Reading Comprehension Activities Will Help You Learn How to Teach Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension activities will help you learn how to teach reading comprehension which is our ultimate goal for all children. Their future depends on whether or not they can read for meaning - the definition of comprehension. If students have a sight vocabulary and have learned to read sight words smoothly in text, reading for understanding will soon follow if given the proper guidance. Teaching reading comprehension with these skills established is the final step in learning how to read.

It is critical to the life of every child that he/she learns to read. Teachers across the nation should be teaching reading comprehension with the urgency that comes with knowing the future of our children depends upon it.

It is important to understand the factors that affect reading comprehension and to go back and teach skills that have been missed. It is unacceptable for teachers to maintain the attitude that, "she was supposed to know this before she came to me."

If a child is having difficulty with comprehension, you must check his sight vocabulary and reading fluency. If he is lacking in one or both of those areas, it is up to YOU to go back and teach them to him! The stakes are too high not to do so!

Once both these areas have been strengthened, you are ready to begin reading comprehension instruction.

IMAGINATIVE PLAY

Reading comprehension has its roots in imagination which is why imaginative play should be encouraged long before children are reading for meaning.

Play, particularly unstructured time during which children are encouraged to "make believe" and imagine, lays the foundation for future reading comprehension.

As early childhood educators continue to feel increasing pressure to focus on academics, the importance of play as a precursor to reading comprehension is jeopardized.

Educators and policy makers need to realize that play is critical to learning to read.

As teachers we must continue to find ways to provide imaginative play opportunities for our children.

SUBJECTS AND PREDICATES

Creating subject and predicate word walls and doing the accompanying activities is the best way to introduce the concept of subjects and predicates. Don't worry about terminology - children understand what "action words" are (it's in their context!)so refer to verbs/predicates in that way as you ease them into the terminology.

When children are comfortable with the terms and their meaning, make it part of your regular daily routine to examine sentences found in text and identify the subject and predicate. Most gains in understanding happen when instruction is woven into the fabric of the text they are reading.

Focusing on subjects and predicates can help improve comprehension.

Kids like to combine subjects and predicates to form silly sentences.



THE CONTEXT

Very often problems with comprehension stem from the fact that the story or passage of text is completely out of the child's context.

THE ARTS

Effective teachers must always be on the lookout for ways to incorporate the arts - music, dance, art, and drama - especially when the focus is building reading comprehension.

For the concept of subjects and predicates, for example, children enjoy repeating the following rhythmic chant: The subject is the who; the predicate is what they do.

Children also enjoy School House Rock's Mr. Morton Does.

Disclaimer: The song about Mr. Morton may very well get "stuck in your head!"

This is a good example of how music can be part of the most important reading comprehension activities you do. Classroom teachers need to realize that music education in schools should not simply be left to the music teacher down the hall!!

The same is true of art in education. which can also be an important reading comprehension activity particularly for your right-brained children.

Attention must be given to including aesthetics - art, dance music, and drama - in meaningful ways to provide reading comprehension activities which will engage the right brain.

It is also important that teachers in every subject area in school provide reading comprehension activities in their subject areas.


Go to Music Education in Schools from Reading Comprehension Activities

Go to Art in Education from Reading Comprehension Activities


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Art in Education
Art in education may be used to improve reading skills as the benefit of art education exists beyond the art room. Reading comprehension activities using art especially help left handed children.

Music Education in Schools
Music education in schools should not be confined to the music room. Music in the classroom can support reading comprehension, and links have been established between music and learning as well as music and memory.

Literacy Statistics That Should Alarm You


• 2/3 of students who are unable to read with proficiency when they leave fourth grade will end up in prison or on welfare

• 85% of juveniles in the court system are illiterate

• More than 70% of U.S. prison inmates cannot read above a fourth grade reading level




Statistics from Begin to Read

Using Wordles for Main Idea

Wordles are word clouds created from text with the most frequently used words featured more prominantly. Click on the one below which I made by cutting and pasting the article on the left about word walls.

Can you see how great it would be for teaching main idea? How fun is that??

Wordle: Word Walls Wordle

You and your students can create your own HERE.