Building Bridges of Understanding
‘Building Bridges of Understanding’, is a reading comprehension programme aimed at giving children the
strategies they need to become good readers. By learning about these strategies, children can become
more involved in the text they are reading or hearing, and so deepen their understanding of the text
The Comprehension strategies are :
For each strategy children learn a sign or action (called a comprehension processing motion or ‘CPM’) to
indicate when they want to use that strategy during class reading
We will begin the 'Building Bridges of Understanding ' Programme in February 2016. This year we will be
focusing on the strategies of Prediction, Visualisation and Making Connections.
1) Prediction: Children make a ‘P’ sign to indicate when they want to make a prediction. Predictions can be
made before, during or even after the story. Good readers make predictions (good guesses) about what
might happen next in the story, using information they have gathered from the book cover, the blurb, the
pictures etc. so far. Predictions do not have to be right. As they hear more of the story, the children’s
predictions may change.
2)Visualizing: Visualizing while reading is like having a movie in your head of what is happening in the story.
Good readers can have a picture in their head, but other senses such as sounds, smells and feelings are
3)Making Connections: Good readers make connections between what they read in the story and things that
have happened to them or to people they know. They can also make connections to other books they have
read, movies they have seen, or things that are happening or have happened in the world. So these
connections can be text-to-text, text-to-self or text-to-the-wider-world.
Strategies to be continued next year :
Questioning: Children make a ‘W’ sign for ‘I wonder why . . .’ Good readers ask themselves questions
before, during and after reading. These questions can be generated by what they have read or seen in the
book, or sometimes what is not shown or said in the text. Some questions can be left unanswered by the
author and then good readers will use their own interpretation of the story to come up with their own
Clarifying: Children make a ‘C’ sign to indicate they need something clarified. This could be a word, phrase
or idea that is confusing and needs further explanation. Good readers make sure that what they are reading
makes sense to them, and so they stop to clarify the story when they are confused.
Declunking: When a reader comes across a word that they cannot understand (when they have a Clunk),
then they need to ‘declunk’ it. The children learn techniques for decoding these words through the
declunking strategy, breaking the words down into prefixes, suffixes etc.
Inferring: Children make an ‘i’ symbol to show they want to infer. Through the inferring strategy, children
learn how to read the ‘invisible ink’ of the story, reading between the lines to determine what the author is
hinting at, but not saying directly.
Determining Importance: While reading a text, good readers separate out the essential and non-essential
information and thereby determine what is important in the text. The determining importance strategy
enables children to identify, sort and order the key pieces of information in the text.
Synthesis: Synthesis is the skill of combining all the comprehension strategies and applying them before,
during and after reading, so that the reader constructs their own individual meaning from the text..