Reading comprehension is a multi-step process. Let’s begin with the idea that we already understand all of the sounds that letters make, and that we can sound out words easily.
In order to better understand what we’re reading, there are a series of questions that we can ask our reader, or ourselves as we read through a story. These don’t go in any particular order because each story will have different elements at different times; so use them where you need.
- Who is this about?
- Where are they?
- When does the story take place?
- What is happening?
- What might happen next?
- Why did the character do that?
We ask questions to ourselves to better understand what is happening. Sometimes these questions help us to visualize what is happening, where they are, and what might happen next. Eventually your reader will get to the point where he can answer all of these questions without realizing that he’s asking himself these questions.
When your reader knows what’s going on, he’ll be more excited to talk about what he’s reading. When we know what we’re reading, then we can talk about it with other people. Then the magic happens. We can compare ourselves to the characters in stories. We can start to see ourselves in others. When we see ourselves in others, we are more empathetic to others situations and problems.
Reading really is magical. We take words that someone else has written, and imagine what is happening. Sometimes we have experienced similar things and we understand.