10 Educational Strategies to Work on Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is an essential skill for life and therefore we must ensure that students develop it in a meaningful way. Thanks to it we will be able to solve math problems, understand the instructions of a game, reflect on a piece of news in the newspaper or simply enjoy reading. Therefore addressing reading comprehension in the classroom is of vital importance.

Educational Strategies to Work on Reading Comprehension
Educational Strategies to Work on Reading Comprehension

In the information and communication society in which we live, we need to provide students with strategies and resources to be able to select, highlight, analyze, understand and summarize the information to which we have access. It is a task that takes time and dedication, but it is necessary to acquire knowledge and discover the reality that surrounds us.

Reading comprehension requires complex neurological processes and therefore we must ensure that the student has adequate maturational capacity. Likewise, each boy and girl has their learning pace and a different way of learning. That’s why we give you some tips to keep in mind:

  • Propose activities that start from the interest of the student and where he is the active protagonist of learning.
  • Review students’ prior knowledge to personalize learning, where possible.
  • Plan reading spaces where the environment is trustworthy and calm to promote attention and concentration.
  • Vary the time dedicated to the activity depending on the age of your students: their ability to concentrate also changes over the years.
  • Provide your students with different textual typologies, since each one requires a different degree of comprehension.
  • Break the task into small meaningful steps if it is very complex.
  • It enhances metacognition to make them aware of their own learning process.

Some Ideas to Start

With these premises, we propose some strategies that you can use in the classroom to significantly work on reading comprehension:

1. Reading recipes, instructions, brochures, and a restaurant menu … These readings will be great for the child to begin to understand what the text says since they are made up of very short sentences that they must gradually assume.

2. Cloze procedure(ghost word): This activity consists of choosing a text appropriate to the age of your students and eliminating some words. Students must place the words so that the text makes sense. You can regulate the degree of complexity according to the characteristics of the group, giving them the words out of order or letting them create their own text.

3. Write alternative endings: This is a proposal that allows the development of reading comprehension and creativity at the same time since they must know very well the story that is presented in order to propose an ending different from the real story.

4. Put the title to the paragraphs: In a text that is a bit dense or difficult to understand, you can do a joint reading aloud, where each student reads a paragraph and then assigns a title.

5. Change the words to synonyms: Students must explain the sentence they have read using different words. To reduce the difficulty, you can do a previous reading and underline those words that are not understood and look them up in the dictionary. So later it will be easier to understand the phrase and later, to be able to explain it.

6. Draw a picture: The image is always a reinforcement to understand a text, that’s why the books for the little ones are full of them. Thus, making a drawing interpreting what they have read deeply works on reading comprehension. Likewise, images can be related to text fragments.

7. Create a story in groups: It is a very fun activity that requires reading and understanding the story that the classmates have written to continue with the same plot and the same characters. In addition, later, role-playing can be performed to interpret the work.

8. Analyze their favorite songs: Bringing reading comprehension closer to music, which is a strategy that works very well, can be a great idea since it brings students closer to their reality and their interests.

9. Mind maps: This activity is for those who want some extra points! And it is that making a mental map is a very difficult task that denotes a high level of reading comprehension and that reinforces the capacity for synthesis.

10. Seminars: This strategy consists of each student reading a text on a specific topic that has been raised in class. Thus, they must collect information, understand it, analyze it and then discuss it in the classroom. In this way, they will have worked on reading comprehension but, at the same time, they will discover that there are unreliable sources, little relevant information, different perspectives, etc.

These are some of the ideas that you can put into practice to work on and improve reading comprehension, but there are many others. Above all, remember that the most significant learning is that which starts from the interests of the students and that occurs in a context of trust, participation, and without fear of error.

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