For some children, reading comprehension is a tough aspect of learning. They read a selection and, often times, can’t remember main ideas and details of what they just read. These reading comprehension strategies and resources will help kids understand what they read.
In small reading groups, it is best to stop frequently and ask questions. This helps both the teacher and the children see if they understood what they read. Yet, it is even more important for kids to check for their own understanding. Teach students to look for words or concepts they do not comprehend. Then, instruct them in ways to help improve their comprehension. Teach students to look for words they do not understand and then use context clues to help them figure out the meaning. In addition, guide students to formulate their own questions about the text. During reading groups, use a combination of prediction, informational, evaluative and analytical questions. Use Bloom’s Taxonomy pyramid to help guide your question asking.
Another way to look more closely at text is to make a text to self-connection. Using post-its, have students connect to the text on a personal level. Students can also make a text to text or text to world connection. Here is a lesson plan by K.J. Wagner on introducing the text to self-connection. In addition, go to effectiveteachingsolutions.com, for a more in depth explanation of the topic, along with books and handouts to help teach the different text connections.
Knowing the Genre
Some of the methods for better conceptualizing are teaching students different types of genres like fiction, nonfiction, fables, myths, historical fiction, poetry, biography and more. In fiction, students should be able to recognize main characters, setting, problems, rising action, and resolution. In addition, they should be taught what makes a character a protagonist and an antagonist. In non-fiction students should look to topic sentences for main ideas along with cause and effect relationships. In poetry, students should be able to examine literary techniques such as metaphor.
Graphic Organizers help students look more closely at text, form relationships between ideas and comprehend more complex ideas. Readingrockets.org has venn-diagrams, storymaps, chain of events, cause and effect and more organizers to help students examine the text. Although sometimes standardized tests do not allow for graphic organizers, students should become so proficient in them that they are able to create one from memory. This is done with daily use of graphic organizers.
Literature circles allow students to form groups, choose roles and examine stories closely. Although there are many different models, the goal is for students to become more critical thinkers and learn on how to reflect without having the teacher lead the entire discussion. Some of the roles students may take during literature circles are the summarizer, the discussion leader, illustrator and connector. Go to literaturecircles.com and litcircles.org, to learn more about this process.
Finally, engaging students and making reading fun is vital to them wanting to comprehend!
K.J. Wagner Text-to-self- Connection educationoasis.com