We’ve all experienced it – we finish reading a page in a book and have no idea what we’ve read. For most advanced readers this is because we are tired or distracted. However, many young readers struggle with reading comprehension every time they read. They may “read” the passage perfectly but have no real understanding of the story. Reading comprehension is an important part of achieving full literacy. If you have a kiddo struggling with reading comprehension, try some of the following activities.

Read-Aloud Questions
No matter a child’s age, it’s always good to do read-alouds together. One benefit of reading together is it allows the adult to ask questions along the way. Asking questions such as, “What do you think will happen next?” or “I wonder why the character did that?” helps the child to engage with and think critically about the text and allows the adult to judge how well the passage is being comprehended. Take a look at these questions to increase reading comprehension from My Story Time Corner.

Story Sequencing
Sequencing is another way you can help a little one gain reading comprehension. Being able to order the sequence of events in a story is a key component in understanding plot. There are several ways you can practice story sequencing with your reader. You could simply have him write a sentence or draw a picture about what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story. You could also create these cute story stones if you wanted to get extra creative. Visit Imagination Soup for complete story stone instructions.

Closely related to story sequencing, retelling is also good practice for achieving reading comprehension. The rainbow reading bracelet is the perfect tool for gaining proficiency in retelling. Using colored beads on a bracelet as prompts for retelling (green – get ready for a few more details) the child learns how to summarize a story in an orderly fashion. Check out directions for making your own rainbow retelling bracelet at Growing Book by Book.

Close Reading
Learning to pay careful attention to a text is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally to beginning readers. Children have to be taught how to look closely at a passage in order to glean the most details and thus gain a better understanding of the author’s intent. Teaching a child to reread a passage slowly and thoughtfully will help her better comprehend what she has read. Close reading with Oreos is a great (and delicious) way to hone careful reading skills and will have your kiddo begging for more close reading practice. Visit Who’s Who and Who’s New for details on implementing this fun activity.

Learning to infer (draw conclusions) is crucial to gaining reading comprehension. There are many subtleties in stories that the author expects readers to notice; if these nuances aren’t picked up on the reader may miss important points of the story. Ashleigh at Ashleigh’s Education Journey uses wordless picture books to demonstrate this skill. Click on the above link to learn more about using wordless picture books to teach your child how to make inferences.

Red Apple Reading is committed to helping kids become successful readers. Part of achieving reading success is becoming proficient in comprehension. We hope these activities are helpful to your budding reader! Interested in more ways to improve a child’s literacy skills? Check out Red Apple Reading’s online reading program. Your child will learn phonics, phonemic awareness, sight words, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension while playing fun games and reading original stories. Get our full program free for seven days!