Strengthening comprehension abilities
- Choose books that interest your students. Your students may choose books to read
with you that may be too difficult from them to read independently. But remember,
especially for older students, interest and motivation are key to developing
- Start by looking together at the cover, the title or the pictures.
- Read with enthusiasm. Ham it up! Change your voice to reflect the personalities
of the different characters. You are a storyteller!
- When you read poetry, songs or stories with repetitive words, read with rhythm.
- Take turns predicting what will happen next. Discuss the title, photographs, diagrams
and illustrations. As you read through the story, confirm your predictions.
- Encourage your students to ask questions as you read together.
- Give your students positive feedback whenever you read together.
- Discuss the story and characters. For example, talk about why characters behaved
in a certain way or what the moral of the story was.
- Every time you read together, also try to write. For example, use a written
conversation (see page 25) to discuss what you read. Or, based on what you have
read, have your students write a journal entry or a letter to the editor.
Refer to page 29 of this guide for more information on helping students become successful readers.
Remember: Whether you are focusing on practising word-attack skills or on comprehension, all texts need to be read for meaning. You may wish to read the same text more than once - the first time at the word level and the second time at the text level.
Reading and writing ideas
Choose books and other reading materials at the right level for your students
Stay away from materials that are too long or complicated. And, don’t use children’s books for older students; although the language level may be appropriate, the content is not.
Choose relevant reading materials
Connect reading and writing to the activities that your students do every day. Your students will learn best through literacy activities that are meaningful to them.