This month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share resources to help parents explicitly teach their child comprehension strategies when reading. Good readers use these strategies without even thinking about it. It is our job as parents and educators to teach our children how to use these strategies so that they become second nature to them as they read independently.
Asking questions as one reads, allows the reader to clarify points of confusion, or help the story move forward. Explicitly modeling how to ask questions for your child
Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie is a great book to model asking questions. A cat shows up one night to the house where Elizabeth and Sarah live. They take him in, feed him, love him and name him Charlie. Every morning though, he disappears into the woods. One night, he doesn’t return and Sarah and Elizabeth become worried. They look for him and find a surprise.
As you read aloud, ask:
- Where does Charlie come from?
- Where does Charlie go every morning?
- What is he doing when he’s gone?
If you have post-it notes, ask your child to mark in the book when he comes across the answers to these questions. Clarify any other questions he may have about the story. Ask if he wonders about anything else.
Use your read aloud time to sneak in some comprehension strategy lessons without missing a beat. The likelihood is that you will discuss the book anyway, so make your discussion a bit more focused and your child will begin to learn a few strategies as you model them. As you read aloud other books to your child, stop and ask questions (to clarify the text or to move the story forward).
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