Reading Comprehension Exercises for Kids

by Karen Carter

Reading comprehension is the purpose of reading. It's the ability to understand, remember and communicate what was read. Building a good vocabulary and learning to decode the words are the keys to being a good reader. Another key is expanding your knowledge in a variety of topics. Someone who reads something that she's familiar with will comprehend more on the subject.

Strategies

Good readers use active comprehension strategies that work together. Good comprehensive skills start with the ability of predicting what's coming next in the reading. Another important skill is internally analyzing the story and asking informed questions. Visualizing as a reader reads helps to construct an image of the occurrences in the story. Finally, the skill to summarize and retain the information gathered by the story is important.

Summarizing Data

Have the student read a story. As he reads, he needs to pull out phrases that point to the most important facts. This includes participants in the action, events, locations and time. This is useful for following plot or the events of a news article. Once the facts are pulled out, have the student write these facts into complete sentences. Have him order them in a logical order. This can be chronological, in order of importance, or in order of presentation in the story.

Communication

Have the student read a short story. It can be a non-fiction or a fictional story. As the student reads, have her take notes about the events in the story. Once finished, she can pretend she's a newspaper reporter and is writing a news article on the short story. Have her write a journalism article answering the questions of who, what, when, where and why. She must present the most important facts or actions in the first paragraph. The other paragraphs must back up the first, as well as explain the "how."

Visualizing

The student must read a book and watch a movie based on the book. Once this is done, he can compare and contrast the book with the movie. He'll introduce the story in terms of character and plot. Then he can discuss how the book and movie were the same. Afterward, he can discuss major differences between the two. At the end of the exercise, have the student tell how the movie differed from how he visualized the book as he reads the story.

About the Author

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.