Improving Understanding While Reading

Speech Pathology for Schools Logo

Improving understanding while reading

Talk about the book during reading activities. This includes times when you read to your child and times when they are reading to you.

Before you start look at the cover and talk about the pictures and title. If there is a blurb on the back cover read the blurb together. Discuss the words in the title and the blurb and go over the meaning of any unfamiliar words. Practice using the se words in sentences together.

While you read discus what is happening and predict what might happen next. If prediction is challenging for your child give them choices.
Do you think grandma will be home when Little red Riding Hood gets there?

Will she be at home, or do you think she might be out shopping?
Talk about what is happening and ask questions to get your child thinking about the text.

The simplest type of question is recognition and recall questions. Ask specific questions about information that was provided in the story.
“Who was going to visit grandmother?”

“What was the little girl’s name?” “Where was she going?”

Talk about the vocabulary you have practised before starting and add new vocabulary to discuss as you read. Be careful not to distract too much from the flow of the story

After reading ask more questions
Depending on your child’s understanding level it might still be recognition and recall questions or it might move on to harder questions like inference and prediction.
More complex questions ask about what is not explicitly mentioned in the book.
Why do you think grandma had big teeth? (not to eat you with, but because she is really the wolf)
What do you think might happen?

Encourage your child to turn the pages back in the book to find the information.

Ask your child what they liked or didn’t like about the book (appreciation questions)

Get your child to summarise what the story was about. Continue to practice using the new vocabulary.

Ref: National Reading Panel (2016)


St Fidelis is partnering with SPS for one day of service per week. Speech Pathology for Schools provides holistic school based speech pathology support. We work collaboratively with school staff to improve student outcomes. School data along with speech pathology data is used to target support and monitor student progress. If you have any queries regarding speech pathology services at St Fidelis, please contact Manuela Watson.

Leave a comment