These ten reading comprehension activities will add excitement to your young readers’ reading experience.
The reader demonstrates comprehension by restating the text or story. Educators and parents want their children and students to interact with the text in a meaningful way. Charlotte Mason indicates that children should have the opportunity to connect with the author without the interference of another person. The reader can hear firsthand what the author is saying. There is no interpretation from an outside source.
The reader may be angered by the text they’ve read. Conversely, they may be in total agreement with what was read. In addition, a reader may become curious about a certain topic. Clearly, something occurs as a result of what was read.
Thinking while reading
Looking more closely at the idea of reading comprehension, we see that the text was taken in and some form of cognitive interaction takes place. The reader is prompted to think.
If there is no thought or reaction to what was read, the reader simply called out words. There is little benefit in this activity.
Variety is the Spice of Life
One of the elements of a Charlotte Mason education is variety Click To TweetOne of the elements of a Charlotte Mason education is variety. Giving children a variety of subjects helps exercise different parts of the brain. This avoids overuse of a specific area of the brain. We also avoid mental fatigue.
Interestingly, the child is likely to be eager to continue studying the specific topic or subject because they have not been overtired. You have left the child wanting more. We want children eager to learn more. They will put forth the effort and work that is necessary to learn when they are engaged and hungry for more.
Here are nine different approaches to narrating something that has been read.
Narration for Reading Comprehension
1. Tell the story back in your own words to show reading comprehension.
Readers need to pay close attention to what is being read Click To Tweet. This is an excellent habit to cultivate in a reader. As the reader is focused on what is being read, details will form and stay with the reader. If they are reading the text themselves they need to be engaged with the material to fully absorb it. Readers may need a moment to think about what it is that they read. Allow for this time. This is the work of the reader and it is necessary for learning to take place.
2. Give details about the story.
Give as much detail as you can about what you have just read. Time to think will be necessary here as well. Details will come back to mind as the reader is allowed think time to retrieve as many details as they can possibly remember. There will be silence as the reader is thinking. This silence may be uncomfortable at first but this is an important part of strengthening the listening muscle. The more the reader practices this skill the quicker the retrieval will come.
3. Name three things the person you read about is remembered for.
Ask the reader to recall a certain number of things they remember about the person they read about. Click To Tweet You choose the number of things to be retrieved. The number can be varied based on what specific things are emphasized in the reading. The age of the reader needs to be considered as well. If they are young, stick to two or three things until they get used to this activity. An older reader or someone who is very familiar with this activity will have an easier time of remembering specific details.
4. Explain what the story tells you about the character you read about.
You may have to draw the reader’s attention to specific things the character does or says so that the reader will begin to take notice of some of these subtleties. This activity may need some pre-reading activities to make sure the reader understands what a character is and how to identify character traits. This may be a good place to dig a little deeper and ask the reader if the character in the story is like someone they know in real life. This is a beautiful place for bringing in connections.
5. Describe something specific that happened in the story.
This could be the voyage across the seas or some other event in the story. Encourage the reader to include as many details as they can. Click To Tweet In addition, you may want to encourage them to imagine what the salt sea feels and smells like. Have them mention colors that are mentioned in the description. Encourage the reader to use his or her imagination where the text may not have many details. This greatly enhances reading comprehension. Bring in other senses to the conversation so that the activity is a rich experience.
6. Tell five things you learned from what you read to show reading comprehension.
Here again, you will need to vary the number of things you are asking for based on the reader’s experience with narration. The reader that is a novice in narration may need to focus on sharing only three things until they are more practiced in narration. Be sensitive to the reader and the material. There may not be five things to discuss. There may be several more. Don’t be afraid to talk about some of the additional things that the reader may have missed.
7. Ask five questions about the material you read.
This is a great reading comprehension activity since the reader is going to have to think about the material on a deeper level. The reader will have to pay attention to any questions that pop up naturally. They can take time and think about the information and think of additional questions.
8. Describe your favorite scene in the story you read.
Encourage the reader to use as many senses as possible. This again will make the experience rich and memorable. The key is getting the reader to fully engage with the text that is being read. This is a fantastic way to introduce narration or warm up the narration muscle. You can also use this as another jumping off point for further discussion as you describe something similar that you are familiar with.
9. Tell how the scene in the story reminds you of another story.
Connecting to another story read helps the reader remember material learned from other books. This helps to keep the previous material fresh in the reader’s mind. The material will also be transferred to long-term memory. This is another wonderful way to connect with the material previously read. The reader is internalizing the material at a deep level. The connection may also be with characters that are in the stories or experiences
10. Describe a character’s worldview to show reading comprehension.
Readers will become aware of the beliefs they hold and how they compare to the character’s worldview. The reader will understand that they either agree or disagree with the character’s worldview. Understanding worldviews will help the reader understand how the actions are prompted by the worldview
Use your imagination and tweak some of the activities for even more variety. Your students will enjoy having a variety of ways to think about the text they read. This can be used for fiction as well as informational texts.
You are equipping your young reader with a kit full of different activities they can use whenever they approach the text.
Which tip do you think you will use? Do you have any other ways that you like to help your reader interact with the text? Share your thoughts or comments in the comment box.