Learning to hone the skills of reading comprehension can be difficult. To help in the process this lesson explores visualizing, making connections and inferences, determining importance, and synthesizing text.
Many of us pick up a book and take for granted how easy it is to not only read, but to comprehend what we read. We’ve long forgotten the days of sounding out letters and taking reading comprehension tests. To refresh our memories on the process and to learn some tools to help young readers along, today’s lesson will discuss strategies for reading comprehension.
Our first strategy for reading comprehension is making connections. Using this tactic, readers are instructed to connect their background knowledge to the text they are reading. For instance, if an elementary school teacher is introducing a new fiction book about a boy losing his pet, she could foster making connections by asking students questions like: Do you have any pets? or Have you ever lost a pet? In doing this, she will be helping her students use their own experiences to better comprehend the text.
Another popular strategy for reading comprehension is visualizing. Using this tool, readers are prompted to create mind pictures of what they are reading.
Sort of like guided daydreaming, the teacher employing visualizing may asks students to close their eyes and imagine themselves in the pages of the book.Another visualizing tactic is to have students draw what they are imagining as they read. This is especially helpful when the text being read does not include illustrations.
Making inferences also helps aid in reading comprehension.
Using this strategy, students make assumptions about what is being read. This helps the reader to become invested in the text. To help a reader make inferences, teachers often offer questions like: How do you think the character is feeling right now? or What do you think will happen next? Queries like this aid in comprehension by allowing students to feel ownership of the text.
Determining importance is also a great way to increase reading comprehension.
With this approach, students identify the most important points in the text. It is especially effective when reading nonfiction. This strategy teaches readers to discriminate between the need to know stuff and what is more fluff. When employing this tactic, educators often encourage young readers to play close attention to things like captions, illustrations, and even changes in fonts.
Our last strategy for teaching reading comprehension is that of synthesizing. When using this tactic, a reader knits together what they have read to create new thoughts.
Stated simply, they take what they have read and make it their own. For example, after reading a book about Earth Day, a teacher may ask students to explain what steps they can take to give the planet a boost. Perhaps, after reading a book about the President of the United States, students may be asked if they would vote for him if given the chance.Due to its focus on creating new thoughts and opinions, synthesizing is often considered one of the most difficult strategies to master. A student who can show evidence of synthesizing is well on their way to stellar marks in reading comprehension.
When it comes to teaching reading comprehension, there are many strategies. For instance, there’s making connections, in which readers connect their background knowledge to the text they are reading. There is also visualizing, which is when readers are prompted to create mind pictures of what they are reading.Making inferences is also a reading comprehension strategy.
With this, students make assumptions about what is being read. Another strategy is determining importance, in which students identify the most important points in the text. This tactic is especially helpful in regards to nonfiction texts.Synthesizing is also an excellent reading comprehension strategy. When employing synthesizing, readers knit together what they have to read to create new thoughts.
Due to its complex nature, synthesizing is considered one of the most difficult strategies to master.