Reading Comprehension and the 5 W’s

Parents! You are your child's greatest asset, no matter what age or grade level they are. Reading can be tough for many students, simply because they don’t understand the words (vocabulary), or they don’t remember what they have read. Either way, it is no fun and they don’t want to do it. Here are some suggestions that will make a difference.

Pre-K through Grade 5

When your child is younger, it is very good practice to read with them. Read one page at a time and stop. Ask the "5 W's": Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Taking one page at a time makes the whole chapter, and book, more manageable.

Grades 6 through 12

By 6th Grade, students are expected to do more work on their own. Therefore, change the expectation to better correlate with school. Have them still read one page at a time, but have them write notes, asking the “5 W’s” as they go. Have them note any significant observations in the text, character development, new characters introduced, and so on. Have them look up words in an old fashion dictionary, not on the computer. I am amazed how many of my junior high students have never used a dictionary. Taking notes along the way will help them to “journal” the story, and therefore, understand and comprehend it better. It will also create a “habit” of taking notes for book reports in high school, and beyond! It is a good study habit. When your child takes small bites, asks these questions and answers them correctly, Understanding AND Comprehension will be greatly increased. When this happens, reading becomes less work, and more fun! They are more likely to read on their own and provide you with enthusiastic feedback. After all, isn’t this our goal? So, have fun!


John K.

Personal and Professional Tutor

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