There’s a difference between being able to read text and being able to comprehend text. Reading comprehension refers to the act of understanding what you are reading. It’s crucial that your child develops strong reading comprehension skills or they may struggle academically and professionally for the rest of their lives.
If your child is struggling to make sense of what they are reading, you may want to utilize reading comprehension programs and other resources to help your child master this important skill.
What Are the Different Levels of Reading Comprehension?
The four main levels of reading comprehension are:
- Literal: A child has reached this level when they are able to state facts from the text, such as the setting, names of the characters, and dates.
- Inferential: A child reaches this level when they are able to build upon the facts that are explicitly stated in the text. For example, they may predict what will happen next based on the information provided by the author.
- Evaluative: At this level, a child is able to analyze the text by providing their own opinions, identifying cause-effect relationships, and comparing different characters or events.
- Applied: This is the final level of reading comprehension where children are able to respond and react to the author’s writing style, purpose, theme, and imagery.
An effective reading comprehension program should help your child become a better reader by mastering all four of these levels.
What Are the Five Reading Comprehension Strategies?
There are five main types of reading comprehension strategies that kids can use to help them comprehend text, including:
- Background knowledge: This strategy involves connecting information from the text to the child’s prior knowledge. Help your child find this connection to make them more interested in what they are reading.
- Questioning: Asking questions about the text before, during, and after you read can improve your reading comprehension skills. Some questions may include:
- What do I think this story is about based on the title, illustrations, and cover?
- What events are taking place in the story right now?
- Why did the main character act in this manner or make this statement?
- What was the author’s purpose for writing this text?
- What was the theme?
Asking questions will keep your child engaged with the text and confirm that they understand what they are reading.
- Analyzing text structure: This strategy involves analyzing how the text is presented to the reader to identify patterns that the author uses, such as a cause-effect or problem-solution pattern.
- Visualization: Kids should try to bring the story to life in their minds in order to better understand what is going on.
- Summarizing: This strategy involves using concise sentences to summarize the story. Your child should know to leave insignificant or irrelevant details out and only include the most important points in their summary. This shows that they understand the main events and purpose of the story.
How Do You Teach Reading Comprehension Skills?
There are plenty of ways to help your child improve their reading comprehension skills, including:
- Reading aloud. You should read stories aloud to your child and encourage them to read aloud to you as well. Hearing the words can make it easier for children to pay attention and comprehend the text.
- Read the headings of the text. Do this together before your child begins reading. By looking at the headings first, your child can get a better idea of what the story is about.
- Encourage your child to re-read confusing sections. If your child is struggling to understand a section of the text, encourage them to re-read it a few times before moving on.
- Make a list of new words. Ask your child to write down any word that they come across that they don’t know. Then, look up each of the words on this list together. Go back to the section where your child found the word and re-read it together now that your child knows what it means.
- Use a reading comprehension program. Supplement your instruction with an easy-to-use reading comprehension program for elementary students.
What is the Best Reading Comprehension Program For Elementary Students?
The Readability app gives your child the opportunity to work on their reading comprehension skills anytime, anywhere. This app is designed with an Interactive Voice-Based Questions & Answers™ feature that will ask your child questions to keep them engaged while they read. The app will even correct your child’s mistakes in real-time, so it’s just like talking to a tutor.
Set your child up for a lifetime of success by helping them become stronger readers. Download the Readability app and start your free 7-day trial today.