There can be a hundred teachers in a room and ninety-nine of them will have different ideas on how to help with reading comprehension. Some of them might argue that rigorous testing is the best methodology, whilst others will argue that regular pop quizzing is the best way to go. Truth be told, there is no "one" exact way to ensure that your students understand what they are reading. Instead, it's best to adopt a variety of different solutions.
Here is a list of the top 11 reading comprehension activities. You can use them to introduce new reading comprehension techniques, or simply to check your students’ understanding so far. They are all fun, innovative ways to approach reading comprehension and demonstrate your students' skills.
1. Roll & Chat Dice
This fun activity includes lots of comprehension questions to check your kids have effective reading comprehension skills. You can adapt and change this for any student, ensuring that they are reading at grade.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
2. WANTED Poster
You can use this activity not only to ensure that your students have basic story understanding but also to demonstrate they know character traits. It can also be applied to a wide variety of texts, too. Try including some questions about characters and story detail for even more teaching of comprehension.
Learn more: Education.com
3. Story Cheeseburger
This is unfortunately not as delicious as it sounds! You can use this activity to check simple reading comprehension of story structure, as well as a more advanced understanding of story aspects. Try displaying this colorful reading comprehension activity to brighten up your classroom, too!
Learn more: Unique Teaching Resources
4. Reading Comprehension Worksheets
5. Make a Timeline
You can use this research-based teaching strategy for any non-fiction story to help demonstrate reading to knowledge skills. Ask relevant student questions about the topic of study to help expand on their knowledge and sequence events.
Learn more: Education.com
6. Yellow Brick Road Retelling
This is an excellent reading project to get your kids involved in active reading, instead of just being passive. You can use it to talk about many elements of the story and a narrative text. You can differentiate it according to your students' reading skills, from simple story elements like the story title to more developed ideas like meaning during reading.
Learn more: Just Cara Carroll
7. Anticipation Guide
This is a perfect pre-reading activity to get your students to understand the reading process in more detail. They will need to make some predictions about the story and share their opinions on some of the ideas that the book presents. You can also return to this guide after reading to demonstrate how their reading comprehension has developed.
Learn more: Reading Rockets
8. Question Ball
You can get really creative with this activity by getting the whole class involved to answer some comprehension topic questions. You can even use it to revise key quotations or as part of a reading selection. Definitely one for student engagement!
Learn more: Coffee Cups and Crayons
9. Lego Retelling
This one is more suitable for a picture book with younger learners, but it can also be used by upper-grade students, too. Your kids will have to use the individual Lego pieces to build key scenes from a text, then explain what they have built. They can write down what they have said, too, to show that they have really understood the text well.
Learn more: The Educators Pin On It
10. Story Telling Bracelet
Another more hands-on activity, the teaching procedure of this involves assigning each color of the bracelet to a particular part of the text. For example, yellow, green, and blue all represent plot events. This is particularly useful to create a sequence of events and make story connections.
Learn more: Growing Book By Book
11. Reading Cheat Sheets
Need to help your students understand critical reading skills? Use these cheat sheets to provide them with expert details and things to keep in mind while they read a text. This includes key skills like looking at the cover, thinking about the content-area text, and other discussion questions to consider during the reading-thinking process.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
These are just a few of the best ways to make reading more accessible for your learners. The majority of these activities can be expanded upon to meet the specific needs of your readers, whether that be sequencing events or providing a detailed analysis of character.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are comprehension activities?
Comprehension activities are activities or games that can be used to help your students to demonstrate what they know about a text. This usually covers but is not limited to, setting, plot, and character. Comprehension activities can be expanded to include other ideas too, like the meaning of the text, and can go beyond the details included within the text, such as in terms of contextual information surrounding the creation of the book.
What is the best way to teach comprehension?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive "best" way to teach comprehension to your kids, as each student is different and will respond to different activities. However, one thing that will definitely work is to make comprehension an enjoyable process. Try using the activities above to help with this and avoid simply completing tests or quizzes, as these will not make your student engaged.
How can I improve my comprehension?
Try to go beyond simple ideas of comprehension. Your basic comprehension of a text should include the key events (or plot), the setting (where and when the story happens), and characters (the people or things that the text is about). You should try to expand beyond this by thinking about the meaning of the text. What message was the writer trying to put across? Reading comprehension goes beyond the words on the page - you need to think about the writer's craft, too.
What are the 3 main types of reading strategies?
The key reading strategies that you will likely encounter are scanning, skimming, and detailed reading. Scanning involves looking for specific information in a text, such as a keyword or detail. Skimming is slightly more in-depth as it is about understanding the main idea of a text by reading small chunks of the passage. Detailed reading is the slowest reading process but is the one that can help you get the most information from a text. Using this last strategy, your kids will understand approximately 80% of the text. Even so, each of these strategies is vital for teaching your students how to read effectively for information.