, the articles used in many lessons, and Nonfiction Short Text, 39 alternative nonfiction texts. Plus, a set of bibliographies for children and teachers are also included.
Copyright© 2015 Heinemann. A division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All Rights Reserved.