Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading Comprehension Strategies



Comprehension should always be the​ chief concern when teaching reading. What good is​ reading if​ the​ child has no understanding of​ what is​ read? in​ this article I will outline key reading comprehension strategies and​ show how they should be used.

Before reading you should allow children to​ make predictions about what they think the​ book will be about based on either the​ title or​ the​ picture on the​ front cover of​ the​ book. Children can also make predictions about what they think will happen based on what they read on the​ back cover of​ a​ book. Discuss with them their predictions and​ ask them to​ justify why their predictions are reasonable based on what they have read. Create a​ prediction chart that shows titles such as: WHAT WE PREDICT/WHAT HAPPENED in​ the​ STORY. List everything students predict will happen under the​ "WHAT WE PREDICT" column. Once the​ story has been read you can write what actually happened in​ the​ story in​ the​ "WHAT HAPPENED in​ the​ STORY" column. Students should be allowed to​ adjust predictions so the​ "WHAT WE PREDICT" column can be changed as​ the​ story is​ read. Older readers must be taught that while they are reading they should be looking out for​ the​ setting of​ the​ story, that is, the​ time and​ place the​ story takes place. the​ characters and​ plot are also essential elements they should be focused on as​ understanding of​ these story elements is​ at​ the​ heart of​ comprehending any story that is​ read.

Allowing children to​ do research on a​ topic before it​ is​ presented in​ a​ story format is​ highly effective for​ improving reading comprehension. This strategy however, works better with older readers. Children will feel more in​ tune with the​ content of​ the​ text if​ they are allowed to​ develop previous knowledge.

Another reading comprehension strategy that I have found to​ be highly effective is​ to​ do vocabulary work before hand. You can introduce children to​ new words. Have them break them up into syllables. Put the​ new words on flashcards. You can also have children find out the​ meaning of​ these words in​ the​ dictionary, with all this groundwork, once you get to​ the​ text it​ will be smooth sailing.

After reading, children can do written and​ oral retelling of​ the​ story. Engage children in​ answering questions. These may be in​ the​ form of​ traditional written comprehension questions or​ oral comprehension questioning. I mentioned using research as​ a​ pre-reading strategy but this can also be done after reading.

Encourage children to​ act out stories in​ groups with each child taking turns playing characters from the​ book.

Completing a​ story map is​ a​ good activity for​ students to​ do after reading as​ they get a​ chance to​ summarize and​ to​ zero in​ on what happened at​ different points in​ the​ story. a​ good story map is​ one that asks students to​ tell what happened at​ the​ beginning, middle and​ the​ end of​ the​ story.

Make an​ art-literature connection by having students draw and​ paint or​ color their favorite scenes. They can also write something about what they have drawn so that a​ writing connection is​ also made.




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