Elementary Concepts: Sixth Grade Reading

Sixth grade marks the end of elementary school for students. Help your child succeed in junior high by helping them master the necessary reading skills.

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As the parent of a sixth grade student you will need to periodically remind your child how important reading is to every aspect of their daily life. You can help ensure that your child is adequately progressing by monitoring the various components of their reading skills. Your sixth grader's teacher or school district should have a list of the educational standards for your child's current grade level. Use those guidelines, as well as the information discussed in this article, to help keep your child focused on improving his or her reading abilities.

Children progress at different rates and levels when it comes to reading. If you find your child is slightly behind the rest of their class you should not be overly concerned at first. With a little additional help, chances are your child will be catch and even pass the rest of her class in no time. Parents can work with their children at home or hire professional tutors to teach them proper reading skills. Reading tutoring is also now available online.

A major component of reading and writing for sixth graders is the understanding of organizational structures. Texts are organized by the content and purpose behind the writing. A sixth grade student will learn about these various structures including cause and effect relationships, chronological order, and time-sequence order. By the end of grade six, a child should be able to use these organizational structures to aid with their reading comprehension.

The elements of plot and an author's writing style are also very important components in reading comprehension. Sixth graders are expected to learn how to identify and analyze the setting to determine its influence on the plot and themes of a written work. This may include an investigation of the historical time period, place or situation. Between this knowledge and the mastery of the concepts of writing style, a sixth grader will be able to analyze their assigned readings. Writing style also includes the overall mood and word choice used in a piece of literature.

Sixth grade children are also encouraged to analyze poetry. They will be taught about stanzas, verse, rhyme schemes, line breaks, alliteration, rhythm, repetition, and other forms of figurative language used in poetry.

Persuasive writing is covered in sixth grade reading classes. Persuasion is an important skill to master in today's society, which is why sixth graders are expected to begin using this writing style. Mastering persuasion early in one's education is important because it is widely used in literary essays and other middle school, high school, and collegiate assignments. Sixth graders should be able to identify the facts and details that support a writer's argument within a persuasive piece. The student is then expected to describe how the persuasive strategies affect the reader. Not only this, but sixth graders may be required to learn about propaganda techniques such as bandwagon, loaded words, peer pressure, repetition, testimonial, and transfer.

Monitoring your child's progress in these and other reading skills will help your student excel in middle school and beyond. Make sure to ask your child's teacher about the state and local educational standards.

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