Years Later, Comprehension Strategies Still at Work


  • Ellin Oliver Keene,

  • Susan Zimmermann


In this article, authors Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmermann reflect on comprehension strategy instruction 15 years after the publication of their book, Mosaic of Thought: Teaching Comprehension in a Reader's Worskhop. They reassert their claim that to teach comprehension well, we must first read widely and scrutinize our own reading processes. They begin by using the structure from Mosaic of Thought in which they respond to a short selection to demonstrate the thinking strategies at work. Keene and Zimmermann report on the heartening progress in students’ comprehension learning in the last 15 years but also caution that comprehension strategies are a means to an end, not the end goal in comprehension. They recommend ways for teachers to maximize comprehension strategy instruction in an era dominated by assessment and the Common Core State Standards.