Comprehension Strategies for Reading Historical Fiction Picturebooks


  • Suzette Youngs,

  • Frank Serafini


As the texts readers encounter in and out of school grow in complexity, the strategies that teachers demonstrate and encourage students to employ need to expand to accommodate the changing nature of these texts. In this article, the authors present a three-part framework for utilizing historical fiction picturebooks as instructional resources. First they share various strategies for previewing a text, and calling students’ attention to the visual, textual and design elements of historical fiction picturebooks. Second, various strategies are presented for moving beyond noticing to strategies for interpreting what has been presented in the visual and verbal text. Third, they suggest several strategies for moving beyond interpretation to develop readers’ ability to critically analyze the historical perspectives and contexts of these texts. In this article, the authors guide readers through the reading of two historical fiction picturebooks while modeling how to employ strategies for reading multimodal texts.