Drawing to Increase Reading Comprehension

It is so important for our children to understand and remember what they read in books and stories. In our increasing reading comprehension series, we last looked at how taking notes can help a child better understand the stories they read. Another way to increase reading comprehension is by drawing pictures to go along with the story.

How Does Drawing Pictures Help?

One of the goals of fluent reading is for children to be able to see the action of a story in their minds as they read.  You want your child to be able to picture what is happening almost as if a movie was playing out in their minds.  A child that struggles to do that will often also have difficulty with remembering the plot of a story.  Drawing pictures throughout the story gives your child hands-on practice in picturing the story for themselves.

When to Draw During a Story

There needs to be a balance between too much drawing and too little drawing for this strategy to help.  Too much drawing can cause your child to lose interest in the book as they put all their focus on their art.  Too little drawing will not help your child remember the details, characters, and events that they need to remember.  I would suggest taking a break after every chapter to draw the events of the chapter. Your child may want to just draw one large picture depicting the main characters and events in that chapter.  Some children may want to use more of a comic book format with boxes to show different scenes and characters.

Adding Details to the Drawing

Keep in mind, the main point of the drawing exercises is to help your children remember what is happening in the story.  You may want to encourage your child to label the characters and places in their drawings.  This will help them remember better when they look back at the pictures.  Also remind them to add details to the pictures.  Does the main character always carry a certain object? Have your child add that to the picture.  Does one character have a specific catch phrase?  Your child could write that catch phrase on the character’s shirt or above their head.

Many children, especially those that struggle with reading comprehension, enjoy art more than reading.  Drawing pictures after every chapter will not only increase their reading comprehension, but it will also be a pleasant task.  In our next post about increasing reading comprehension, we will discuss making a timeline to remember important events in a story.

Do you let your child draw while they are reading a story?

Photo by: Jimmie

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