Strategies to Improve 5th Grade Reading Comprehension
You might not have signed up for chalk stains on your pants or recess duty but if you want to improve and advance 5th grade reading comprehension skills of your child its time to start thinking like a teacher. I mean, it is important for the parent to familiarize and educate themselves on the skills and strategies that teachers employ when preparing students to read and make sense out of what they have just read. And though reading comprehension strategies come naturally to most parents some of these are not as intuitive. Here are a few strategies to get started.
Which Reading Comprehension Skills Should a 5th Grade Student Have?
Well, when students reach 5th grade, most reading comprehension skills go beyond recognizing words to understanding them and making sense out of a story passage or text. I mean, 5th grade reading comprehension is all about understanding what the writer means and also comprehend how the words in a passage or text contribute to this. This includes the story’s plot, main events, characters, climax, conflict, resolution and falling action. They should not only to be able to identify these aspects of the story but also identify the themes and patterns that emerge from the text. Moreover, they should also be able to identify other comprehension skills such as figurative language, metaphors, similes personifications, and idioms. To achieve this, the following strategies should be employed.
Strategies to Improve Reading Comprehension
Don’t Discard Their Favorite Books
Never be too quick to discard or store away books that your 5th grader enjoys reading. Though they might have outgrown them, keep them around so that they can visit them frequently. This will significantly help them develop reading comprehension skill since learning is a gradual and systematic process.
Encourage Them to Visit the Library
Libraries are the repositories of knowledge. Therefore, encourage your 5th grader to sign up for one and if they are not interested, stress on the importance. You can even visit the library together and choose appropriate read materials. Set a target of the books or storybooks that they should read within a year and don’t forget to reward them if they reach and exceed the target.
Encourage Reading a Wide Range of Materials in Different Formats
Though it is important to let children read the books that they love, encourage them to read other books in a variety of formats. This can include materials such as magazines, comics, textbooks, and eBooks. If you don’t know their reading level, consult the teacher so that you can be in a better position to suggest the right materials. If that’s not practical, talk to the librarian and you can rest assured that are lots of materials out there that can help your child become a pro reader.
Read Aloud Together
Yes! If you 5th grader still enjoys you reading books aloud for them, keep doing it. At this stage, reading aloud should be more of a collaborative activity unlike when they were younger and you just read for them with no input from their end. Take turns reading chapters or paragraphs but be sure to let them do most of the part. The thing is, studies indicate that reading aloud continues to build and develop reading comprehension skill and vocabulary even for older children. And this should not be limited to just you reading. Look for audiobooks that you can listen together when at home or cruising the highway with your child.
Discuss When Reading
It is very imperative to talk to your 5th grader while they are reading. This gives you the chance to ask them questions such as who the main characters are, the setting of the story and the themes that emerge from the story. Encouraging them to talk when reading prompt them to probe and analyze the passage or text.
Discuss Different Points of View
Put emphasis on how various points of view can shape and influence perceptions. This can be achieved by helping them develop the concept when at home or when doing fun activities such as shopping and cooking. Encourage them to explain to you what happened during such activities and this will help them develop critical thinking skills which will come in handy when teaching them to make sense out of text and passages.
Look Up for Answers
When family or reading conversation leads to questions that need to be answered, challenge your 5th grader to use materials and resources available to get an answer to the question. This will eventually encourage them to be inquisitive and curious skills that are very important when it comes to developing reading and comprehension skills.
Spot Similes and Metaphors
In 5th grade, your child will start to encounter intricate use of language. This includes similes and metaphors. As they begin learning these new things, it is important to help them understand what they mean. Therefore, whenever you spot you spot a simile or metaphor in a story or text, pick it out and ask them what they think it means. If they have no idea, go ahead and explain it to them. Don’t just stop there, after the explanation, ask them to form a sentence using them. And you don’t just have to wait for them to pop up in stories and passages. You can use frequently use them at home and don’t forget to explain what they mean.
Find Fun Writing Projects for Your Child
Be on the lookout for fun writing activities that your child can engage themselves in. for instance, if they used to create family trees when they were younger, challenge them to write short biographies about a few of the people in the tree.
Use Social Media Platforms such as Facebook to Practice Writing
We are in the age of the internet and this can be used to improve 5th grade reading comprehension skills of your child. If you use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, encourage them to write status updates and to comment on what other people are saying. Writing short notes or paragraphs about family social events will also help them develop reading comprehension skills and also writing skills.