Reading comprehension can be defined as the ablility to understand the written
words. There are many factors that influence the level of comprehension that a
student has. Some of the following factors may contribute to a child's lack of
comprehension: fatigue, hunger, eye strain, lack of experiences, lack of confidence,
inability to focus or pay attention to print, distractions, inablity to make connections
to their own knowledge, and unfamiliarity with a topic. Below you will find some
helpful ideas for enhancing your child's reading comprehension:
Before and During Reading
* Discuss the topic of the text before reading and assess what is known about
* Have your child do a picture walk before reading and discuss what is seen in
* Have your child make predictions based on the cover and illustrations
* Have your child read aloud(developmentally children are unable to read
silently early on)
* Ask your child specific questions during reading like:
-Who are the characters in this story?
-Where does this story take place?
-When does this story happen?
-Was there a problem in this story?
-How was the problem solved?
-Tell me about the beginning, middle, and ending.
-What did you learn from this book?
-How did this book make you feel?
-Is this story real or make-believe?
-What did you like best about this story?
-What was the main idea of the story?
-Does this story remind you of anything?
-What was your favorite part of this story?
After your child is done reading you may want to check his/her comprehension by:
-Asking your child to do a retelling of the story(make sure they hit upon the
main concepts and a few details from the story)
-Discuss whether any of their predictions were accurate?
-Have your child write a few sentences about what they read.
- Have your child ask you questions about the story.(You can tell their
level of comprehension based on the questions they are asking you)
-Have your child make a project to go with the story like a diarama,
a word search, a portrait of the main character, a time line, a mobile,
a puppet, design a new book cover, make collage, make a mask to represent
the main character.