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Reading Comprehension Strategies for Students

Ole Flamenco 1
Written by Monica

Learning to read involves so many different skills: letter recognition, decoding, phonics, etc. And one of the skills many children often struggle with most is reading comprehension. But this may simply be a matter of training the brain to slow down and remember.

Here are a few techniques that parents can use at home to help their children develop their reading comprehension strategies.

There is no better teacher than practice. So encourage your child to read, read, read! But parents can also read to their children, asking them to listen to the story and pausing to ask questions like, “What do you think will happen next?” or “Why do you think (s)he felt that way?”

If your child is reading, encourage them to go slow and think about the words. Make them pause every few sentences and ask them to explain what just happened. This helps to build up their short-term memory about the story they are reading.

Audio Books
Audio books are awesome tools to help your child learn to listen and understand the subject matter. These are especially good for introducing the Classics to your child, and it helps them expand their vocabulary while helping them understand the story line.

Summarize It
After reading, ask your child to tell you what the story was about in their own words. Begin with short stories and gradually increase the length. Your child can tell you about it verbally or by writing it down.

Draw It
Instead of writing it out, ask your child to draw you a few scenes from the story. Your little illustrator may surprise you with how much they remember and learn when they have the opportunity to manually and visually tell the story.

Story Boards
Story boards are a fantastic tool for reading comprehension. By combining art with the subject, you reinforce the child’s understanding. Story boards can have as few as 4 or 5 frames, to as many as 12 or more. As you can see from the picture above, the center frame is used for the title of the story or subject. The surrounding frames can be used to draw items, scenes, or characters related to the story/subject.



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About the author


Monica es la fundadora y publisher de, un sitio para familias latinas que hacen educación en casa y también familias con niños en escuelas tradicionales que quieren un rol activo en la educación de sus hijos. Ganadora del premio "Mejor Bloguera Latina de Educación 2011" de LATISM.

  • Jenna Tomaszewski

    This was a great article that I know works having put it into practice. The storyboards are my favorite thing to put into practice. I love how students work gets better throughout the year, love putting some of the start of the year projects and the end of the year stuff into a portfolio. This is a great thing to show the parents at parent-teacher conferences. Parents eat up things their children have drawn and its a great way to show what your working on.

    • Monica

      Hi, Jenna.

      Yes! I fell in love with story boards the minute I read about them. They are just a great tool for developing reading comprehension. Thanks for sharing!

  • Leyla Smile

    This information is exactly what I needed. I have two boys, my old one’s seven years old and the younger one’s four years old. I’ve been secretly worried that my younger one’s learning ability was somewhat slower than my older one’s, but I attributed the difference to different personality and also to my older one’s faster than norm learning ability. I’ve been struggling to teach my four year old how to read and to make him understand the books well, but I think the techniques laid out here will definitely help me. Thank you so much.