When working with your child to become a better reader there are two aspects of reading you want to be aware of. First, can your child read the words that appear on the page? And second, is your child understanding or comprehending what he/she reads? The more you can get your child talking about what he/she has read the better!
If your child is struggling to read the words that are written on the page here are a few helpful tips to have your child try:
look at the picture
encourage your child to get his/her mouth ready to say the word (focus on the beginning sound)
find smaller "chunks" in the word (letter combinations that the child knows - example: happiness)
look for smaller words in the larger word (example: information)
read ahead - The child reads the entire sentence but skips the unknown word. Then they try to figure out the meaning based on clues in the sentence.
ask themselves - what would make sense in this sentence?
The second aspect of reading is the most important - comprehension. Does my child understand what he/she has read? Here are a list of questions to ask your child while reading.
1. Look at the title, table of contents, and the back of the book. What do you think this story will be about? Make 2 or 3 predictions about the story.
2. What genre of book do you think this is? (fantasy, fable, realistic fiction, mystery, poetry, historical fiction, science fiction)
3. Who do you think the main characters will be?
4. Where do think the story will take place?
5. What do you think the problem of the story might be? How will it be solved?
1. Look at the title, table of contents, and the back of the book. What do you think you will learn about while reading this book?
2. What do you already know about ____________ ? (If the book is about airplanes, ask them what they know about airplanes. If it is about Abraham Lincoln ask them what they know about Abraham Lincoln.)
3. Look specifically at the table of contents. What will you learn about in each of the chapters?
4. What genre of book do you think this is? (biography, informational, autobiography)
- During and After Reading Questions - If your child does not remember the answer encourage him/her to go back into the story to find the answer.
1. Who are the main characters? Describe them.
2. What is the setting? (Where and when?) What clues does the author give you about the setting?
3. What is the problem and how is it solved?
4. Retell or summarize the story. Be sure to include details from the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story.
5. Does this book remind you of any other books you have read? Explain your answer.
6. Does this book remind you of anything from your life? Explain your answer.
7. Compare and contrast the main characters.
8. What caused ______________ to happen?
9. What could be another title for this story?
10. How else could the problem of the story been solved?
11. What genre is this book? (historical fiction, fantasy, poetry, science fiction, realistic fiction, fable, mystery)
12. Give a character trait about the main character. Back up the trait with details from the text that support your answer.
1. Ask them questions about various nonfiction text features - maps, charts, captions, bolded words, graphs, glossary, index, etc. What does the map tell us? What do you learn from the graph?
2. What is a fact you learned in this book?
3. What was the main idea of this book? What was the main idea of this chapter?
4. Find 3 supporting details that back up the main idea.
5. What could be another title for this book? What could be another title for this chapter?
6. What genre is this book? (informational, autobiography, biography)
The more you can get your child talking about what he/she had read, the better!