What is comprehension

Comprehension is the overall goal of reading. It is the ability of students to understand and make meaning of what they are reading. Good readers think actively while they read. This means they combine their knowledge and experiences with what they know about vocabulary, language, structures, and reading strategies to get the most out of what they are reading. Good readers also notice when their understanding breaks down and then try and use strategies they have been taught to solve the problem that has arisen. 

Reading research has shown that instruction in reading comprehension helps students do a better job of making meaning of what they read. 


tell me about it

After a read aloud, one of the best and easiest ways to check for understanding is to ask your child to summarize what the book was about in their own words. You can ask a question or two to help your child clarify her thinking or to add more detail.  (Resource: Reading Rockets)

Five- finger retell

After reading a story together, have your child tell you five things about the story, using her fingers to talk about each one: 

(Resource: Reading Rockets)

words, words, words 

Be sure to include books with rich vocabulary in your read alouds and call attention to interesting words and phrases from the story. This may include repeated phrases or idioms (such as “get cold feet” or “I’m all ears”). Offer a kid-friendly definition and connect the new word or phrase to something your child already knows. Talk about how the author used language or words to make the text interesting, informative, funny, or sad. 

(Resource: Reading Rockets)

i predict...?

When you sit down for a read aloud, look at the book’s cover together. Ask, “What do you think this book might be about? Why? Can you make some predictions?” Guide your child through the pages, discuss the pictures, and brainstorm what might happen in the story. Talk about any personal experiences your child may have that relate to the story. 

(Resource: Reading Rockets)