3 Tips for Reading Intervention

Students who struggle with reading may find great relief with intervention for reading strategies. Michigan State University’s College of Education offers three tips for reading intervention that can boost students’ reading comprehension and, in turn, their reading enjoyment.

Repeated Reading

Repeated reading has the students read a short piece aloud several times in order to improve their understanding of what they just read. They should be told they will be asked questions about the piece after they indicate they comprehend it. Most students are able to illustrate improved comprehension of a piece after reading it four times.

How to Do It

Have the student read a short piece aloud and then ask comprehension questions after he reads the passage. The passage should be reread at least three or four times until the student can answer the set of questions to illustrate he fully understands what he just read. The questions can vary after each reading, but should focus on the overall meaning and events in the story, not just the words themselves.


The goal of the repeated reading intervention tactic is to help kids more fully comprehend the meaning and story behind what they are reading instead of only focusing on or struggling through the words. This tip can be especially beneficial for students who are slow readers and is suited for students in first to fifth grades.


Rather than answering specific questions about a passage they just read, students are encouraged to read through materials and then explain what they just read in their own words.

How to Do It

Michigan State University sums up the instructions for the paraphrasing method with the acronym RAP, which the university says can be easy to remember if students think of the process as “rapping” to themselves. Instructors can explain to students that RAP stands for:

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  • Reading the paragraph silently to themselves, making sure they are aware of the meaning of the words
  • Asking themselves what the main ideas in the passage are
  • Putting the main ideas and passage details into a summary using their own words


Paraphrasing aims to teach students how to grasp the main ideas of something they just read and explain those main ideas to someone else. Because paraphrasing is a bit more advanced than simply answering questions about a particular passage, this technique is best suited for students in third to 12th grades.

Written Summaries

Similar to paraphrasing, written summaries allow the students to give a rundown of the materials they just read using their own words. Instead of offering an oral rundown of the entire passage, however, students must write out the summary in the form of an outline noting only the main ideas of the passage.

How to Do It

Introduce the five rules for writing summaries, and then have students read a several sets of pre-selected paragraphs where each set of paragraphs highlights one of the rules.

The five rules for writing summaries are:

  1. Omitting redundant information
  2. Omitting trivial or irrelevant information
  3. Making a list of actions
  4. Identifying paragraph topic sentences
  5. Creating topic sentences when none exist


Written summaries help students not only process the information they just read, but it also teaches them how to effectively and concisely explain it to others by omitting unnecessary information and sticking to the main points. The most advanced of the three intervention for reading tips, written summaries work best with students in fourth to 12th grades.

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