Reading Comprehension Strategies for Stories

Helping your
students to develop excellent reading comprehension skills can help them to succeed
in academics as well as life.  But
simply decoding words is not enough. 
Successful readers must remember content, understand inferences, maintain
focus and make connections. It is a comprehensive process that requires mindful
pre-reading activities, reading activities and post-reading activities.
Pre-reading Strategies
1.     Reading a summary of the chapter helps students
to conceptualize main ideas so that they can read deeper and prepare to
visualize the content.
2.    Questioning prior knowledge about the topic
can help students make connections and it can capture their interest.
3.    Skimming a prior chapter or reviewing personal
notes can help to bring back the story line or main idea for the reader.
4.    Predicting what will happen in the story can
help to engage learners imaginations and creativity.
Reading Strategies
1.     Underlining important characters, settings
and events can help the reader document important details.
2.    Annotating or taking notes in the margins
can help students to document their thoughts and focus on important events or
ideas.  Symbols such as S for setting and Þ for important event can help students to
be mindful of key features and actions.
3.    Pretending to be a movie director and trying
to make the characters and setting come alive can help students remain engaged
and can improve memory for the story.
Post-reading Strategies
1.     Using a notebook or sticky notes to record
3 to 5 bullets that summarize each chapter can help the reader pull the story
together.  In addition, this
strategy can also be used to help students to write a summary of the book.  Furthermore, jotting notes can also
offer a preview when the student returns to read another chapter.
2.    Drawing a picture or more for each chapter
that summarizes the events can help students to develop their visualization
3.    Creating a timeline as the reader progresses
through the story can clarify the structure and the sequence of events.  Colorful drawings can also be added to
the timeline to help students imagine important details.
4.    Making marks in the book where there are
descriptive sections or character descriptions can be a good strategy for students
that have trouble visualizing while reading.  When they reach the end of a page or passage, they can go
back and visualize the events and scenes.
I hope you found
these strategies helpful.  I would
love to hear your thoughts.  If you would like a free handout of these strategies click here.

To learn more
about academic strategies as well as other helpful learning tools, consider purchasing Planning Time
Management and Organization for Success
. This publication
offers methods and materials that teach learning strategies, time management, planning and organization (executive functioning skills).  It
includes questionnaires, agendas, checklists, as well as graphic organizers.  You
will also find advice and handouts for math, memory, motivation,
setting priorities and incentives programs.  What’s more,
the materials accommodate learners of all ages.  Lastly,
I offer a free sample assessment from the publication too, as well as a free video on
executive functioning.  To Access this Click Here

Cheers, Erica

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to &  
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