South African learners’ performance in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2006) assessment reinforced the need for reading instruction practices aimed at addressing the difficulties in language and reading in both the Foundation and Intermediate Phases, particularly comprehension. PIRLS (2006) highlights the areas of low achievement of South African learners by referring to strategies identified by current research as central to the learning of reading. South Africa lags behind in introducing these critical skills. We argued for the inclusion of an alternative reading programme to the phonics only approach currently and predominantly used in Foundation Phase. The study was lodged in a qualitative paradigm and embedded in action research. The analysis is framed by constructivist grounded theory. Qualitative data generated by the respondents’ response journals were analysed using the constant comparative method. Theories that inform the analysis of this data, are Bourdieu’s theory of habitus, Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking skills. The participants' were a non-exclusionary cohort of 58 third Graders.