Comprehension is an essential part of learning and surviving in today's world. No matter what subject your child is learning, comprehension skills are vital. Comprehension skills are those that help your child to recognize and remember the important details of a story or the methods to solve a problem.
In Math, comprehension is the understanding of the mathematical process being performed to find the solution. In Reading, comprehension is the understanding of what is being read. In Science, comprehension is the understanding of what is read and also what is performed during experiments. Those are just some examples of the importance of comprehension.
Without comprehension, not much can be accomplished. Comprehension is used daily, even by the minute. In order to cook, clean, drive, or sing a song, we need to comprehend what we are doing. In order to write this article, I need comprehension. As you can see, comprehension is vital to succeed.
Here are two great activities that will help build and enhance your child's comprehension. These games were invented by me for my own children to use.
Find My Details
Materials: A book or story
Number of Players: 1 or more
Directions for sentence details: A child who is just starting to recognize details and main ideas or a child who is struggling, should start out with sentence details first.
Point to a sentence in the story. Have the child read the sentence out loud. Once the child has read the sentence, the child needs to go back and read the sentence again, this time only reading the important details aloud. If the child struggles with which words are important, explain to your child how words like and, to, but, and if are only necessary to form a sentence, but when you need to remember important details, they are not so important. For example, in the
sentence "Tom ate three apples while swinging on a branch", the child would read aloud for the details: "Tom ate three apples swinging on branch". While the sentence, of course, does not make any sense, it makes the details stick out. Teach your child that when reading a sentence, they only need to remember the important details. They don't need to remember the sentence word for word.
Directions for paragraph details: The directions for the paragraph mode are the same as the sentence mode. There will just be more than one sentence to read. Start out with shorter paragraphs and progress to longer ones as your child advances.
My Amazing Mazes
In this activity, your child will look at mazes in a different way. While the goal is usually only to get to the end of the maze, this is a little different.
Materials: mazes (Mazes can be easily found and printed from the internet for free. Just do a search for "free printables mazes".) and a pencil for each player
Number of Players: 1 or more
Directions: Once each child has a maze and a pencil, you will explain this to them. Tell the children that they need to first solve the maze. Then, you will do something fun and interesting with it. Once the children have solved their mazes, tell them it's time for the fun part. Next, tell them to examine the mazes and figure out how the artist made the maze direct them the way it did. They should trace the lines with the pencil or their fingers. They should be thinking about what would have happened if the maze was drawn a different way. Ask them each individually what would happen if certain lines were taken away. Would it create a new way to solve the maze? Do this with several different sections on each child's maze. This helps to build comprehension in that it shows the child the importance of details and how and why things are done.
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