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The Importance of questions to develop reading comprehension in children

“One who never asks, either knows everything or nothing.” - Micheal Forbes

From the smell of a new book, to the feeling of turning the pages, looking at the pictures and even forming your own pictures as you read, reading is a personal adventure for every individual. Reading holds the key to exploring different worlds, while sitting at your table, or in a cozy space. 

In the early years, an important part of helping your child develop a love for reading is to read books yourself - parents could even read to their children. A great way to develop this habit from a young age is to set aside some time to read together. You can read one book, as a family; and as children grow older, each one can find their own space and book of choice to read. 

In today’s technologically-driven world, it is more common for children to navigate towards reading/listening to something on an ipad, mobile phone, or laptop. That cannot be completely avoided, and when time and type of content is controlled, screen time can have some benefits too. However, reading a book has many advantages in the long run. 

Reading promotes communication.It builds your little one’s vocabulary, gives him/her more information about things in the world, promotes imagination and creative thinking, and even promotes observation and concentration for little ones. If parents read to their children, it promotes increased listening skills.  

While listening to a story is very important, it is one part of the whole learning experience that encompasses reading. Another crucial aspect is asking questions, and answering your little one’s questions too. Usually, children learn the best from people they trust, therefore while answering your little ones questions, try and give them as much information to answer their questions as appropriate for their age. Parents can also gauge how much their child has understood from a story by asking the right questions. 

6 questions that can be asked include: 

  • ‘How did that story make you feel?’
  • Does the story remind you of any other story or incident?
  • Did you have any questions while reading/listening to the story?
  • What was your favorite part?
  • Were there any parts which surprised you?
  • Did you feel like any of the characters were like you in the story? 

Asking questions will help your little ones relate to the story, communicate about anything that may have triggered any kind of an emotion in them, clarify any confusion - and it also nurtures children’s communication skills, afterall, where a child’s mind goes, his/her energy flows. 

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