Teaching reading comprehension in second grade often proves to be a difficult task because many students are still mastering the basic skills required to read. In addition to recognizing words, however, students must understand what they are reading. Employing reading comprehension strategies while reading with a second grade student helps ensure she understands a story instead of just reading the words.

Reading with Children

Choose a story for children to read where most of the words will be recognizable. A short picture book works best.

Show children the cover of the book and have them read the title.

Ask children to make predictions about what the book will be about by looking only at the title and front cover. Explain that a prediction is a guess about what will happen.

Begin reading the book, stopping every so often to ask children to predict what will happen next.

Leave out a word while reading a sentence in the book and ask children to guess what the missing word might be. Read the sentence, replacing the word with their guesses and then have them decide which word fits best.

Ask questions about the story while reading, focusing on questions that begin with "who," "what," "when," "where" and "why." For example, "who is the main character of the story?" or "why did the character do that?"

At the end of the story, ask children what they learned from reading the story.

Piecing a Story Together

Cut up a short story into short paragraphs.

Have a child put the story in order.

Compare the child's story to the original story.

Write three sentences from the story on sentence strips.

Cut each sentence strip in half.

Ask a child to recreate the three sentences by taping the halves back together.

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