Books for the Monitor and Clarify Strategy title image

Have you ever struggled with knowing how to help your elementary students truly grasp what they’re reading? Monitoring comprehension is such a crucial skill that needs to be explicitly taught. Let’s explore some high-interest books to use when teaching students the monitor and clarify strategy while reading.

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Monitor & Clarify Mentor Texts

This book roundup is slightly different since there are so many options for teaching the monitor and clarify reading strategy! Rather than suggesting specific books, I’m sharing general categories of texts that work well for monitoring comprehension as they naturally lend themselves to using metacognitive strategies.

What If You Had Animal Series Monitor and Clarify Comprehension Mentor Texts

What If You Had An… Series

The What If You Had An…Series features highly engaging nonfiction texts. Students learn about animals in a very unique and engaging way, as this series imagines what we’d be like with animal parts. The illustrations will keep your students laughing as they learn!

National Geographic Kids Monitor and Clarify Comprehension Mentor Texts

National Geographic Kids Series

The National Geographic Kids books present high-interest facts in a student-friendly format. These books are available at different levels so all students are able to find books that are accessible to them.

World of Weird Animals Series Monitor and Clarify Comprehension Mentor Texts

World of Weird Animals Series

The World of Weird Animals Series introduces students to some of the most unique animals on the planet. These nonfiction books are sure to pique students’ interest with high-quality photographs and interesting facts.

Who Was Series Monitor and Clarify Comprehension Mentor Texts

Who Was, What Was, Where Was Series

Students will love reading about their favorite singers, athletes, and important historical icons in the Who Was… Series. These chapter books use a story format to provide fascinating facts. There’s the What Was and Where Is series to check out also.

Newsela Nonfiction Articles Monitor and Clarify Strategy

Nonfiction Articles

Nonfiction texts naturally work better for monitoring comprehension activities. When students lack the necessary background knowledge to access the text, they will be confused and need more clarification. ReadworksNewsela, and CommonLit are great resources for finding high-interest articles.

Wordless Picture Books for Monitoring Comprehension Strategy

Wordless Picture Books

Wordless picture books naturally bring out students’ curiosity. They will automatically ask questions about the text and look at the details to infer what is happening. Students may also need to “reread” to clarify their understanding as the story develops.

NY Times What's Going on in This Picture for Monitoring Comprehension Strategy

NY Times What’s Going on in This Picture?

You can unusual pictures that require students to analyze in order to understand. This will lead to students naturally using fix up strategies to figure out what is happening in the picture. NY Times What’s Going on in This Picture is an amazing resource with actual photographs from newspapers and the corresponding captions.

Context Clues Books for Monitoring Comprehension Strategy

Context Clues Mentor Texts

Students can also implement the monitor and clarify strategy by using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. Baloney (Henry P) and Du Iz Tak? both use nonsense words in which the reader has to figure out what they mean. So much fun!

Eve Bunting Books for Monitoring Comprehension Strategy

Eve Bunting Mentor Texts

When choosing fiction texts for monitoring comprehension, you want to use books with more complex stories. Eve Bunting’s books are ideal for this because they have rich plots with lots of opportunities to practice implementing metacognitive strategies.

Patricia Polacco Books for Monitoring Comprehension Strategy

Patricia Polacco Mentor Texts

Patricia Polacco’s books are an ideal fiction option for practicing the monitor and clarify strategy. Polacco shares stories of her childhood growing up with parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent. As a result, she includes words that are unfamiliar to students, such as Babushka, which requires them to monitor comprehension as they read.

What other texts do you love using to practice the monitor and clarify strategy? Share in the comments!

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