Comprehension is understanding what is happening in a book. Sometimes educators can be guilty of focusing too heavily on decoding and pushing their children to read harder and harder books while somewhat neglecting comprehension. It is a skill that needs to be taught explicitly to children. ‘The Teaching of Reading’ e-book is now available for download here.
This is a guide to 7 comprehension strategies that you need to work on with your child. The guide runs through questioning, self-questioning, inferring, graphic organisers, making connections, summarising and self-monitoring. The guide includes examples and resources to support the teaching of these strategies.
Each strategy needs to be:
- Explained. Talk to your child about it and explain what it means, why it’s used and when it’s useful.
- Modeled. When reading to your child, use the strategy ‘out loud’. As a competent reader, use the strategy to model what it should look/sound like.
- Supported. Assist your child applying the strategy. Give feedback and make adjustments as needed.
- Practised independently: Your child should then be able to use the strategies independently.
We also offer a number of comprehension worksheets. They’re a great resource to use, but remember that any books your child reads can be used to work on comprehension skills (often more effectively as they allow practice in context).
Graphic organisers support the teaching of many of these strategies. Find the complete collection in our Graphic Organisers page.