Creative Reading and Reading Comprehension

Lost in a book is a common expression. Usually it refers to a child being drawn into a story. Forgetting everything else.

It is easy to be drawn into a story but reading can also be a discussion with yourself.  A child may turn the page every now and then without actually reading the book. Instead, the child is “lost” in a discussion with himself.

Reading is a solitary activity and it is easy to forget about the story. The plot in the book may have lead to a new idea and the child may be exploring the idea. A discussion where the story sparks new ideas can help a child to organise his understanding about the world. 

Ideas are not born out of nothing. Instead ideas and understanding are built upon other ideas. Sometimes only a small bit may be  added but giant leaps into something new can also be the result of reading about someone else’s perspective about the world.Random associations can lead to new possibilities. Reading is a meeting with new possibilities and this may lead to a child changes his perspective upon the world and about himself.

Encouraging  your child to think about certain things before he starts reading can develop his imagination. 

Your child can try to describe the content of the book before reading it. 

Book covers can give inspiration, and if your child has read something else by the author, he might be able to come up with several ideas about the book and the characters. 

It is also possible to read a chapter and try to imagine what happens in the next chapter. 

Your child might like to solve mysteries or problems and reading half the book and then writing the end of the story is fun and challenging thinking activity,

The same idea can be used to write the sequel to a TV programme.

The goal with reading could be described as to understand the text. In the Internet Age, your child has to be a proficient reader. Your child also has to make sure that she understands the information.

Reading comprehension relies on the ability to recognise words. If it takes time and effort to decode the letters, a child uses too much of her processing capacity to read individual words. As a result, a child’s ability to understand what she has read may suffer.

From the beginning of a child’s journey towards literacy, the focus can be on decoding, reading comprehension, or a combination of both. 

Sometimes, it is argued that a child should never have to read anything that does not lead to a discussion about the text. A child should be encouraged to think about what she has read. 

Finding meaning in a text is different from answering someone else’s questions about the text. A creative exploration of ideas that the text might have sparked is important to help a child develop not only reading comprehension skills but also to develop creative comprehension.

Often reading comprehension consists of a child answering questions about the text. Many questions are of a checking character. The aim is to check that a child has understood the text in a certain way. The child’s goal is described as finding the right answer to a certain question.

But  an exploration of ideas that might deviate from the intended answers is also important. Creative discussions with other children allows for a plunge into ideas. A story or a text is just the beginning. Freedom to explore your comprehension and to be allowed to fly away with the story helps to develop not only reading comprehension but also thinking skills.

Photo “Small Girls Reading Book” by Phaitoon

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