When parents help their children learn to read, they open the door
to a big, exciting world. As a parent, you can begin an endless learning chain
like this: You read to your children, they develop a love of stories and poems,
they want to read on their own, they practice reading, and finally, they read
for their own information or pleasure. When children become readers, their
world is forever wider and richer.
Here are some reading comprehension activities you can do with your child:
- Read aloud to your child: books, newspaper and magazine
articles, the back of the cereal box, labels on cans, or directions.
- Read poems aloud together to learn about rhythm and repeated
sounds in language.
- Point to the words on the page when you read. Move your finger
from left to right.
- Listen to your child read homework or favorite stories to you
- Go to the library together and check out books. Be sure to ask
the librarian for good books or to help you find what you need.
- Have books, magazines, and papers around the house, and let
your child see that you like to read, too.
- Encourage older children to read to younger children.
- Help experienced readers talk and write about what they
Over and Over Again
for young children
1. Pick a story or poem that repeats phrases. “Assign” your child
a phrase to repeat each time you read a new part of the story.
2. Read a short portion of the story or poem, then stop and let
your child repeat the phrase.
3. Encourage your child to act out the story.
with the story of the “Three Little Pigs:”
Wolf (parent): Little pig, little pig, Let me come in.
Little Pig (child): Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!
Wolf (parent): Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!
Make Sense of Sounds
for beginning readers
1. Look for poems or tongue twisters that repeat sounds and
2. Point out these sounds and letters, and explain that they often
make the same sound whenever you see them with other letters on the page.
There once was a fat cat named Matt.
And a black cat who had a
The rat put a tack
When the cat turned his back
On the mat
where the black cat sat.
A big blue barrel of big blue blueberries.
Does this shop sell
socks with spots?
COLOR="#330099">for more advanced readers
1. Ask your child to read to you.
2. Take turns. You read a paragraph and your child can read the
next one, or take turns reading full pages one after the other. Keep in mind
that your child may be concentrating on how to read, and your reading helps to
keep the story alive.
3. If your child has trouble reading words, you can help in
- have your child skip over the word, read the rest of the
sentence, and ask what word would make sense in the story;
- have your child use what is known about letters and the sounds
they make to “sound out” the word; or
- supply the word and keep reading: enjoyment is the main
Try some of these reading comprehension activities and let me know what your kids think of them. I’m going to be adding some more real soon