Strategies for Basic Comprehension
- When reading with children, it is important to ask frequent questions. Don’t wait until the end of the book to ask questions. Children forget what they have read quickly, and they tend to pay better attention when being questioned frequently.
- Ask different types of questions. Factual questions often begin with words such as who, what where, when, and why. These questions help determine if the student understands the basic plot of the book. More difficult questions that require students to think about the events of a story should also be asked. For example, parents can ask their children to predict what event will happen next or ask why a character acted a certain way.
- After every page or two, the student should sum up the events of the story in their own words. Simply say, “It’s your turn to tell what is happening in the story.” Parents can also summarize the story for their children so that they will see a good example of this technique.
For younger students, frequent questioning regarding the facts in the story helps them to pay attention and better understand the plot. They also benefit from predicting outcomes, analyzing why events took place, and summarizing the plot.
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