The Impact of Teaching Students Higher Order Thinking Skills on Reading Comprehension


Author/Creator ORCID





Masters of Education

Citation of Original Publication


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The purpose of this study was to discover whether teaching students higher order thinking skills such as inferring, visualizing, making connections, predicting, summarizing, and questioning would increase reading comprehension. The development of comprehension skills was measured by students’ performance on the Fountas and Pinnell Reading Benchmark Assessment, System One. This procedure took place over a 12-week block of time. Before higher order thinking instruction began, the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment was given to all students to establish a baseline score. After the data was collected, instruction was able to start. One higher order thinking strategy was taught and focused on for a two-week period with the first week guided and the second taught through the “I do, we do, you do” instruction. Students viewed modeled expectations and then were able to work together as a whole class or in groups. The second week was set for students to begin completing the tasks that focus on the higher order thinking skill independently. The Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment was given again at the end of the 12 weeks but this time used a text the student had never read. After the new data was collected, the pretest and posttest scores were compared. The current research demonstrates that students who need enrichment benefit from the instruction of higher order thinking skills. Researchers should continue to study which specific strategies are more vital than others. The students who are reading slightly above grade level found success in this study, but it would be interesting to determine whether students reading at grade level or below grade level would benefit from this instruction.