Reading comprehension is the ability to understand a text. It is also the goal of reading itself: if you comprehend what you read, then you have mastered the basics of reading. Along with understanding the basic plot line and facts in a text he reads, a child with strong comprehension can also identify key themes, read between the lines, and extrapolate from the text to make connections with his own life experience.

A beginning reader with good comprehension skills can (with support and prompting):

  • Understand the connection between words and illustrations on the page
  • Use illustrations to make predictions about the text
  • Be able to re-tell a story, including all the key details
  • By first grade, identify characters, setting, and main events in a story, and compare and contrast familiar stories

Other necessary reading skills: