Reading Lessons for Middle School Instruction

Middle school reading lessons often focus on advanced skills, like decoding vocabulary and comprehending new and more complex texts. Focusing on the following skills during reading lessons can often help your son or daughter read more fluently and with better comprehension.

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Helping Your Child with Middle School Reading

Vocabulary Lessons

Help your child with unfamiliar vocabulary by teaching common roots, prefixes and suffixes. Once your child knows common word parts, he or she can figure out the meaning of unknown words. To practice, write a number of word parts on separate pieces of paper and put them in a hat. Have your child pick out the pieces at random and create words using the word parts they draw.

A common way to help students increase their vocabulary is by teaching them to use context clues. Context clues are the words that surround a new vocabulary word in a sentence and reveal the meaning. Write a sentence with a new vocabulary word on a piece of paper and cover the new word. Have your child guess the word based on the context clues. When you reveal the vocabulary word, chances are that many of the words he or she said are synonyms of the new term.

Informational Texts and Literature

Informational texts make up a large chunk of what kids are required to read in middle school, high school and beyond. Show your child how to use the tools provided by textbooks to facilitate the reading of content area texts. For example, teach him or her to read the chapter objective and topic headings before beginning to read.

Help your child become an active reader by asking him or her to write 1-sentence summaries for each paragraph. With enough practice and repetition, your middle schooler will be able to form these summaries automatically while reading informational texts.

Middle schoolers are typically required to read and analyze several genres of literature, such as novels, poetry, short stories and plays. To increase reading comprehension, you can structure many of your literature lessons around discussing and interpreting texts. For example, ask about your child's opinion regarding character motivation and make predictions for what might happen next in the narrative.

Motivational Reading Activities

If young readers are motivated and involved, they're often likely to learn more, both in and outside of class. Motivate your child to read by using a reading scavenger hunt. Choose certain events or objects that appear in a book and have your child search for them.

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