Encouraging Reading Comprehension at Home
In the classroom, students are introduced to comprehension strategies that we practice in whole group, and again in small group instruction. Here are the strategies we use that you can ask your child to practice at home.
Making Connections- When we connect the book to our own life, to other books, or to something happening in the world, it helps us to understand the story better. As your child reads, ask if he or she can make some connections. Three kinds of connections we make are:
Questioning- Good readers ask themselves questions as they read and then think about where answers come from. As your child reads, encourage him or her to ask questions and then think about the answers. The sources of answers to question might….
· Be answered in the text
· Require some inferring
· Require some background (previous) knowledge
· Require some discussion with others
· Require some further research.
Inferring- Sometimes the author doesn’t come right out and tell us something- we have inferences from the text to understand the author’s message. We can support our inferences with clues that the author gives us in the story. Ask your child to make some inferences and use the book to show where the clues that support the inference are.
Visualizing- Good readers create pictures in their minds to help them understand what is happening in the story. Talk with your child about the mental pictures you created as you read and compare it to his or her ideas.
Other comprehension activities that you do at home might include:
· Retelling the story in sequence
· Giving the main idea of the story
· Giving details about the story
· Sharing favorite parts
· Sharing the parts that were interesting or surprising
· Discussing and/or comparing characters-what were their traits? Did they change during the story?
· Identifying the problem/solution- what was the difficulty the main character faced? How was the problem solved?
· Identifying the author’s message- what did the author mean? Why did the author write this book?
· Making predictions about what happens next, or what happens after the story ends.