We live in a world where reading a book is no longer a top past time among children by choice. Reading a book for pure enjoyment is a pleasure most children do not relish in unless the internet is down.
When children do read they often lack the necessary thinking skills necessary to retain the knowledge they could obtain by 6 easy steps.
Modeling the following 6 steps to reading comprehension could help your child’s next book be one they will remember.
Ask your child to share with you the topic, theme, or character of the book they are reading? Ask them what they know about a book and what they might want to learn at the conclusion of it.
Ask your child if they looked through the chapters, read the summary at the back/front, and/or reviewed the pictures in a book. Ask them to guess what the book will be about and gently remind them to take the time to stop and predict what will happen next.
This is especially important while reading with your child even if it’s a picture book.
Tell your child that reading a book allows them to see a new movie, created just for them, in their mind. Share that their imagination is like no one else and they can even rewind by re-reading anytime they miss a scene! Have them imagine tasting food they read about; feeling wind, rain or snow on their face; feeling joy and sorrow of the characters; and smelling a fire on a warm summer’s night.
There will be words that your child does not know when reading.
Model how you determine the meaning of words when you read by using the words surrounding an unfamiliar one. You can share the techniques of replacing an unfamiliar word with a familiar one in a sentence as a great way to crack the unfamiliar word code. Looking up an unfamiliar word is also ALWAYS a great way to learn a new word and increase your vocabulary at the same time!
Drawing conclusions about ideas within a book is always a fun way to see how your child understands concepts. There are always layers of unintentional meanings your child may pick up on within a book that can lay the foundation for a deeper connection with them and their ideas!
Have your child apply what they read to what they already know. How does what they read fit into their repertoire of understanding the world? Did they like what they read? Why or why not? This is a big one and don’t let them get away with a, “I just liked it.” response.