Improve Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension simply involves grasping the meaning or understanding the text while you are reading. What good is reading if you don't understand? You may as well be looking at a never seen before foreign language.

Unfortunately, for many children, this is what it feels like. They may be excellent readers, but if they don't understand the concepts that are presented in the text, it becomes difficult or impossible for them to retain the information.

Such children may be diagnosed as low achievers and will begin to feel like failures as they fall behind the rest of the class.

If your child is struggling, the strategies and articles below will help her improve.

Reading Comprehension

The good new is- the old fashioned way to improve reading comprehension still works: ask questions related to the story before and after reading.

You can build anticipation of a story by asking your child questions based on the title and cover of the book, before you read. This helps her to tune in while she is reading. Questions such as:

What do you think this story will be about?

Can you tell what the main characters' name is?

What do you think will happen at the beginning, middle, & end?

After reading the story, you can ask the same questions again in a different manner. i.e "What was the main idea of the story?"

Theatre Mask

Dramatazation is the art of acting out a scene or chapter from the book. Acting out the scene will help your child make the connection between the words on the page and their meaning. You can encourage them by providing props, backgrounds, and an audience of family members.

What's important is that they are able to apply meaning the text so they will retain the information longer.

It may seem like an extreme method,but the rewards are immeasurable.

Another way to improve retention is by playing memory games. Comprehension is related to focus, concentration, and memory. The classic memory card game in which players must make card matches while the cards are face down is an excellent example.

You can find the memory card games at any toy store or you can make the game yourself by using photographs. You may not have matching pictures of the same thing, but you have matching pictures for the same occasion. For instance, 2 pictures from a birthday party or 2 pictures from a vacation.

This game can also be played using a deck of playing cards to match Aces, Kings, or numbers.

Believe it or not, a scavenger hunt is also a useful method to improve comprehension skills. If the child mis-reads the directions or the clues, she will will not find the treasure. Consequently, she is forced to practice focusing on the details.

While doing research on the best Reading Comprehension strategies, I ran accross this study skills website that asked the question: "Are you a right brainer or left brainer?"

I clicked on the link to take the test to find out which one I am. I seem to be a combination of both, but more left than right. The website goes on to say, that right brainers learn differently than left brainers. I'm thinking why don't they test all kids when they enter school to find out which one they are? It would make so much sense to put them in classrooms according to their learning ability...

Anyway, it's an interesting theory. I suggest that you click on the link above to see which one your child is before attempting to enforce reading comprehension skills. After you get the answer to that question, it may be easier for you to help your child with study skills.

Key Reading Comprehension Strategies

Need Comprehension? Read the Instructions

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