Helping Young Children Understand What They Have Read

Girl reading book next to painting

As children become more familiar with books, their abilities to remember and comprehend stories will improve. Comprehension means that children understand what they have read. It is a skill that becomes important as children enter school. As children better comprehend stories, they will be better at remembering, analyzing and using the information.

Strategies to Help Children Understand What They Read

Child care providers can learn to ask questions in ways that help children better understand what they have read. The way you read with children now will make a big difference in a few years. Here are some ways to give young children a super start on understanding what they have read:

  • Ask children questions about the topic of a book before reading it.
  • Ask them to guess what might happen next in a story.
  • Ask who, what, when, where, why and how questions about a book.
  • After reading a book have them tell you what they remember about the story.
  • Ask about their favorite part after reading the book.
  • Read the same book several times to help children remember it.
  • Ask questions to help children remember, think and use information.

For More Information

To learn more about reading and literacy in child care, take a look at the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:

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