Reciprocal Teaching

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
-Edmund Burke

Reciprocal teaching is an instructional approach that supports students in develop four key comprehension skills, i.e. predicting, summarizing, clarifying, and questioning. The instructional approach can be used by students individually to monitor their own comprehension or with a peer as they partner read text. A small group of students can also use reciprocal teaching to engage in a discussion about what they are reading, where each students plays a role as one of the four comprehension strategies.

Bookmarks for Reciprocal Teaching

Bookmarks for Reciprocal Teacher.pdf

Recording Sheets

Recording Sheet for Reciprocal Teaching.pdf
Tic Tac Toe for Reciproal Teaching.pdf
Fab 4 Recording Sheet.doc (Thank you to S. Bouchie at the Ferrway)

Articles Explaining Reciprocal Teaching

What is Reciprocal Teaching.pdf
Reciprocal Teaching in Kindergarten.pdf
Guide to go with Reciprocal Teachign Video.pdf

Other Resources

Reciprocal Teaching Role Cards.pdf (Thank you to L. Ferranti for these role cards.)
Reciprocal Teaching Cards.pdf (Easy way to get a small group to use reciprocal teaching.)
reciprocal teaching cube.pdf (Copy this cube on tagboard. Cut and tape to form cube. Student use cube in small group or while partner reading to determine what comprehension strategy they will use before continuing to read.)
Great Resources for Reciprocal Teaching (See the role cards and posters.)

Posters for Each of the Strategies

Note: Try having students help you make icons and anchor charts with you. They will take more ownership for the strategies and are more likely to use the anchor chart while they read and use reciprocal teaching. Thank you to E. Bennett for this resource.
Clarifying Strategy Poster.pdf
Prediction Strategy Poster.pdf
Summarizing Strategy Poster.pdf
Questioning Strategy Poster.pdf
Activate Prior Knowledge Strategy Poster.pdf
Metacognition Strategy Poster.pdf

Comprehension Strategies (Thank you to S. Piso at the Ferryway for this Resource)
Carey the CONNECTOR.pdf
Casey the CLARIFIER.pdf
Pat the PREDICTOR.pdf
Quinn the QUESTIONER.pdf
Sal the Synthesizer.pdf
Sammy the SUMMARIZER.pdf


Possible Sentences.pdf

Clarifying/Monitoring Comprehension

Click Clunk Strategy Description.pdf
Clunk Cards.pdf
Reading for Understanding.pdf


Getting students to ask good questions is a challenge. As they get comfortable with the routines for reciprocal teaching, you may want to introduce QAR as a strategy to deepen questioning. Also, the Q-Chart is a great strategy for getting multiple types of questions.
See Our Page About Question Answer Relationships
Q Chart Thumbnail

Listen to an explanation of how to use the Q-chart.

Example Q-Chart
Presentation on How to use Q Chart
Ideas for How to Use the Q-Chart.pdf (Thank you to M. Donoghue for the ideas.)
Marzano's Question Stems
Beat the Teacher.pdf (A fun activity students will enjoy as they generate questions that syump the teacher.)


Getting good summaries from students is not an easy task. Two instructional approaches to help are Get the Gist and Paragraph Shrinking.
Resources and Explanation of Get the Gist
Description of Paragraph Shrinking.pdf (Thank you to Bay State for this resource.)
Description of Paragraph Shrinking.pdf
Very Important Points.pdf (Students will love the sticky notes in this instructional strategy.)
Post It Notes Strategy
Key Word Strategy.pdf
Key Word Strategy Poster.pdf

If students are having difficulty with summarizing, you may need to go back and help students retell the text. However, as students become comfortable retelling, we then need then to use the higher level strategy of summarizing.
Story Retell Scaffold.pdf (Giving struggling students the same prompts for a retell is important.)
Connectives.pdf (Connectives are often called transitional words or phrases. sing these words in your everyday language with students and in retelling will help students incorporate the words into their vocabulary.)
Read, Cover, Remember, Retell.pdf (Simple strategy to have students slow down and think about what they are reading.)