Strategies to build reading comprehension

Young readers need to acquire good comprehension skills. In order to do this, they need strategies that help them fully understand what they read.

Here are four simple strategies to help your young reader understand and appreciate stories.

Prior knowledge involves helping a child recall what she has seen or heard. When reading a story about zoo animals, for example, a child should know that zebras have stripes and elephants have trunks.

Sounding out words starts with practicing consonant and vowel sounds. Then help her blend letter sounds, from left to right, to make words.

Making predictions is guessing or inferring what might happen next. For example, if someone left the cage at the zoo open, what might the animal do? What might happen next?
Visualizing helps readers make mental pictures of what they are reading. These visualizations make the reading more personal and easier to remember.

As a parent, you can support these four strategies many ways. Here are some examples:

Good readers read much and often! Combining these strategies, with many opportunities to read, helps your child make connections to stories…and these connections increase reading comprehension and enjoyment.