Teaching 7th Grade Reading: Tips for Seventh Grade Tutors and Teachers

Are you a teacher or a tutor who teaches reading to 7th grade students? If you are, then the following are a few tips and techniques that you might find useful to help your students improve.

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Tips and Techniques for Teaching 7th Grade Reading

What's Expected of 7th Grade Students

By the 7th grade, reading is an integral component of an English/language arts class. Although reading curriculums differ from school to school and state to state, most 7th grade reading lessons are fairly similar. In the 7th grade, students begin reading higher-level literature than previously and often begin to study the classics. Analytical and critical thinking become necessary not only in English class, but also in other classes as well.

Even though most 7th graders can read fluently and comprehend many texts, they're not finished learning how to read. In elementary school, your students received essential reading instruction, but they're probably not yet ready to tackle challenging high school texts. As a 7th grade reading teacher or tutor, you can prepare your students for upperlevel grades by teaching them comprehension techniques. Since much of the reading they will be doing in later grades is textbook-based, try not to neglect non-fiction in your classroom.

Teaching Pre-Reading Methods

Teach your students various pre-reading techniques. When reading a non-fiction text, encourage your students to begin by reading the chapter objective, headings and captions that appear in the text. This will give them an idea of what they will learn before they begin to read.

When beginning a novel, find some way to connect the novel to your students' experiences. For example, if you're teaching an historical novel, give your students some background history that relates to their lives and interests in some way.

Teaching Reading Techniques

Teach your students how to take notes while reading. At the beginning of the year, you may want to give them a note-taking template. The template should have questions and key words; students will fill in the answers. The notes should help familiarize your students with concepts, imagery and themes. Later in the year, encourage your students to notice the key words on their own.

Helping Exceptional Students

Not all students learn at the same rate and there can be a vast gap in reading ability between different 7th graders. If you have a student who's advanced, he or she may get bored if you simply teach him or her standard 7th grade level reading materials. It's important that advanced students are provided with higher-level reading materials so that they are given a challenge to meet and continue to grow as readers.

On the other hand, there are students who may be reading below grade-level and struggle to keep up. If you're a classroom teacher, these students may benefit from additional attention both in and outside of school. If you're a tutor, you may be the extra help being sought outside of school. Be patient and dedicated to instilling a sense of confidence in your pupils. A student's sense of self-esteem is often essential for them to progress not just when it comes to reading, but in all areas of learning.

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