Reading and comprehension
The purpose of reading is to make meaning from the text. It is
important to be reading books about things they are interested in.
Children are far more likely to gain meaning from books that have
familiar words and topics of interest.
Reading for meaning
When children can relate personal experiences to the text in a
story, then reading
comprehension will more likely occur than if they are unable to relate to the book or if the story
is not interesting.
If your child has a fascination with wombats, find books about
wombats. If kids are interested in the story, they are far more likely to want to read it.
When children are learning to read, there is a difference between the stories that
are read to children and the stories that children read. Many schools use basal readers, commonly called
‘readers’ for children’s first reading books. Basal readers come in sets where the vocabulary becomes
increasingly more difficult as children move through the graded readers. The readers usually have accompanying
activities and worksheets.
There is debate in the educational community regarding the use of
basal readers. Some critics consider basal readers focus on skill development rather than fostering an enjoyment of
The quality of the basal readers is often questioned; some believe
that the readers are not particularly interesting or meaningful for children.
Children experience comprehension difficulties if they
cannot accurately or fluently identify the words in the story. If they have to stop to decode a large percentage of
the words they read, their attention is diverted away from the story line and from the important task of
comprehension. They have actually read the text, but they have not comprehended or understood it.
For more information about how children learn to read check out
this great site: How
to teach children to read.
Teach your child commonly used sight words, this will make reading
comprehension a lot easier. Sight word
cards can build your child's word bank and increase their reading skills.
Create books specifically for your child
Children need books that are interesting and important to them.
The first books you introduce to your child need to be simple ones. You can make reading especially for your
There are many different ways to write stories specifically for
1. Take a piece of art work they have completed and ask them to tell you
about it. Write the story down, type it out and attached it to their drawing.
2. Children often draw pictures about what interests them, so you may be
able to take a series of their art work. Type out simple sentences to match the illustrations, staple the art work
together and create a story book.
Make up a short story using words that they know. Type it out and then ask your child
to draw the illustrations to go with the text.
Take a series of photographs of a family member throughout the day and use them to
make a story. Type out the words and glue the photographs to the relevant pages.
5. Use simple
story phrases that incorporate commonly used
words, these are ideal for creating your child's first story books. Add a story line with things
your child is currently interested in and you have a recipe for success.
For information about improving your own reading skills here is a
link to a site about how adults improve their reading comprehension.
- Reading fluency