Strategies That Work, Third Edition

Teaching Comprehension for Understanding, Engagement, and Building Knowledge, Grades K-8

In this new edition of their groundbreaking book Strategies That Work, Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis share the work and thinking they’ve done since the second edition came out a decade ago and offer new perspectives on how to explicitly teach thinking strategies so that students become engaged, thoughtful, independent readers.

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Thirty new lessons and new and revised chapters shine a light on children’s thinking, curiosity, and questions. Steph and Anne tackle close reading, close listening, text complexity, and critical thinking in a new chapter on building knowledge through thinking-intensive reading and learning. Other fully revised chapters focus on digital reading, strategies for integrating comprehension and technology, and comprehension across the curriculum.

The new edition is organized around three sections:

  • Part I provides readers with a solid introduction to reading comprehension instruction, including the principles that guide practice, suggestions for text selection, and a review of recent research that underlies comprehension instruction.

  • Part II contains lessons to put these principles into practice for all areas of reading comprehension.

  • Part III shows you how to integrate comprehension instruction across the curriculum and the school day, particularly in science and social studies.

Readers can access updated bibliographies online, including the popular "Great Books for Teaching Content."

Since the first publication of Strategies That Work, over a million teachers have benefited from Steph and Anne’s practical advice on creating classrooms that are incubators for deep thought. This third edition is a must-have resource for a generation of new teachers—and a welcome refresher for those with dog-eared copies of this timeless guide to teaching comprehension.

Learn more about the Strategies That Work Classroom Library Collections.


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Strategies That Work is a book that’s easy to read and use, with valuable information for any K-8 teacher, new or veteran. If you have not ever read books by these excellent authors, you will be happy when you do, and if you are familiar with them, you will be glad you have another resource!

Kathee Lamberies


    About the Author(s)

    Stephanie Harvey is a regular presenter and keynote speaker at conferences. She speaks on reading comprehension; active literacy; nonfiction reading; writing and research; inquiry-based learning; reading and writing workshop; and the role of passion, wonder, and engagement in teaching and learning. 

    Anne Goudvis has been a classroom teacher, staff developer, and adjunct professor of reading and social studies. For the past ten years, she has worked at the Denver-based Public Education and Business Coalition as a staff developer and co-director of the Library Power project, a national initiative to improve teaching and learning in libraries and classrooms.

    Table of Contents


    Introduction to the Third Edition

    Part I The Foundation of Meaning

    • Chapter 1 Reading Is Thinking
    • Chapter 2 Reading Is Strategic
    • Chapter 3 Comprehension at the Core: Building Knowledge Through Thinking-Intensive Reading and Learning
    • Chapter 4 Twenty-First-Century Reading: Books and Beyond
    • Chapter 5 Effective Comprehension Instruction: Teaching, Tone, and Assessment

    Part II Strategy Lessons

    • Chapter 6 The Nuts and Bolts of Comprehension Instruction
    • Chapter 7 Monitoring Comprehension: The Inner Conversation
    • Chapter 8 Activating, Connecting, and Building: Why Background Knowledge Matters
    • Chapter 9 Questioning: The Strategy That Propels Readers Forward
    • Chapter 10 Visualizing and Inferring: Making What’s Implicit Explicit
    • Chapter 11 Determining Importance in Text: The Nonfiction Connection
    • Chapter 12 Summarizing and Synthesizing Information: The Evolution of Thought

    Part III Comprehension Across the Curriculum

    • Chapter 13 Content Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Thinking in Science and Social Studies
    • Chapter 14 Inquiry Across the Curriculum



    Children's Books

    Professional Resources




    Product Details

    Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Media: 320 pp/paper + 48 pp online appendixes
    Year: 2017
    Item No: 1063
    ISBN: 978-1-62531-063-7
    Hashtag: #Strats3