Reading comprehension strategies & developmentally appropriate books

During weeks in which Pocket Literacy Coach focuses our activities on reading, there are a whole host of aspects or reading skills to focus on. And of course, these host of skills vary depending on the age and developmental level of your child.

If your child is in kindergarten/1st grade then they are probably reading ”level appropriate” books independently now. It is important that your child is reading books that are suitable for his or her reading level. If a book is too hard, all of your child’s energy will be focused on decoding (figuring out the difficult words), and this will effect the comprehension of what is being read. Reading books that are too hard can also leave a child feeling frustrated. This can develop negative feelings toward reading and these feelings can hinder future literacy success. Help ur child choose books that are not too difficult. How do you do this? Well, normally children’s books have appropriate age ranges printed either on the front cover or the back cover (sometimes the print may be small, so you may have to look hard). However, sometimes age ranges do not necessarily coincide with developmental level. In cases where there are no age ranges printed, or even if they are printed and you’re unsure if the book is the right fit for your child try this: If any given page has more than 5 “I’m stuck words” the book is too hard.

Your child may get stuck on these words, but you won’t. These difficult books are still great for you to read during story time! You are still your child’s best reading role model! Hearing you read the words fluidly will expose your child not only to new vocabulary (be sure to stop and explain these new words) but new concepts too (remember: new words = new concepts, so try to elaborate on the definitions by giving elaborated examples).

There are many things you can do to help with reading comprehension. Here are just a couple of Pocket Literacy Coach activities you can do:

  • BEFORE reading: look at the cover & predict what the story will be about. DURING: Stop & ask questions. AFTER: Reflect on what u have read. Did u like it? Why?
  • Ask ur child: Where did this story take place? Challenge ur child to draw a map of the book’s setting & label it.


(cross-posted here)