Teachers know the importance of guided instruction. As teachers and students work together during this learning process, students gain skills and strategies they need to become successful independent readers.

Key Elements of Guided Instruction


  • interact and participate in dialogue with peers and teachers
  • learn questioning strategies to enhance metacognitive thinking
  • receive feedback through discussion and formative assessment


  • articulate learning goals clearly
  • model the application of comprehension skills and strategies
  • scaffold learning and tailor lessons to students’ needs
  • monitor students’ understanding of skills and concepts

Five Steps for Implementing Guided Instruction in Your Classroom

1. Introduce the skill

  • Provide explanations of the skill in student-friendly language
  • Introduce vocabulary necessary for understanding the skill
  • Allow students to ask questions to clarify the skill

2. Read the text

  • Choose a reading strategy—choral reading, independent reading, read aloud, etc.
  • Ask questions before, during, and after reading the text to activate prior knowledge and monitor comprehension

3. Think-aloud while answering formative assessment questions

  • Read the question aloud
  • Read the answer choices aloud
  • Think through your process for selecting the correct answer

4. Discuss correct and incorrect responses

  • Invite students to articulate how they determined correct answers
  • Discuss incorrect answers and why they are incorrect

5. Reflect on learning

  • Review the skills and concepts that were learned
  • Discuss how the skills and concepts can be applied to other texts

ThinkUp! ELAR provides guided instruction for the Focus TEKS in each unit. Teachers will feel confident that the content provided will help students master the TEKS. Students will feel confident as they are guided toward mastery through teacher support and peer collaboration.

Find out how debriefing can improve ELAR instruction in our next post: The Mission of Debriefing.