Active Reading Strategies

Links Provided in this post are a part of an Amazon Affiliate Program for The Confident Communication Center.

When reading to children with speech and/or language disorders, we often find they have difficulty with comprehension or even understanding how the story is helping with their goals. It may sometimes appear as if it’s going completely over their heads. As a parent or caregiver, how can you keep them engaged and support comprehension?

Below are a few strategies that have helped my students over the years.

Using the book, The Courageous Lion in Milo by Myles Nobles of, let’s look at a few strategies.

  • Review the cover
    • Look at interesting vocabulary words in the title. Ask questions or explain new words.
      • “Do you know what courageous means?”
      • Tell me about a time when you were courageous
    • If you notice an animal or vehicle, ask: Ooh can you roar like a lion? (Sound/movement, etc. are all great examples.)
  • As you begin reading, look at the characters.
    • Name them or make predictions about who they are in the story.
    • Consider how each character helps the main character.
  • Look at the setting
    • Ask questions such as, “where is he?” “I wonder what he’s dreaming about”
    • Being aware of background details also helps with remembering the story.
  • Highlight target concepts, sounds, etc.
    • Be aware of your child’s speech/language therapy goals
    • If they’re working on the /L/ sound, help them practice saying it when they see it in the story.
  • Pace your reading/practice
    • Focus on maybe 5 pages per reading session
    • It’s also ok to read a book over an extended period of time. Kids love repetition!
  • Help them put the story in order.
    • Sequencing information is a great skill that can be useful both in reading and math.
    • Use a visual of “first, next, then” or “1, 2, 3” and discuss what occurred in the story.
  • Review basic concepts.
    • If you notice objects in the story, such as a backpack, ask about what goes “into” the bag or what is “on” the counter.

These are just a few tips. The most important element in all of this is to have fun! Spending quality time with your child should always remain at the forefront.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a speech/language therapy game plan, set up an appointment with The Confident Communication Center today.


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