Reading Comprehension Strategies

Reading Comprehension Strategies | Gryphon House

Literacy is a vital part of early childhood education. It encompasses not only being able to read words, but recognizing words’ place in sentences, how they convey ideas, how they come together to create a story, and how we communicate with them. There are many literacy games for children out there, but many rely on the child already having a basic English vocabulary; English Language Learners and those who may struggle with literacy may be left in the dark. It is therefore important to continue to use more engaging literacy activities alongside more clinical ones, employing visual representations and auditory stimulation to teach reading.

Mary Renck Jalongo is an expert in teaching literacy to Second Language Learners. In her book Literacy for All Young Learners, she includes early childhood literacy activities that tackle reading from many different angles. Below are a few of these tactics to make reading easier for all young learners.

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Literacy for All Young Learners | Gryphon House

Song Picture Books

What is it?

A song picture book is a book that illustrates the lyrics to a song. These books are useful for learning language because children are able to make clear connections between music and language, and are likely already familiar with the book’s story. So long as children know the lyrics to the song, they can “read” the book based on the pictures.

Why is it Important?

Music has been shown to help with many elements of learning, from memory to literacy. Music can also create a more relaxed environment and encourage children who would normally remain silent to participate. All of these things help develop literacy skills.

How Does it Work?

  • Play the Music: Play the song in the background during free play time to get the children familiar with the tune. Walk the children through the picture book by turning the pages in pace with the lyrics
  • Begin Small: Have the children start learning the song by only doing one motion, singing one verse, only singing the chorus, etc. Keep building until the whole song is familiar. Sing the song in other languages if you know how
  • Prepare a Song Chart: Take the children through the text by using a pointer to show where they are in the song. Give the children opportunities to be the director and lead use the pointer to lead the class
  • Keep the Book and Song Accessible: Put the book and the recording in the listening center. Use a recording that includes an audible signal, like a bell, that indicates when to turn the page. Have the children play games with sight words from the song, invite them to write new verses, or have them illustrate their own version of the song

Leveled Adaptation:

1. Relying on Action and Oral Language

Give the children a set of toys and props to use when they sing a familiar song. The text should be simple, predictable, use repetition, and use rhyme so that children can learn it quickly.

2. Relying on Visual Images

Introduce a song picture book version of the familiar song. Develop making pictures to go along with the song. Next, try introducing a new song for the children to learn and illustrate it using clip art. Make up your own lyrics to a familiar tune to sing with the children.

3. Beginning to Use Symbols

Introduce the children to different musical styles. Introduce two song picture books of reggae songs like “One Love” by Cedelia Marley. Make song charts for the new songs

 

Wordless Books to Teach Sequence

What is it?

A wordless picture book is a book that relies on illustrations to tell its story. Wordless books may have no text at all or simply a single word or phrase

Why is it Important?

Children process the world through what they see—especially in a visual culture like ours. They can share or view images instantly with the internet, and advertisements constantly provide new arrays of visual stimuli. Working with a plot comprised of sequential images is the first step to understanding the plot of a written story, and children who can invent their own stories tend to tell longer stories and use more varied vocabulary.

How Does it Work?

  • Select a variety of wordless books that are suitable for young children—(concepts should be concrete rather than abstract).
  • Share one of the books with the children. Take them through a “picture walk” of the story before you show them the text that goes along with the images
  • Model dictating captions to go with each page
  • H ave the children then work with a partner to generate their own captions for a wordless book of their choice
  • Record their words either by writing them down or using recording equipment
  • Produce a page by page transcript so that each child’s story can be cut apart and applied to their picture book

Leveled Adaptation:

1. Relying on Actions and Oral Language

Introduce the idea of a book that tells its story entirely through pictures and then share a simple, wordless book. On the second reading of the book, demonstrate that you can communicate without words using the pictures. Have the children do the same by pointing to the images in the book

2. Relying on Visual Images

Read a version of the fable “The Lion and the Mouse.” After viewing all the pictures, go back and model how to invent words to go along with the images. Give the children a different sequence of images and have them articulate a story for it. Make sure to let them see all of the images first!

3. Beginning to Use Symbols

Read a wordless book and model for the children how to invent dialogue for the characters that goes along with the pictures. Give the children a variety of wordless books to choose from. Let them work in small groups to dictate or compose a text for each image

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