To read is to voyage through time. Reading is different from comprehension, they are two completely different thing but should be present to each one of us to be able to reach our fullest potential in life. Reading is an ability to recognize words. Comprehension on the other side, refers to the ability to understand written words. Recognizing words on a page but not knowing what they mean does not fulfill the purpose or goal of reading, which is comprehension. Imagine, for example, that a teacher gives a child a passage to read. The child can read the entire passage, but he or she knows nothing when asked to explain what was read.

Comprehension adds meaning to what is read. Reading comprehension occurs when words on a page are not just mere words but thoughts and ideas. Comprehension makes reading enjoyable, fun, and informative. It is needed to succeed in school, work, and life in general.

There are different strategies to use to enhance comprehension. It takes patience and continuous guidance when using these strategies. As we all know learners are unique and different. They have their own learning style that best suits them, so we also have to consider the learning style of your target learner. The following are strategies that can be used to help build reading comprehension in children:

  • When working with children, remember to model the strategy as well as provide guided practice. As their skills increase, slowly decrease your guidance.
  • Make informed predictions based on what they obtain from the story or text. Predictions require asking children to make guesses about what might happen. Predictions are made based on what they see, hear, or read relative to the book’s cover, title, pictures, drawing, table of content, and headings. Predicting builds interest and understanding of the text, and it establishes a purpose for reading. This strategy keeps children actively engaged by connecting, reflecting, and revising their predictions.
  • Making connections to prior knowledge involves connecting a new idea to knowledge and experiences already known. It requires getting children to relate their own experiences to something in the story. The goal is to get children to use their prior knowledge to help make sense of the text they read. Prior knowledge can include their experiences or knowledge of words, places, animals, or events.
  • Visualizing is also a strategy used to increase reading comprehension. It requires getting children to create in their minds a mental image of what they read from the text. Children can mentally envision what they are reading. The mental image helps children understand, recall details, remember, and draw conclusions from the things they encountered while reading.

Without comprehension, children gain no meaning from what they read. Comprehension strategies are used to increase children’s understanding of the text to help them become active readers by engaging with the text.