First grade is such an important time for a child. They are becoming more independent in a variety of ways! One of the most important aspects of this independence is their reading. Reading will be the foundation for everything they do in the future. This is why reading comprehension comes in full force during these pivotal developmental years.
Building comprehension skills can be a daunting experience for parents, caregivers, and educators. This is most likely why you ended up here. Keep reading for a total breakdown of some of the best comprehension strategies that can be both used at home and in the classroom!
Keeping It Fun
1. Puzzle Retelling
In first grade, we LOVE puzzles. This is why puzzle retelling builds such excellent comprehension skills. Using background knowledge helps kids to be confident and excited about a comprehension activity. Puzzle retelling is also super easy to set up!
Learn more: teacherspayteachers.com
2. Five Finger Retell
Any elementary teacher will tell you how much they love the 5-finger retelling comprehension activity. This activity gives students the visual of retelling a story. It’s also, so much fun! Teachers have been known to incorporate finger puppets, a comprehension worksheet, and many different creative comprehension strategies.
Learn more: teacherspayteachers.com
3. Sight Word Practice
Sight word practice is one of the all-important reading and comprehension skills for Grade 1. Creating active readers by building vocabulary through an active vocabulary game is one of the best ways to keep your children engaged. Here are a few great sight word comprehension activities.
Cute story sticks are always a great way to teach sight words! This is something you can easily make for your classroom and at home!
Bingo is always a favorite! It is great and always a highly rated vocabulary game. Here you'll find a FREE resource that allows you to generate a bingo card based on the sight words students are learning and the basis of their background knowledge.
There are so many colorful reading comprehension reading worksheets that go along with sight word vocabulary. There are tons of these worksheets throughout the web, here is a FREE resource to see how your students and children will respond.
4. Mental Images
First grade is a time of discovery for children. Visualizing and making mental images is an exciting time for young learners. Providing them with the comprehension skills they need for a love of reading. Mental images can be a great way to incorporate writing prompts into your child’s reading comprehension activities.
Mrs. Jump’s class has some great comprehension activities. Here are some mental image comprehension activities!
5. Comprehension Checks
Comprehension checks may not sound that exciting BUT they can always be fun! Your children will love all of the colorful reading comprehension worksheets that come with comprehension checks. You can make them yourself quite easily, which makes them perfect for at home or in the classroom. Here are some resources for your classroom!
6. Brain Movies
Brain Movies are a great way to build student comprehension skills. Making a Brain Movie is easy for you and for your students. Here is a great way to incorporate it into your classroom.
During a read-aloud, pause when you come across a descriptive passage. Have students close their eyes and picture what is happening, while you are reading! This blog gives a great breakdown of how to incorporate this in your classroom and the importance of Brain Movies incorporation.
7. Printable Story Mats
Printable story mats are easy to make and great for comprehension! You can make them any size that fits your needs. You can find a free download online here.
8. Puppets Steal the Show
Puppets are a great way to get your students engaged, active, and laughing. Puppets can be used for a variety of comprehension activities. Here is a blog that gives an amazing breakdown for using puppets to build comprehension skills.
9. Active Reading
Modeling active reading with your students is extremely important when reading anything. It is important to discuss what is happening in the story as you read. This will help your child to understand and empathize with the characters.
Make sure to ask questions that the child can relate to - Have you ever felt this way? What do you think happened? How do you think he/she/it feels? - Provoking and furthering a child’s thinking process will most definitely help their comprehension skills.
Here is a great blog post to help you practice active reading in the classroom and at home.
Think-alouds are one of the most amazing comprehension tactics! Think-alouds give students the space to make connections in their lives. When practicing the think-aloud comprehension strategy you should always connect a book back to a time that the child can relate to.
By connecting the book to other book’s the child has read, the child’s life experiences, and the ideas and lessons in the book you are helping to build a relationship with books. Here is a great blog that will help you use this comprehension strategy.