Improving reading comprehension with PEE

Can I have a ‘P’ please Bob?”

Forgive me if you’re not old enough to recognise that particular cultural reference. If you are, then enjoy a little sepia tinged snigger just like you did on weekday teatimes back in the day.

What is PEE?

In this short post we look at how to improve reading comprehension through the use of PEE. Popular in KS3 English classrooms for several years, PEE has now found its way into Y6 classrooms and is an invaluable aide-mémoire to support children working at the higher levels in reading comprehension. In this article we start at the higher levels but also track back from PEE to show how to support children’s reading comprehension at the earlier stages of development.

So, what does PEE stand for?

P – point

E – evidence

E – explain

Very simply, when answering comprehension questions children need to assert the point they are making. The evidence is the quote or quotes from the text that they use to support their point and the explanation is where they expand on their point and if possible give a personal opinion.

Children working at level 5 need to be able to locate specific information from across a text and explain how it supports their point. What we’re asking these children to do is synthesise and analyse text. These are higher order thinking skills at the top of Blooms taxonomyPEE helps them to do this successfully.

Reading comprehension with PEE

This, of course, is lofty stuff for the majority of children in primary schools. However, by tracking back from PEE we can scaffold the skill of reading comprehension so that eventually all children will be able to PEE. What do I mean? Think of those children working at levels 3 and 4. Can they make a point and quote the evidence in the text? And what of the children working at levels 1 and 2. Can they offer an opinion and show you where in the text there is something that supports their idea? “Find it, prove it” as some teachers like to say.

PEE is a universally useful way to support reading comprehension across the key stages so long as we remember to track it back and think about the developmental stages of the children we’re working with. So, next time you’re doing reading comprehension take time to have a PEE!

If you found this post useful you may want to read our posts about AF3 – inference and deductionguided reading, and guided reading from good to great.

Rachel Clarke – Director: Primary English Education Consultancy Limited

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