Teaching reading comprehension in a primary classroom is simple! I have an easy way of how to teach reading comprehension to kindergarten students and beyond!
How to teach reading comprehension is a common topic of conversation between teachers and school staff, regardless of which grade you teach. Teaching reading comprehension can feel daunting or challenging; whether you have early learners or developed readers. Oftentimes, students can appear to have strong reading comprehension skills in the early grades and struggle as the text becomes more complex. So as a kindergarten or first grade teacher, our goal should be to start teaching and developing reading comprehension skills no matter if your students are developed readers or not. You may be thinking, now Deedee… How am I supposed to teach reading comprehension to sweeties who can’t read? And my response to you, is it all starts with listening comprehension. So, let’s dive into how to teach reading comprehension to kindergarten students and beyond.
How to Teach Reading Comprehension
Reading comprehension begins way before students begin reading. Comprehension begins as soon as children learn to understand and use spoken language. Understanding spoken language is referred to as listening comprehension. Just like when we are teaching about something new, we as teachers will try to activate that prior knowledge… right? When students are comprehending text, whether it is something they’ve read or heard, they activate language that is already in their head. The more spoken language students are exposed to, the stronger their listening comprehension (and reading comprehension) will become. So, the true question here is how do we develop those comprehension skills with early learners who are not yet decoding and reading text?
Listening Comprehension in the Primary Classroom
You can teach reading comprehension to your kindergarten and first grade friends with read aloud texts. Your sweeties don’t have to actually do the decoding and reading in order to develop their comprehension skills. Giving your students opportunities to develop language and knowledge through read alouds will lead to stronger listening comprehension. Students with strong listening comprehension skills become readers with strong reading comprehension skills. When students have an understanding of more complex language, they have the ability to understand complex text.
Quality Interactive Read Aloud Texts
By using rich text, we can provide students with opportunities to have meaningful conversations and develop their oral language; which will in return, increase listening and reading comprehension.
Having a whole-group discussion about a read aloud text can lead to such meaningful understanding and true oral language development within your students. You can dive into character analysis, cause and effect, text connections, making inferences… the list goes on!
I want to share with you some of my favorite read aloud texts to use to develop oral language and listening comprehension with students. I will highlight which comprehension strategies that work well with these texts.
Then, students have an opportunity to complete their own writing response.
While we are talking about the characters, we identify character traits as well.
Clark the Shark
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
I don’t want you to stress out about how to teach reading comprehension to your kindergarten, first, or even second grade students. There are lesson plans for each of the books discussed above ( and so many other great titles) with correlating response activities for your students. We walk you through developing reading comprehension strategies using read aloud texts. We have TONS of book titles that I know you will love. These links will take you to our Engaging Readers bundles: