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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    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

    5 Tips: Teaching Children to Read Naturally

    Easy Inexpensive Ways to Teach Reading

    Please don't be stressed that your preschooler isn't reading! Of course, it is wonderful to share books with your child and for them to see you reading. Your enthusiasm for books is contagious and extremely helpful for children to develop a curiosity and love of books. But they may not be ready to focus on the letters, or be interested in flashcards, or expensive phonics' programs. Let them be children, learning with their five senses and movement, and they will learn naturally with some easy inexpensive involvement and encouragement. 

    When my grandson went grocery shopping with his mom, he pointed and yelled, "K-R-O-G-E-R. That spells grocery store!" He didn't know the name of the store, but knew those letters symbolized groceries. Be excited when children notice and recognize letters and words. 


    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Rip Up Recess Rules and Reap the Benefits

    Losing Recess Rules Results in Drop in Bullying and Higher Academics

    No recess rules?! Does this sound astonishing to you? A school in New Zealand has ripped up the recess rules and now has a drop in bullying, serious injuries, and vandalism while creativity and learning are increasing - and behavior problems disappearing. Could this happen in the United States? You simply must watch this video where students are climbing trees, riding skateboards, playing bullrush (a tag and tackle game), playing with sticks, and having mudslides! Just click on Bullrush Returns to Schools to view, but I hope you will come back here to read my section: The Benefits of Relaxing Recess Rules.

    How did this happen that school recess rules were done away with completely? Swanson Primary School was one of eight schools that decided to participate in a study by Aucland University of Technology (AUT) and Otago University. The aim of the two year study was to encourage active play. But Swanson Primary decided to do away with the rules entirely, as the principal and some teachers were inspired remembering their childhood free play. 

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    Outdoor Play: Games & Benefits with 100+ Kid Bloggers' Hop

    Play Outside: 100 Days of Play Blog Hop
    Groovy Soaker Water Balloons fit easily under a spout for filling.
    Learning to play outdoor games uses creativity, imagination, cooperation, and brain power by making up new games and participating in sports and games that have been around for decades. Playing outside games can teach a child social skills while releasing stress and forming friendships. Young children learn by using their five senses and movement. So much more can be experienced through the senses when outdoors while expanding a child's imagination. Even short periods in the natural world improve a child's mood and appreciation for our earth.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Top 10 Ways to Keep Kids Creative: School's Out KBN Series

    Creative Kids: Fostering Creativity in Children

    All of us have an innate desire to be creative. Children learn through play, discovery and exploration. They want to naturally extend learning activities, manipulate and create. But through time, discouragement, lack of opportunity and too much screen time, we lose our drive to be creative and lack the confidence and focus. How often do you think, or hear someone say, "Kids can't think for themselves anymore." Let's provide amble opportunities for children to think, explore, extend and create. Here's why and how:

    Sunday, May 12, 2013

    "Graham Cracker Kid" & More on Kid Lit Giveaway Hop

    Graham Cracker Kid & More picture book giveaways for Kid Lit Blog Hop

    I'm very pleased to be donating 7 books (4 autographed) for The Kid Lit Giveaway Hop! It is open May 13 to 19th, 2013 in honor  of Children’s Book Week and hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews, Youth Literature Reviews and others. Over 90 children’s book or teen literature bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists are giving away copies of fabulous books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week than GIVEAWAYS! Here is what I am offering to a lucky winner in the US or Canada: 

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Teach Kids to Tie Bows and Make a Beautiful Wreath

    Upcycle Materials to Teach Kids How to Tie Bows & Make Wreath & StartWrite
    Are you trying to teach a child to tie their shoes? Here is a fun way for children to practiced tying bows while making a wreath from material scraps. Children will feel a sense of accomplishment as they tie long strands of material around a wreath circle. Or you can make a wire circle using a coat hanger. My grandson Brody made a wreath using wire that held a bail of straw together to make an upcycled gift that cost nothing - and helped him learn to tie bows. What a great gift to a mom or teacher - learning how to tie shoes!