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This month’s feature...Comprehension
is thinking. How many of us read just to show that we know how to read words on
a page? I would guess none. Reading
opens up new worlds to us, but children need guidance in how to access the
meanings of texts. Learning strategies for comprehension should begin even
before children learn to read and continue throughout their school experience.
Comprehension is much more than being able to answer a few questions at the
end, or stating what you like or dislike about a text. Comprehension begins
even before a child has opened a book’s cover, and continues throughout the
reading as well as after the last page has been read. The following are a few strategies
and questions to keep in mind for your child as you guide and support her
- Activate prior knowledge – What do
I already know about this topic? Have I ever heard of _____ ? Have I read
other books on this topic/genre or by this author?
- Predict – What do I think this book
will be about? What do i think will happen next? (always go back and
confirm or revise predictions after reading)
- Visualize – Make a “mind movie” of
what is happening, or draw illustrations of what the text makes me think
- Predict – What do I think will
happen next? What do I think the outcome will be?
- Question – Ask clarifying questions
such as: Why did the character (or author) choose to do that? Why is this important? What are the key
words? How does the (map, chart, graph, etc.) differ from others in this
chapter? What is the problem?
- Connect – Does this remind me of
anything in my life? In other books I’ve read? About what I know of the
- Monitor – Does what I just read
make sense? Do I need to reread? Is there unfamiliar vocabulary I need to
- Summarize – Tell a family member what
the main idea and supporting details are (nonfiction) OR Tell who the
characters were, where the story took place, what the problem was, and how
the characters solved their problem (fiction).
- Reflect – What did I learn? How is
- Analyze – Discuss alternate
outcomes, character motivation, compare the text to others of similar
- Check – Were my predictions
correct? Why, or why not?
These are just a start to help your child digest what she
reads and deepen her understanding of the world, herself, and others. (See the
back for more ideas). Enjoy!
Literacy Coordinator, MVPCS