Reading comprehension is a skill teachers work on with students all year. If you’re looking for fresh and fun reading comprehension activities to implement in the classroom, here are some great ideas.
Reading Comprehension Activities that Work
Students need to learn how to read, and a big component of that is learning to understand the text they are reading. We want children to comprehend what they read to build an understanding of the world around them.
Comprehension Mats are a simple tool to help kids practice reading comprehension. Teachers can add these quick activities to their morning work routine, literacy centers, or small groups. The engaging passages and differentiated activities help kids where they are with their learning. Let’s check out how reading comprehension activities can help students!
Table of Contents
- Reading Comprehension Activities that Work
- Common Challenges
- What is Reading Comprehension, and Why is it Important?
- Fun Ways to Teach Reading Comprehension
- What are Comprehension Mats?
- More Literacy Activities for the Classroom
All students will experience challenges from time to time regarding comprehension. Some need just a little bit of assistance and reading comprehension strategies when working on these skills, while others may need daily scaffolding.
Picture this: During small groups, you notice that Candace can read every text in front of her. When asked to retell the story or answer questions about the text, she struggles. She isn’t comprehending what she’s reading.
Have you experienced this?
Candance needs a resource that will help her build her comprehension skills. This will take time, but with multiple uses of reading comprehension activities, she will be able to recall, retell, and answer questions quickly. Comprehension Mats can help!
Picture this: You have several students who are ready to start working on reading comprehension, but they are at varying levels with this skill. You aren’t sure how to help all of them since one resource may be too difficult or too easy for some kids.
You need reading comprehension activities that allow for varying degrees of understanding to help all kids in the classroom learn at their level. Comprehension Mats can be given to kids who are just starting to work independently on comprehension skills and students who need more scaffolding.
What is Reading Comprehension, and Why is it Important?
Reading comprehension is the ability to process written text, understand the underlying meaning, and apply present knowledge. It’s more than just reading words on the page. It’s soaking it all in and applying it to the real world.
This skill is important to master so students can understand the world around them, improve their language, and dive into more complex concepts. Comprehension helps students with their critical thinking and imaginative skills.
Fun Ways to Teach Reading Comprehension
There are many ways to teach reading comprehension in both whole group, small group, and independent settings. Based on the needs of students, you can add reading comprehension activities to everyday practice.
- Whole Group: Comprehension as a whole group can involve reading a story and stopping to ask invoking questions along the way. Questions before a story get kids thinking as you read. Questions afterward help them reflect and remember!
- Small Group: Appy comprehension practice to small group activities using short passages or Comprehension Mats. Simple activities like this help kids practice their skills with smaller pieces of text.
- Independent: Provide students with reading passages or simple stories to read independently. Then, use question stems and prompts to invoke thought about what was read.
What are Comprehension Mats?
Comprehension Mats are a fun and exciting way to practice comprehension in the classroom. They are printable pages with short passages on them, followed by activities to get kids thinking. After reading, students connect to the text, draw a picture of what they read, complete a short activity, answer some questions, or order the events.
Two Types of Comprehension Mats
Type 1: For these mats, students begin by reading the short passage three times and coloring the fun shape at the bottom of the box. Then, they draw a picture to make a connection to the story. Next, they answer two simple questions. Finally, they put the story’s events in order using words or pictures.
Type 2: This mat is very similar. Students start by reading the passage three times and coloring the fun shape each time they read. Then, they illustrate the story to make a connection. Next, they highlight four verbs within the story and practice writing them on dotted lines. Finally, they answer two short questions in their own writing.
How and When to Use Them
The best part about the Comprehension Mats is that they are extremely versatile. There are two different versions included to allow for differentiation. Because of these differences, students can use the mats in different places in the classroom.
- Independent Practice: Give the activity mats to the student to work on after a whole group lesson on comprehension, or staple them together as a daily journal to work on!
- Small Groups: Work with your students during small group time. Print and laminate the sheets for them to use over and over.
- Whole Group: Provide each student with a mat to work on together. Display the mat on the board and read the passage as a group and work through the activities as a class to practice.
- Early Finishers: Grab the freebie below to have on hand for those students who finish their work quickly.
- Homework: Use the mats as extra practice at home. Send home a note to parents about the importance of comprehension and reading. You can even point them here to learn more!
- Morning Work: Set out reading comprehension activities in the morning to warm up student brains for the day.
Digital Comprehension Mats
Want to hear something great? Comprehension Mats are also provided in digital form. This means you can assign them to students through Google Classroom or complete them through PowerPoint. This is perfect for online learning, homework, or extra practice.
Students will love the technology aspect while working on Comprehension Mats. Every kid enjoys working on a computer!
What Teachers Are Saying About Comprehension Mats
THIS IS MY FAVORITE RESOURCE. I own a lot of different reading passages but these have become my favorite and we use them all the time. I love the different skills on each page; reading, language, comprehension, drawing, basically everything! My kids enjoy them because they get to draw, I love it because they are learning a love of reading. I ADORE THIS RESOURCE. – Olivia M.
The resource provides a perfect mix of exercises for my ESL students. The vocabulary in the readings is not too easy and not too difficult for my students and this reading comprehension resource is just really great! – Min Jon P.
The holiday and monthly themes passages help to integrate other subject areas into reading. My first graders enjoy learning something new each month. It’s very easy for my students to use and they complete it with little assistance. This resource includes the necessary skills and strategies for my kiddos. – Lacey H.
Try the Comprehension Mats by Proud to be Primary. There are monthly sets available with themed passages to keep interest high. There is also a bundle available for the year that includes 200 pages of Reading Comprehension Practice with follow-up activities.
These no-prep activities will save you time and are useful for many classroom needs. Simply print and pass out!
Free Comprehension Mats to Try
Try Comprehension Mats in your classroom with this FREE resource! You’ll see how amazing these reading comprehension activities are and how much kids enjoy using them to boost their comprehension skills.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
If you like this resource, you’ll love my Writing Mats!
More Literacy Activities for the Classroom
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