Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies that Work

Why do you even need teaching reading comprehension strategies? Teaching reading is different than teaching reading comprehension. Kids can learn the letters of the alphabet and even recognize words on the page, but teaching them to understand the meaning of those words is extremely important. 

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How do you teach your kids to understand the meaning of the words on the page? Do you know how to teach reading comprehension?

5 Essential Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies that Lead to Reading Success:

  1. Help your child visualize the stories they read. There are many things you can do to help your children visualize the story and understand the meaning behind it:

    • Create pictures about the story together

    • Act out the story

    • Use picture books to help with visualization

    • Re-read the story and stop and ask questions

    • Look up words they don't know

  2. Read aloud often. Make reading an integral part of your home life. Make books easily accessible and read together often. This is one of the best ways of improving reading comprehension at home.

  3. Utilize pre-reading activities. There are things you can do before you even open a book to get your kids ready.

    • Show pictures in the book first to prepare child for what they can expect the story to be about.

    • Ask them to guess what the story is about based on the cover and title of the book.

    • Discuss the topic of the book before reading. Select books with subjects you know they'll be interested in and that are good for sparking discussion.

    • Use their life experiences to illustrate the topics in the book so they can relate to the story and be motivated to learn more.

  4. Questioning is one of the best teaching reading comprehension strategies. Ask questions about the book before, during, and after reading the story. Encourage your child to ask questions of you as well. Examples of questions to ask include:

    • What do you think this book is going to be about?

    • What do you think is going to happen next in the story?

    • What was your favorite part of the book?

    • Has anything like what happened to the character happened to you?

    • Was there anything you didn’t understand?

    • Why do you think the character did that?

    • What did you learn from the story?

    It's especially import to assess how much of what your kids are reading is being understood and retained. Asking them questions helps you do this.

  5. Build their vocabulary. Ask them about new vocabulary words - discuss the meaning of any new words. Select books that introduce new words and show them how look up the definitions of those words.



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