10 answers

Books Needed...

Hi all,
My daughter 9 needs help with comprehension, so I'm sending out a request to those of you that can help me teach her, I'd like to know what books that will help her. Maybe ones with a moral to it?
Thank-you, Sue

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Why not something simple like Aesop's Fables? They are short fun stories with morals. My mom used to cover the moral and have me guess and tell her why, then uncover it to see if I was right. She used to try to guess the ones she didn't know. It was fun. You can buy an illustrated book of them and some of them are on the internet for free at http://www.aesopfables.com/

More Answers

its not so much the book as what you do with it. any good book will do, as long as it has good story structure and she LIKES it. choose books that are easy for her to read if you are going to work on comprehension. the reading level of the words should be just at or maybe just below her reading level so that she is focusing on the comp and doesnt have to work on decoding the words also. make sure the book is enjoyable for her, most importantly! then talk to her about it. what happened in the story? in the beginning, middle, and end? who, what, when, where, why....who was the main character? who else was in the story? what was the problem that needed to be solved and how was it solved? when & where did it take place? how could it have been solved differently? how did the characters feel about......., what do you think about ......, what if..... , why did they...... , what do you think they meant by .....,,,, anything like that that applies to the story. and it doesnt have to be all books either. newspaper and magazine articles are good to use, anything she enjoys reading. even if she is watching tv or movies, you can casually ask her questions about it like that to help her get used to thinking like that. if you yourself have trouble with coming up with the questions, or dont have as much time as you would like (who does??) you can go to an educational supply store and get some workbooks with reading comp, or just use the ones she has from school. but going to the library or bookstore with her and letting her make the choices about what she wants to read and talking to her about it in a fun, light way is always the best start. if you are working on reading using materials that she doesnt like or finds boring, you are starting off with strikes against you right there. and if you are looking for quality books, you can always get a reading list from your school or library, or google some caldecott or newberry award winners, things like that. off the top of my head, check out van allsburg books, they should be easy for her to read, have very cool and imaginative stories and have beautiful illustrations that should attract her. though she may have already done most of them in school. good luck, D.

2 moms found this helpful

It's great that you are concerned about your daughter's progress and choosing to take a proactive approach to help her.

I agree with Deb that you should let her read something that she will find interesting. You can take her to the local library and let her look. My 8 yo daughter loves the Junie B series. We do ask her questions whenever we can.

Also you might want to check your local library to see if they have a summer reading program and consider sign her up. My friend from Chatham did that one year with her 2 kids. They read the book and when they bring them back someone from the program would ask them a few simple questions, and at the end of the summer they have a party to celebrate.

Good luck and I hope this turns out to be a productive summer for her.

Hi S.,

Some suggestions and questions. What part of comprehension is she having problems with? She might have problems with decoding issues, which is the way the brain receives language. My children have reading challenges and a survival tip would be to get audio book tapes for the books she's reading so she can listen as she reads. This helps with creating the picture or movie in her head and a love for reading. It also helps with word pronounciation and word recognition. I also used to read with them. I would take a page and then they would take the next and I would ask questions in between to make sure they getting it. If they're reading assignment was long I would break up the reading in parts. For example if they had to read a book in lets say a week I would divide the number of pages they would have to read by 7 days. This seemed to help a lot and they didn't feel overwhelmed by the task. I also had my kids place little post its with notes on what they read to help them with main points and characters. If nothing seems to be working and it seems as if though her comprehension is getting worse I would discuss it with her teacher and seek to see if there is a underlying learning issue. It's probably not a serious issue, but the sooner you know what her challenges are the faster you can help her cope and succeed. I have 2 kids with very different learning styles and I never apologize to anyone or to them about how to overcome their challenges. I also don't allow anyone to poke fun at them about it either. Kids like adults can be cruel and ignorant about these things. My kids are teenagers now and doing quite well with their studies. Good luck.

Hi S.,
I read the other posts and Deb. R. sounds like a teacher, just like me. I agree that you should use books that are easy for her to read to work on her comprehension.

What I have found is that when kids are having difficulty with comprehension, they are not making immages in their mind as they read. Your daughter has probably started to read books that contain few or no pictures and, so, now she has to make her own in her mind. You'll need to back track on the reading (decoding) difficulty in order to build up her comprehension ability.

When you choose books for her to read, if there are pictures on every page then use some thick paper to cover the pictures. Have her read the words out loud and then describe, as best she can, what those words make her picture. Essentially, guess what the illustration would be. Then, remove the paper and discuss the major parts that she described. Her description may be a little different, but so long as she got the main parts, then she's doing fine.

Comprehension is something that most classroom teachers are not trained to teach. Teachers are trained how to ask questions to TEST students' retention after they have read, but not how to guide them to those conclusions.

If you are willing to pay top dollar, there is a program in Darien, The Lindamood Bell Center, that conducts one-on-one intensive instruction to remediate students who have comprehension issues. I highly recommend them. I am also trained in their process.

S. Berry
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Hi S.,

By age 9 most children are reading chapter books, these may be too challenging for her. Maybe books with pictures will help her.

When my kids were little, we would read a book togher, I would read the left side and they would read the right. Ask questions as you go along, "what do you think will happen next?". Discuss the book at the end.

Try choosing books that have a personal connection. For example if you've recently gone to the zoo, get a book about animals. If she has a younger sibling, try the "Ramona" books.

Read a book that was made into a movie like Charlotte's Web or Matilda. Watch the movie and discuss. What was the same, what was different.

Have a conference with her teacher before school ends, since she personally knows your daughter, she may be able to make suggestions, or recommend programs in your area.

When my daughter was in 1st and 2nd grade, I thought she would never learn to read. I'd spend hours with her, but part of the problem was in her mind "I was Mommy and teaching was NOT what Mommy did", also in her mind "My teacher teachs me and I learn at school". My point, is maybe she would prefer reading with someone else... a grandparent or an older child.

Check out the local library, and see if they have any programs available.

Most importantly... don't give up.

Best of luck to you.

P.S. My daughter (now grade 7) won an award yesterday for being one of the top 5 readers in her class of over 250 students.

Why not something simple like Aesop's Fables? They are short fun stories with morals. My mom used to cover the moral and have me guess and tell her why, then uncover it to see if I was right. She used to try to guess the ones she didn't know. It was fun. You can buy an illustrated book of them and some of them are on the internet for free at http://www.aesopfables.com/

I have some hooked on Phonics stuff for her age if you would like. It helped my use to be nine year old alot. They did have moral to it and she will find it fun.

I have a book for you! "7 Keys to Comprehension" by S. Zimmerman is a great book written for parents (and teachers)to help children "Read it and get it!" Make sure your daughter sees you reading!

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