Reciprocal teaching (Palincsar & Brown, 1984, 1986) refers to an instructional activity in which students become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Reciprocal teaching is a scaffolded, or supported, discussion technique that incorporates four main strategies—predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarizing—that good readers use together to comprehend text.
Why use reciprocal teaching? In addition to practicing their comprehension strategies using a variety of texts, Reciprocal teaching helps students read actively monitor their own learning and practice leadership roles.
Before Reciprocal Teaching can be used successfully in your class, they need to have been taught and practiced the four strategies (summarizing, questioning, predicting, clarifying) used during groups. Please see “Comprehension Strategy Instruction” for materials to teach each strategy.