- Read aloud to your child
Reading a story to your child is one of the best ways to develop their comprehension skills. When children are free to simply listen to a story, they don’t have to focus on decoding the meaning of words and can instead focus their attention on the plot and story development. You can also read more advanced books to your child than they would usually be able to read on their own. This can expose them to new words and prepare them to eventually read more complex books independently.
- Ask questions
When reading to your child, an effective way to develop their comprehension of a story is to ask them questions before, during and after your reading session. For example, before reading you can ask; ‘What do you think the book is about?’ What interests you about the book?’ During reading you can ask; ‘Where is the story set?’ ‘Who are the main characters?’ After reading you can ask ‘What happened when…?’ ‘What do you think will happen next?’
- Say what you’re thinking
When reading a story together, try and verbalise what you are thinking. Share your thoughts, questions, ideas and mental imagery that comes to you as you are reading. This will help your child understand the kinds of things a good reader should be thinking when reading.
After reading a chapter or an entire book, ask your child to summarise what they have read. This will help them recall specific themes, events, characters and plot lines as well as learn about story structure.
- Use Graphic Organisers
A more hands on way to build comprehension skills is to use graphic organisers, which are written exercises that allow children to visually map out different elements of a story. There are countless graphic organiser templates available for free on the internet. These will help your child organise their thoughts to provide a clearer picture of the different elements of a story.
Visit www.readingeggs.com to see how your child can learn to read while having fun with Reading Eggs!