Comprehension is the reader’s ability to understand, engage with, and think about the text.
Activities to Support Comprehension
Before, During, and After Reading Questions:
Questions to ask your child to develop his/her comprehension skills
Whenever appropriate ask your child to provide evidence from the text to support their thinking.
Before the Reading of a New Book:
- Look at the cover: What do you predict will happen in this story?
- Is this story fiction or nonfiction? How do you know?
- Look at the pictures throughout the book; what are you thinking?
- What do you know about (insert topic) from your own experience?
- Ex: What do you know about going to a new school?
During the Reading of a New Book:
- Stop at a certain point and talk about what has happened so far in the text, and what you are thinking.
- After reading the beginning of the book, predict what will happen in the end of the story.
- How has your prediction from the beginning of the story changed?
- Be sure to have your child go back and reread if they are unclear of a part of the text.
- Describe the characters in the book.
- What is the setting of this story?
- Compare the main characters to one another or to yourself.
After the Reading of a New Book:
- Talk about the characters, the setting, the problem and solution.
- Talk about the episodes leading up to the solution.
- Is that how you would have solved the story? Why/why not?
- Create a new ending for the story.
- Summarize or retell what happened.
- Why do you think the author wrote this story?
- What message was the author trying to send with this book?
- How would you change the story?
- Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
After reading, tell...
- 3 facts that you learned or discovered.
- 2 facts that you found interesting.
- 1 question that you still have about the topic.
Read, Cover, Remember, Retell
Read a page of text, cover the page with your hand, retell what you remember in your own words.
Reading Comprehension Strategies:
Comprehension strategies are tools that good readers use to make sense of text. Comprehension strategy instruction allows students to become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own reading comprehension. The following strategies are used to help improve reading comprehension:
Connecting is a strategy that involves making personal connections with texts and connections between texts. Connections can occur before, during, and after reading.
Ask your child: What feelings or experiences have you had that are like those of the characters in this book? How does connecting help you understand what you read? How is this book like another book you have read? How does collecting information from more than one text help you build your understandings?
This strategy is helpful in teaching students to use background knowledge and textual clues to make predictions before and during their reading.
Ask your child: Can you predict what will happen next in this text? What do you think this will be about? What will you learn? Why?
This strategy is helpful for teaching students to ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading.
Ask your child: What questions do you have before you begin reading? What questions did you have while you were reading? Where can the answers to these questions be found? Was there anything you wondered or were confused about?
An inference is an assumption, or a supplying of information that is not explicitly stated in the text.
Ask your child: What did the author mean by ---- ? What in the text helped you know that? What did you already know that helped you figure that out?
Summarizing is the process of determining important events or information and compiling them into a central theme. Summarizing as they read helps readers form memory structures that they can use to select and store details. In nonfiction text, students find key points and determine what is important in text.
Ask your child: What did you learn from the text? What was the theme of the story? What was the problem and what episodes led to the solution?
Evaluating involves critiquing, establishing opinions, considering author intents and viewpoints, and preparing to use and apply new information gained from reading.
Ask your child: What do you think about this book? Why? Do you agree with this author's views? How do the illustrations help you understand the text? Could this really happen?
Visualization helps readers connect with text as they consider the sensory images evoked by the characters, settings, and events. Images can be created during and after reading and enhance comprehension by helping the reader draw conclusions, interpret text, and retain information.
Ask your child: In your mind, what do the characters look like? What does the setting look like?