Day 12 Teaching of Reading – Comprehension

Read aloud poem: Blossoms by Frank Dempster Sherman (May 6, 1930 – September 19, 1916) .  If you love the Pouis tree you would enjoy the poet’s description of the life of their blossoms as they fly and dance and disappear…

Read aloud story: The Fisherman and His Wife by Shirley C. Raines and Rebecca Isbell. While the version read at class was short, and easy to follow there are many published versions of this German fairytale.

The pitfalls of greed resulting in discontentment and the devaluation of close relationships was the central theme of the story.  

We had an invaluable lesson in pedagogical practice for teaching comprehension skills as we went through many short stories and pictorial examples to help us experience the learner’s process through the teacher’s application of the different skill sets.  Comprehension skills are vital to prepare the learner to make informed choices to navigate life.  The skill components explored to construct meaning were the:

  • literal – recall, sequencing, main idea identification
  • interpretive/ inferential – making generalizations from interpretation
  • critical – identifying fact and opinion, real and unreal, bias and propaganda
  • creative – creating time, events, characters and dialogue through drawing, painting and drama

I enjoyed predicting outcomes, summarizing information and drawing conclusions as an expression of the interpretive skill of comprehension.  We  touched on figurative language and the use of context clues to assist the learner to grasp the skill.

Training children to focus on fact helps them make informed choices where the media competes for the mind’s attention.  This skill helps the learner to assess what they read, see and hear,  identify literary devices that may be used to persuade us, which can ultimately influence product and people choices in everyday life, even though the information presented may not be entirely true.

The creative skill  resonated with me the most as it reminded me of Jean Piaget’s  constructivist theory of discovery through engagement. The teacher may ask the children to create a drama through dialogue or invite the learner to change the beginning, middle or the end of the story.  This stimulates their imagination as they combine their ideas and experience with the material to create new expressed thought.

This lesson helped me understand the value of context clues in a piece of writing, whether it be through the use of synonyms, experience, direct explanations and familiar expressions and cultural sayings.

We looked at Bloom’s taxonomy where the learner is introduced to a methodical way of breaking down the reading material through asking questions that start off on a basic level, then grow more complexed with each question.  The following five questions were looked at in a variety of passages.  We were also given sentences and asked to identify the relevant question that would provoke the response.  I found a site that gave meaningful examples of how the questions can be posed to the learner.

The  levels of questioning and the type of responses solicited follow:

  1. Knowledge – lower level factual responses
  2. Comprehension – lower level factual responses
  3. Application – higher level interpretive responses
  4. Analysis – higher level demonstrative and experiential responses
  5. Synthesis – higher level  creative responses
  6. Evaluation – higher level judgmental responses



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