Reading Comprehension for Beginners

We all know those “reading comprehension” worksheets — the ones that have a paragraph or two at the top, or a textbook reading assignment, followed by a number of questions to see if you are paying attention to what you read.

One predicament I face is supervising three beginning readers all at once. I want them to become more independent in their reading, and I want to help them understand the words and the story instead of just making the sounds. This type of worksheet seems ideal for the same reasons it’s used in a traditional classroom setting: it can both encourage and assess the student’s understanding of the reading material, with less direct interaction from the teacher (me). I tried a reading comprehension worksheet designed for slightly more advanced readers, and although I had to help them along the way, they seemed to enjoy the exercise overall. They took some pride in being able to answer questions about the material they’d just read, just as they do when I ask questions about the books I read aloud to them.

Right now, Bob Books are ideal for their independent reading. They can sight read or easily sound out all of the words in the first several sets. Just as important, they know what the words mean as well — they rarely have to ask for definitions while reading these stories.

Putting 2 and 2 together (sorry for mixing a math metaphor into a reading lesson :) ), I broke out the “Sight Words – Kindergarten” set and sat down to make up some questions. I realized that I had to make sure my questions were as easy to read and understand as the books themselves, and I kept the answers short so the writing wouldn’t become a stumbling block.

I handed each child a different book and question page, ensuring that one little reader wouldn’t be shortchanged by overhearing another’s reading or thinking out loud. I wrote three questions for each of the ten books, which you can download below:

Free PDF download: Reading Comprehension Questions for Bob Books

The first two pages list all of the questions for your reference, the remaining pages have one book per page with larger type and enough blank space for little ones to write their answers.

Of course we still do plenty of reading, questioning, and discussion both one-on-one and as a group, but there are times I want to have them working independently and this adds another method to my toolbox that works for those times. Leave a comment and tell me if these are useful to you, and what your kids think of them!

If you don’t have the Bob Books yet, here are the four sets we’re using right now (the Sight Words set is the last one):

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