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The Intermediate Comprehension Toolkit, Second Edition

Language and Lessons for Active Literacy

The Intermediate Comprehension Toolkit from Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis for grades 3-6 has all of the language, teaching moves, and re-usable resources to build students’ reading comprehension in ways that are visible and audible and helps to show evidence of developing students’ thinking over time.


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List Price: $223.75

Web/School Price: $179.00


This product is part of the series:  The Comprehension Toolkit Series

Full Description

"When we comprehend, we add to and enhance our store of knowledge"

The Comprehension Toolkit Series from Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (available in K-2 and 3-6 sets) has all of the language, teaching moves, and re-usable resources to build students’ reading comprehension in ways that are visible and audible and helps to show evidence of developing students’ thinking over time.

As an active literacy learning framework, The Comprehension Toolkit can be implemented as part of a literacy block or within a curriculum lesson such as science and history.  Additionally, this supplemental resource is designed to support every instructional setting including whole group, ELL support, small group, independent practice, intervention, summer school – as well as resources for PLCs. 

Originally developed in 2005, this new 2016 edition includes everything from the original edition, plus a new teacher’s guide, new online resources and a new book, Content Literacy: Lessons and Texts for Comprehension Across the Curriculum; many new lessons integrate the strategies with science and social studies curriculum.

Note: Existing users of the original Comprehension Toolkit may purchase the new Content Literacy lesson book as well as the new corresponding trade book pack to fill in their existing resources. 

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Alternate Texts

The following short texts are included in Heinemann's Online Resources for users of the Comprehension Toolkit.

The First Olympics
Buried Alive
The Great Depression: Mired in Poverty
Riding the Rails to Hope
Navajo Code Talkers
The Japanese-American Internment
The Passion of Cesar Chavez
Boycott for Change
The Case Against Soda
Influential Advertising
How Much Is Enough?
The Money Game
Alien Cover-Up?
Seeing Aliens
Magic Women
A Master Magician
A Beloved Loser
Horse Behavior
A Pet Iguana?
The Popularity of Pets
Making Honey
The Super Ant
Naming Hurricanes
Hurricane Hunters
Real Giants
The Power of Niagara Falls
What’s Your Type?
Your Circulatory System
Gypsy Musician
Music with a Cause
The History of Photography
Flemish Painters: Artistic Survivors
The Tour de France
Marshall “Major” Taylor
Oscar Schindler
The Importance of Hard Work
On the Wings of a Dream
The Life of Frida Kahlo
September 11, 2001
How Computers Work
The Greenhouse Effect
Ozone Hole: A Hole Lot of Problems
The Textile Industry

In Depth

Our Toolkit lessons and materials focus on that broad range of fascinating “true” material called informational or nonfiction text. In Toolkit we feature a wide range of nonfiction—including feature articles, picture books, infographics, and nonfiction trade books—to expand our kids’ appetites for investigating the real world through reading. We also include a bit of realistic fiction, historical fiction, and informational poetry.

The Toolkit lessons lay the foundation for readers to use strategies as tools when reading nonfiction. Once kids develop familiarity with and get some practice using comprehension strategies to gain meaning, they will integrate them and use them more flexibly as they read. Our lessons in Content Literacy are practices that often integrate several strategies. Readers do not tend to use strategies in isolation. For instance, an inference usually follows quickly on the heels of a question. The Content Literacy lessons teach kids to debate an issue, analyze infographics, synthesize information across multiple media sources, determine and consider different perspectives on an issue, discern cause and effect relationships, and so forth. All of these processes require that readers have an arsenal of thinking strategies at their fingertips to use flexibly when the need arises. The Content Literacy lessons are powerful practices for reading and understanding nonfiction in every discipline.


Components and Organization

Each K-2 and 3-6 set includes three main components:

  • Research-based strategy and lesson books
  • Informational texts
  • Professional support and resources

Research-Based Strategy Books

The teaching and learning focus in The Comprehension Toolkit series centers on six strategy books organized around fundamental comprehension strategies:

  • Monitor Comprehension identifies ways readers keep track of their thinking and monitor their understanding as they read.
  • Activate and Connect alerts students to the impact background knowledge has on their learning and supports them to connect the new to the known.
  • Ask Questions highlights how readers can use questions to clarify unfamiliar ideas and discover new information.
  • Infer & Visualize Meaning teaches students how to use context clues and text evidence to crack open the new concepts and big ideas in a text.
  • Determine Importance helps students identify, organize, and share the important ideas and information in a text.
  • Summarize and Synthesize encourages students to go beyond the simple restating of facts, to pull together their thinking, and use all the strategies to understand big ideas.
  • New to the Toolkit’s 2nd edition, Content Literacy:Lessons and Texts for Comprehension Across the Curriculum – contains new lessons that integrates and extends all six strategies across the curriculum.

Each strategy lesson guide provides a lesson frame, modeling and language to follow the ready-to-go lessons at any grade level, as well as suggestions for designing new strategy lessons to fit any curriculum.

Informational Text

The Comprehension Toolkit series lets students explore comprehension strategies through engaging, real-world informational texts.

  • Articles from magazines as well as short informational articles specially written for the Toolkit series provide engaging nonfiction texts directly tied to activities and lessons in the strategy books. (In addition, for grades K-2, posters are included from TIME For Kids Bigger Picture Edition and National Geographic Young Explorer.)
  • A digital companion resource provides all of the texts and teaching resources in a full color reproducible format.
  • Optional trade books referenced in the Toolkit lessons

Professional Support

The Comprehension Toolkit series, has a commitment to elevating teacher expertise through embedded professional development.  Within the Comprehension Toolkit, the authors mentor the educator along the way through scaffolded and modeled lessons, teaching tips, lesson previews, and much more. 

The professional resources introduce, support and extend core lessons.

  • A Teacher’s Guide provides an overview of the Toolkit’s research, philosophy, components, instructional design, assessment options, and shows how to integrate the Toolkit into varied classroom literacy scenarios.
  • Online resources provide videos of modeled Toolkit lessons and author interviews to support day-to-day teaching incorporating author narrated lessons in action, and print resources with think sheets, assessment masters, record-keeping forms, lesson texts, research articles and full-color lesson texts.


Companion Resources

ELAR Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Correlation

Supporting Materials

Trade Book Packs containing the engaging books referenced in the Toolkit lessons are available. Because schools may already own these popular books, these books are available for your convenience as an optional purchase. They are also available in the updated Teacher Packs.


There are two trade book packs for The Intermediate Comprehension Toolkit, second edition:

First, is the original trade book pack that corresponds to the lessons in the first six strategy books in the Toolkit:

Second, is the trade book pack of corresponding books for the new Content Literacy (Intermediate) lesson book that is now a part of The Comprehension Toolkit series second edition.

Existing users of the original Comprehension Toolkit series may purchase the new Content Literacy lesson book and this new trade book pack to fill in their existing resources.

Related PD Services


Email if you would like to contact Stephanie Harvey directly about professional development support.


Email if you would like to contact Anne Goudvis directly about professional development support.
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