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Boosting Reading Comprehension

Boosting Reading Comprehension: Effective Strategies

Boosting Reading Comprehension

Boosting reading comprehension for struggling requires effective strategies.  Strategies include pre-reading activities and creating a supportive environment. This blog will detail different activities and provide an explanation of exactly what a supportive environment might look like in your home. 

Reading comprehension is a crucial skill. It is the foundation for academic growth and lifelong learning. As a parent, you know not just your child but many students face challenges in understanding and retaining what they read. 

Read on to explore practical techniques and tips to support struggling readers in improving their reading comprehension abilities.

Understanding Reading Comprehension Challenges

  • Identifying main ideas and supporting details can be challenging for struggling readers, making it difficult for them to grasp the overall meaning of a text.
  • Struggling readers may struggle with inferencing and drawing conclusions, making it harder for them to understand implied information or make connections between different parts of a text.
  • Limited vocabulary and lack of familiarity with complex sentence structures can hinder comprehension, as struggling readers may struggle to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words or decipher complex sentences.

Struggling readers face several challenges when it comes to reading comprehension. One common difficulty is identifying a text’s main ideas and supporting details, which can hinder their understanding of the overall meaning. Another struggle they may encounter is with inferencing and drawing conclusions, as they find it challenging to grasp implied information or make connections between different parts of the text. 

Boosting Reading Comprehension

Limited vocabulary and a lack of familiarity with complex sentence structures further compound their comprehension issues, as unfamiliar words and intricate sentences can be difficult to comprehend. These obstacles pose significant barriers, but with targeted support and effective strategies, they can overcome these challenges and improve their overall reading comprehension skills.

Strategies to Enhance Reading Comprehension

Pre-Reading Activities:

  • Activate prior knowledge: Help struggling readers make connections by asking them about their existing knowledge on the topic before reading.
  • Preview the text: Encourage students to skim through the text, read headings and subheadings, and look at visuals to get an overview of the content.

Active Reading Techniques:

  • Highlighting and annotating: Teach students to underline or highlight key information and jot down notes or questions in the margins while reading.
  • Visualizing: Encourage readers to create mental images or draw illustrations based on the text to enhance comprehension and engagement.
  • Summarizing: Prompt students to write brief summaries of what they have read after each section to consolidate their understanding.

Vocabulary Building:

  • Context clues: Teach students to use the surrounding words and sentences to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  • Word lists: Create word lists from the text, focusing on important or challenging vocabulary, and discuss their meanings together.
  • Vocabulary games: Engage struggling readers in fun activities like word puzzles, flashcards, or vocabulary-building games to make learning new words enjoyable.

Questioning Strategies:

  • Pre-reading questions: Encourage students to generate questions about the text before reading to stimulate curiosity and focus their attention.
  • During reading questions: Teach readers to ask themselves questions while reading to check their understanding and make connections.
  • Post-reading questions: Discuss open-ended questions or provide written prompts to encourage students to reflect on the text, analyze the main ideas, and draw conclusions.

Graphic Organizers:

  • Mind maps: Use graphic organizers like mind maps to help struggling readers organize their thoughts, make connections, and visualize relationships between ideas in the text.
  • Venn diagrams: Utilize Venn diagrams to compare and contrast characters, events, or concepts, promoting deeper understanding of the text.
  • Storyboards: Encourage students to create visual storyboards to sequence events or summarize the main plot points, fostering comprehension and recall.

To enhance reading comprehension, struggling readers can employ effective strategies. Pre-reading activities involve activating prior knowledge and previewing the text. Active reading techniques such as highlighting, annotating, visualizing, and summarizing aid understanding. Vocabulary building includes using context clues, creating word lists, and engaging in vocabulary games. Questioning strategies involve generating pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading questions. Graphic organizers like mind maps, Venn diagrams, and storyboards assist in organizing thoughts, comparing information, and summarizing. 

With these strategies, struggling readers can improve their comprehension and confidence. These techniques foster engagement, promote critical thinking, and aid in understanding complex texts. With consistent practice and support, struggling readers can unlock the power of reading and access a world of knowledge and imagination.

Creating a Supportive Reading Environment

Provide Structured Support:

  • Scaffolded reading: Break down complex texts into smaller sections and provide guided support while gradually increasing independence.
  • Read-aloud sessions: Read aloud to struggling readers, emphasizing expression, intonation, and comprehension strategies.
  • Partner reading: Encourage peer collaboration by pairing struggling readers with more proficient readers to support comprehension and discussion.

Foster a Love for Reading:

  • Accessible reading materials: Offer a variety of reading materials at different difficulty levels, including books, magazines, and online resources that cater to students’ interests.
  • Choice and autonomy: Allow struggling readers to choose books based on their preferences to increase motivation and engagement.
  • Celebrate progress: Recognize and celebrate students’ achievements and milestones to build their confidence and encourage a positive reading experience.
Boosting reading comprehension

Creating a supportive reading environment is crucial for struggling readers. Providing structured support involves breaking down complex texts into smaller sections and gradually increasing independence. Read-aloud sessions, emphasizing expression, intonation, and comprehension strategies, help struggling readers improve their understanding. Partner reading encourages collaboration with more proficient readers, promoting comprehension and discussion. 

To foster a love for reading, offer accessible materials that align with students’ interests and provide choices for increased motivation and engagement. Recognizing and celebrating students’ achievements and milestones builds confidence and cultivates a positive reading experience. By implementing these strategies, struggling readers feel supported and empowered to enhance their reading skills in a nurturing environment.


Addressing reading comprehension issues in struggling readers requires an approach that combines targeted strategies, a supportive environment, and a love for reading. By implementing the techniques discussed in this blog post, you can help struggling readers develop stronger comprehension skills, enhance their enjoyment of reading, and unlock their full potential.