Thursday, July 6, 2017

From Discourse to Reading Comprehension?

When should we start addressing reading comprehension?  Is Kindergarten too early to work on reading comprehension skills?

We know that parents and other adults including preschool teachers are encouraged to begin engaging babies and toddlers in book “reading”.  Of course, the reading is being done by the parent/teacher/adult.  We also know that adults engage children in conversations about books, using, for example, “Dialogic Reading”.

When might we begin to “teach” reading comprehension skills in a somewhat more formal sense?
Let’s assume that it is possible to teach some reading comprehension skills in Kindergarten.  In my grandson’s kindergarten this past year, his teacher actively engaged the class in learning some basic reading comprehension skills—story characters, setting, and story plot.  They read both narrative and information texts.  They had “favorite” books.  They shared what a book was “about.”  They also wrote “stories” from their personal experience.

But are there curricula for teaching comprehension in the primary grades.  That’s what I’ll explore in the next series of posts.