Comprehension Capers
Comprehension Capers

The whole purpose for reading is to understand ideas and possibly learn something from the reading. If your child does not understand what she is reading then it does not matter how many words that the child can read. The following activities are designed to help the child develop into a confident reader who comprehends what is being read and generate enthusiasm for reading while building skills necessary for comprehension.


1. Stack-a-Story- bl_b01.gif

Set out boxes and materials for painting. Discuss the main events in a story you and the child have recently read together. Then assist the child in painting a story scene on each cardboard box. When the boxes are dry, have the child stack them in rows so they can be read from left to right. Invite the child to retell the story in sequential order.



2. Opening a Can of Worms-

You will need a tin can, construction paper, clear tape, felt-tip pens, precut worms made from construction paper, and a familiar story. Begin by wrapping a tin can with construction paper and securing it with tape. Write the main idea of a familiar story on the outside of the tin can, turning the can around so the child will not see it. On each precut worm, write a supporting detail to the story, Then place all the worms in the can. Explain that supporting details are pieces of information that work together to help tell the main idea. You may also want to discuss how each story has a beginning, middle, and end. Invite the child to pick worms from the can and read the sentences written on them. From this, have the child identify the main idea of the story.


3. Funny Days-

Before beginning this activity, look at a calendar together and point out the following to the child: the month and year, days of the week, numbers for the days, and special events. After setting out poster board and markers, invite the child to design a calendar for one week. Have the child create new names for the days of the week based on his or her scheduled activities or how he or she feels about a particular day. For example, the child may rename Saturday Soccerday and rename Friday Funday.


4. News of the Day!-

Recall the events the child was involved in on a particular day. Discuss the most important and the most memorable events. Which event or events would other people want to know about? Page through a newspaper together. Point out the headlines to the child. Explain that a headline is used to provide a glimpse of what’s in the article and entice the reader to read the article. Display uppercase and lowercase magnetic letters on a magnetic surface. Let the child manipulate the letters freely for a few minutes, then invite the child arrange the letters to create a headline describing a highlight of the day.    


5. Flip, Flap, Flop-

Invite the child to describe steps in a familiar process, such as preparing a bowl of cereal, building a wooden block castle, or brushing teeth. Help the child cut three or more flaps in the paper, depending on the number of steps in the process. (There should be one flap for each step.) Cut from the edge of the paper toward the fold. Then have the child write the steps on the underside of the sheet, one step underneath each flap. Then write the corresponding numeral (1,2,3) to show the order of the steps on the covering flap. Have the child turn each flap as he or she describes the sequence.


6. Finger Paint Follies- 

You will need a smock, whipped cream or ready made pudding, sponges, pail of water, unfamiliar nursery rhyme or poem. Have the child put on an old smock. Invite the child to spread whipped cream or pudding on the top of a clean kitchen table, preferably one with a surface that can be easily cleaned with sponges and water. Then read the nursery rhyme or poem (try ) that is unfamiliar to the child. At some point in the rhyme, pause and ask the child to finger-paint a picture to show what he or she predicts will happen next. Repeat this activity with other poems. Have the child “erase” the previous drawing by rubbing over it with his or her hands. The child can then sponge the excess pudding or whipped cream off the table when finished.