Third Grade Reading: Comprehension

Michigan's third grade reading law focuses on building five elements of reading: phoenemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and expression. Although the names of these elements might sound complex, they are straight-forward concepts that you probably understand and practice already! ELPL is here to help support you in all five elements, from understanding what goes into them, ideas on how to practice and develop them, and special ways the library can support you and your child.

What is comprehension?

Comprehension is the ability to understand and draw meaning from what you are reading. It can include identifying important information and the main idea in text, interpreting meaning, and applying what you read to the world around you. Comprehension skills grow through practicing things like sequencing, interpreting, retelling, and more. At it's core, comprehension is talking about what you've read and thinking about what it means.

How can we practice it?

Here are some great ways to practice comprehension:

  • Practice sequencing: talk about the beginning, middle, and end in the stories you read, your daily errands, and more
  • Have your child retell a story after reading it, or recreate it in a fun way (try using puppets, drawing, etc.)
  • Ask your child open-ended questions before, during, and after reading. For instance, you can ask them what they think the book will be about based on the cover before you read a book, what they think will happen next during the book, and what their favorite part of the book was and why when you are finished reading
  • Have your child make up their own stories out loud, or ask them what they think might happen after the book you are reading ends
  • Point out "extra" information in the books you read -- talk about things like the author and illustrator, captions, the table of contents, etc.

Find a full list of activities here: Read at Home Tools.

How does the library support it?

Comprehension grows through almost all the activities you can find here at ELPL! Whether it's through attending storytimes, where we predict, explore, and retell the stories in the books we share, attending book discussions like Books & Bagels or Social Justice Reading Group to discuss books that are shared together, or using one of our family computers (or paper and pencil) to write you own story, your child masters meaning a little bit every time they visit the library.

Do you have book recommendations to help with vocabulary?

Find a booklist here!

Kids Books for Comprehension

List created by EvaELPL

Children's books to help develop comprehension (the ability to understand and draw meaning from text), one of the key elements of early literacy.

View Full List

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