Reading comprehension can be a difficult examination component as it requires children to not only make connections to what they have just read, but also apply what they already know to answer the questions.
Ms Diana Thomas who manages the curriculum and training aspects of our reading and writing programme across all centres, including MindChamps @ West Coast Plaza, shares a few tactics to break down the reading comprehension process.
Teachers at MindChamps West Coast Plaza use dramatisation to facilitate memory
According to Ms Thomas, MindChamps West Coast Plaza utilises components of Bloom’s Taxonomy to aid children in comprehending a concept.
First, the text would be read aloud and children would need to identify the main ideas of the story and highlight anything they do not understand. Stories would be dramatised with gestures and voices to help the story come alive.
Teachers would help Champs remember things better by describing it with words they already know. For example, if a book is about flying to the moon, representations like night, or astronaut would be described. Teachers would use objects to give the children a clearer idea, like flashlights to represent the night sky.
Ask simple questions
To check their level of understanding, teachers at MindChamps West Coast Plaza will read the text again and have the children repeat it to them. Then, they will ask simple questions like “why did this character do this” or “what do you think will happen next”.
This helps to break down the text into more manageable chunks. Champs will then create their own concept of what they just read. They will be able to compare and contrast it to what they already know, for example, using the sun against the moon, or other planets.
Understanding reading comprehension better by zooming in
The children would then pick a part of the story they like the best and focus on it. They would present information on what they already know about the concepts in the book, like the solar system or flying.
Then, they would be asked more challenging questions that would require them to evaluate the information given. For example, why do we need a spaceship to fly to the moon? Why is the moon so far away? They will also be asked to visualise alternative plot points to pique their interest.
Have the Champs create their own stories
Finally, Champs will be tasked to create something new with all the information they have. The will create an interactive story with art and crafts, like creating a spaceship out of recycled materials. They will also be able to experience the story in real life through excursions, like going moon watching.
The aim is to excite children and make them interested in what they are reading. Teachers at MindChamps West Coast Plaza would also expose the Champs to a wide variety of books so that they would have basic knowledge of various subjects. This knowledge would aid them in understanding the reading comprehension texts better.