What Is Comprehension?

  • When reading text, your child will use several different strategies to understand what he/she read.


    Research shows that proficient readers use the following strategies naturally as they make sense of text; making predictions, making connections, summarizing, visualizing, questioning, and inferring.


    1. Making Predictions  

    -Using the text clues to think about what will happen next

    -Activating ones background knowledge (schema) to assess "What do I already know?" and "What new information am I getting?"

    -Using the language, "I predict ___ because the text said/showed ____."

    2. Making Connections/Using Schema

    -Using ones background knowledge to connect the text to ones own experiences (text-to-self connection), another story (text-to-text connection) or to the bigger, more expansive issues of the world (text-to-world connection)

    -To help your child make connections while he/she is reading, ask,

    • What does this book remind you of?
    • What do you know about the book's topic?
    • How does this book remind you of another book?
    • Did you add any new information to your schema after reading this book


    2. Summarizing/Retelling 

    -Restating what has been read, distinguishing between important and supporting ideas in the text, identifying and linking important ideas in the text, and examining story structure such as character, setting, plot, and conflict.

    3. Visualizing/Using Sensory Imaging

    -Creating mental images from the text

    4. Questioning/Wondering

    -Asking questions and reading for answers to think more deeply about the text

    5. Inferring

    -Using prior knowledge and text to understand implied meanings

    How to use comprehension questioning at home: 

    Before reading:

    1. Look at the cover. What do you think this story will be about? Why?

    2. Take a picture walk before reading by carefully, but quickly, looking at the pictures to develop an idea of what you think the story will be about. This is a good time to build upon prior knowledge. It also allows the child to anticipate vocabulary words that might appear in the text.

    During and after reading:

    1. What do you think will happen next? Why?

    2. Why do you think that character did that?

    3. What happened in the beginning? Middle? End?

    4. Where did the story take place (the setting)?

    5. If you were a character in the story, who would you be and why?

    6. If you were a character in the story, what would you have done differently?

    7. Can you make up a different ending?

    8. How were the characters alike? How were they different?

    9. Can you make any connections to this story?

    10. What the author's purpose in writing this story?

    11. What do the pictures in the story make you think of?