Monday, March 9, 2015

Simple Comprehension Questions for Early Readers

Reading Comprehension Questions for Preschoolers & Kindergartners
photo from HANDS ON as We Grow
I was filled with joy as my four-year-old grandson read a book to me. His proud mother said, "It's impressive - but I wonder if he understands what he's reading." We both looked at each other and decided we needed to find out.

I searched on-line for Comprehensive Reading Questions - and was overwhelmed with the amount of questions you can ask a young reader. Reading needs to be a fun bonding experience - so I suggest the KISS approach:

  • Who? Who was in this book?
  • What? What happened?
  • Where? Where did this happen?
  • How? How was a problem solved?
  • WHY? Why did you like this book (or why not)?
Photo from In Leiu of Preschool
Children will eventually anticipate that questions will be asked - and they will learn to focus on content. Then you can increase comprehension questions.
It is not necessary to ask all the suggested questions below. Just ask what you think is appropriate at the time. You may want to wait until the end of the book to ask anything - but asking a few questions before beginning a story, and during reading, may aid in comprehension, especially if the child knows that questions are going to be asked.

Questions to Ask BEFORE Reading:
  • What do you think this book is about?
  • What do you think will happen?
  • Do you think this book is real or make believe?
Questions to Ask DURING Reading - or just let it flow
  • What do you think is going to happen next?
  • How do you think it is going to end?
  • How does the main character feel?
Questions to Ask AFTER Reading:
  • Do you like this book? Why?
  • What happened? 
  • What is your favorite part? Why?
  • Who was your favorite character? What did you like about them?
  • Can you tell me the story in your own words?
  • Can you make up a story about.... (whatever they love). It is fun and enlightening to make up stories together.
Participating in teaching a child to read is a remarkable and gratifying experience. Reading is a gift that helps children throughout their lifetime. My most rewarding accomplishment in teaching kindergarten was seeing the shining eyes and surprised smile of a child who realizes they have finally learned to read on their own.

Don't just go through it - 
Grow through it.
    Related Posts: 
    eReaders or Paper Books for Young Children?
    5 Tips: Teaching Children to Read Naturally
    Reading: The Greatest Gift of All

    Would you like a glimpse into Kindergarten? See Kindergarten: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents. Would you like to help your preschooler prepare for kindergarten? Read a mom's dilemmas with a teacher's advice and child development explanations in The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn. These bestsellers make great gifts and are also available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo. The eBooks are only $3.99.

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