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Chunking is an instructional strategy that can be applied to a word or parts of a word. This allows the reader to focus on smaller bits of information at one time.


  • Divide text up into smaller pieces
  • Include units of meaning (morphemes)
  • Understand that parts of the word can change the meaning of the root word

Did you know?

When faced with an overwhelming amount of almost anything, we can break things into smaller, more manageable pieces. Use chunking with a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a section or a chapter.

See It In Action


The Answers May Vary Resource Collection on the CALP Portal includes a short audio file dedicated to Chunking from Chapter 2 of the AMV Guidebook ‘Strategies to Build Literacy and Essential Skills into Daily Life’.


Think of some personality characteristics of a friend, husband, tutor, or neighbor and use the friend's name as the root for a new word describing that quality. Add prefixes and suffixes and think of different contexts, e.g., "The weather has turned Fredish," "Let's reFred the chicken dinner."

Excerpted from Tutor Tools

Read More:

Practitioner’s Shortcut blog: Chunking

Other ways to incorporate the chunking strategy into a lesson plan:

  • Block out surrounding text with something (book, paper, hand etc.) 
  • Look through a magnifying glass
  • Make a window with your fingers or paper 
  • Try colour for chunking (pen, font or highlighter)
  • Use technology (increase the font size to make less text visible at one time)
  • Chunk up compound words into two smaller words on index cards; mix and match creating funny combinations