Did you know that even the best word readers may still struggle with reading? That’s because there are two different areas that are needed for good reading . . .word reading and comprehension. Comprehension is the ability to understand what we see, hear, and read. It involves lots of independent skills and works hand in hand with critical thinking. Critical thinking is what allows us to monitor what we are reading to see if it makes sense.

Parents can help their kids build critical thinking skills in many ways. One way is to sort objects into groups based on meaning. We often see this skill in science, but children can develop this skill as early as Kindergarten. It will help build comprehension used for later reading. 

Try this fun, family-friendly activity at home to help grow your child’s comprehension skills:

  • First, decide what the two types of objects might be. For example, tools we use to write (crayon, marker, pencil) and tools we use to get ready for the day (toothbrush, comb, hairbrush).
  • Gather these items and put them into a box or bag. If you do not have these objects available at home, feel free to cut out pictures, or even draw the objects on a piece of paper and cut them out. Be creative and think of all kinds of groups!
  • Tell your child that there are two types of objects and they should separate the objects into two different groups. You can help them think about the meaning of the objects.
  • Once your child has completed grouping the items, have them come up with a label (in their own words) for each group, i.e., “Things I Write With” and “Things I Use in the Morning”. This will help build confidence in your child’s ability to sort or classify.

There are so many variations of this activity that you can do. The pictures below are examples using animal and food drawings.

Figure 1 – Lay out a group of cards

“C” is for Comprehension - Figure 2

Figure 2 – After the child has separated the groups

“C” is for Comprehension - Figure 2

Interested in learning more about ways you can support your child’s language comprehension journey?

Our new program, EarlyBird at Home, focuses on this and the other building blocks of literacy. The program combines a fun game-based skill development app with our award-winning EarlyBird Assessment, dedicated support from a Literacy Specialist, and additional resources to help parents support their children.

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Get your child started on their reading journey with EarlyBird at Home