Fourth Grade Reading Comprehension Lessons

Reading comprehension is one of the most important life skills that your child will learn because he or she will use it in future classes and, ultimately, in a career. Keep reading for a few tips on teaching fourth graders reading comprehension.

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Teaching Fourth Graders Reading Comprehension

What Fourth Graders Are Expected to Learn

Although standards can vary from state to state and school to school, it's likely that your child will be required to read texts from a variety of genres, such as historical fiction, drama and nonfiction. Your fourth grader may also be required to understand the meaning of these texts, draw inferences and formulate opinions.

Reading and Discussing Various Texts

Reading comprehension is a learned skill, and thinking critically about texts is an important aspect of comprehension. At home, read the same book that your child is reading. Ask your child questions about the text, to help him think critically about it. For example, have your child guess what might happen next in the story or talk about how the ending may have changed if a character's decisions were different.

Alternatively, read a chapter aloud with your child. When you come to the end of a chapter, both you and your child will silently write a story prediction on a note card. Keep your predictions until the end of the next chapter, and discuss how your predictions differed from what happened in the text.

Taking Notes

Sometimes comprehension suffers because students have difficulty identifying the main events of the story. If you and your child are reading the book together, you can keep track of the main events by writing them down and adding to that list together while you read. This is also a note-taking technique that your child can do alone.

Using Context Clues

Context clues are the words in a sentence that surround a new vocabulary word and indicate its meaning. Cover a new word and have your child try to figure out what it means using the context clues in the sentence. Often, the word she comes up with will be a synonym for the new vocabulary word.

Useful Resources

If your child needs extra help, you can find new ideas online or at local libraries and learning centers. For instance, if your child is an auditory learner, meaning he learns better from hearing rather than reading, you may consider getting him an audio book. You can even use the same comprehension activities as listed above. However, you may find that his comprehension increases dramatically because of the book's audio format.

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