SchoolFamily Voices

Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Make an Easy “Flap Book” to Increase Reading Comprehension

A “Flap Book” is a great way to get your child thinking about a story in a logical, sequential way. After reading a simple story together, enhance your young child’s comprehension by helping her make one.


Here’s what to do:


  • Fold a sheet of plain 8 ½ x11 inch paper in half lengthwise, so it is now 11” x 4 ¼” overall.


  • Unfold the paper and lay it horizontally, 11” left to right. Cut two slits in the bottom half, about 4 inches apart. Cut from the bottom edge to the crease where it was folded. This creates three equal flaps on the bottom half. The top half is not cut.


  • Refold, so that the three cuts are on top, with the open ends at the bottom, creating three “flaps” that lift up.


  • Starting on the left, label the flaps “First,” “Next,” and “Last.”


  • Lift up the first flap. On the paper below the flap, let your child draw what happened first in the story. This is usually where the setting and characters are introduced. You can help her write some words or a short sentence to describe her picture.


  • Flip up the middle flap and have her draw a picture about what happened next. This is usually where a situation or problem in the story arises.


  • Under the last flap, let her draw how the problem was solved or how the story ended.


Children love making “Flap Books.” These books help organize and increase reading comprehension in a fun and lasting way.



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#1 Martha 2012-01-09 20:30
What a fun idea! Can't wait to try it! Thank you.

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