We hope you enjoy this free printable book to help improve reading comprehension!
When you think about reading, what’s do you consider the toughest thing to teach?
I think it’s reading comprehension.
After all, many kids can read the words, but when you ask them what the book was about they give you a blank stare.
It’s especially hard to help children understand nonfiction.
There’s just so much to see on a page, isn’t there?
- Key words
It’s just a little much, especially if you’re a young reader.
Introducing … my new reading comprehension readers!
I’ve decided to create a series of printable reading comprehension readers. This set of books will teach your learners all about countries around the world. But more than that – the books will help them use text features to understand nonfiction.
Each book comes in two reading levels – one for grades 2/3 and one for grades 3/4.
Let’s take a peek at our first book: If You Lived in Kenya.
How to print and assemble
But first – a quick tutorial to assemble your book. Choose the version you’d like, and print the four pages of the book FRONT TO BACK. And this is important: make sure you FLIP ON THE SHORT EDGE. Otherwise the pages will be upside down.
Then fold in half and open back up.
Use a long armed stapler to bind the book. Easy peasy!
And there it is – a black and white reader that will help students improve their comprehension. (The questions are even included!)
How we used it
I decided to use this book with my Six. He’s near the end of first grade and is an above-average reader. But his comprehension isn’t always the best.
To begin, we looked at the cover, and he told me what he might learn in the book.
“What do you think we’ll learn about Kenya?”
“Like about Africa, and Indians, and stuff.”
I didn’t correct him. Not yet, anyway.
“Well, let’s find out. First, let’s go through the book and look at the headings. Let’s read them before we actually read the book so we know a little about what to expect. Can you read me the headings?
“Daily Life. Food. Wildlife. Culture. Sports.”
“Oh, what’s this in the back?”
“Yes – it’s a special place that tells you the meanings of some words in the book.”
After this little preview, it was time to get started! I listened to my Six read each section aloud.
When he came to a word he didn’t know, he immediately went to the glossary to find out what it meant. I had no idea he would do this all on his own. Yay!
“What’s a matutu?”
“Oh, a minibus.”
After reading the entire book, it was time to answer the questions. He didn’t have much trouble until he got to #4.
“What are two ways your daily life might be different if you lived in Kenya?”
His answer was, “They have Indians.”
Besides being completely untrue, it didn’t really answer the question.
“Hmm. Do you remember reading about that in the book?”
So we went back to the text. I showed him the key word in the question: “daily life.” Then we found the “daily life” section of the book, and he read some of it again. Finally, he changed his answer to say:
- You might not have electricity.
- Your house could be made of wood, grass, or mud.
Another challenge came with #7. The question asks students to use a word from the glossary to fill in the blank.
____________ is a popular sport in Kenya.
My son wrote, “soccer or running,” which was correct, but not in the glossary.
I directed him to the glossary, where he found the correct word: “cricket.”
And there you have it!
Suggestions for use
- Print just one copy to use in a tutoring session or at home.
- Print a small set of books to use with a guided reading group.
- Print and copy enough books for an entire class set, but be sure to print a simpler version for readers who need it.
Questions you might have
- What reading level is the book?
The easier book is at a mid to late 2nd grade reading level. It roughly corresponds to a level L or M in Fountas & Pinnell.
The harder book is at a mid to late 3rd grade reading level. It roughly corresponds to a level O or P in Fountas & Pinnell.
- Can you give a specific Lexile measure?
Legally I have to pay a significant amount to get a certified Lexile measure and share it publicly. I will consider this if enough readers would find this useful. Please comment below if you’d like a specific Lexile measure. If I decide to include this, I will reply to your comment to let you know.
- Why is it printing funny? The backs are upside down.
You have to make sure that you choose “flip on the short edge when you choose front to back” or “short edge binding” after you choose “print front to back.” The wording will vary, depending on your printer.
Here’s how to get your learners to
love and understand chapter books!
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