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7 6th Grade Reading Comprehension Strategies To Make Stronger Readers

You’ve probably been told since you were little that reading is important. And it’s true! Reading is essential for success in school and in life. But what good is reading if your kids don’t understand what they’re reading? In order to get the most out of their reading, they need to be able to comprehend the text. Here are seven 6th grade reading comprehension strategies that will help your sixth grader (or any age) improve their reading comprehension!

How To Increase 6th Grade Reading Comprehension

According to readingrockets.org good readers are most often strategic readers, using a number of comprehension strategies to get meaning from text. Comprehension strategies are conscious plans or procedures that are under the control of a reader, who makes decisions about which strategies to use and when to use them.

There are 7 main strategies your 6th grader can use in order to increase their comprehension. These 7 strategies are:

  1. Asking Questions
  2. Making Connections
  3. Monitoring for Meaning
  4. Summarizing & Paraphrasing
  5. Determining Importance
  6. Inferring
  7. Visualizing

Each of these 7 strategies is important and effective on its own. But when used together, they provide a well-rounded approach to understanding text.

reading comprehension for 6th 7th grade

Before we dive into each strategy, there are two important things to keep in mind:

First, good readers use these strategies automatically and unconsciously. So don’t worry if your kids don’t seem to be using them “correctly.” Just encourage them to keep reading, and they’ll start using these strategies more and more naturally.

Second, different readers will use different strategies at different times, depending on the text, their purposes for reading, and their own preferences. So don’t worry if your kids seem to be using one strategy more than another. As long as they’re understanding what they read, they’re doing it right!

Now let’s take a closer look at each of the 7 reading comprehension strategies:

1. Asking Questions

Asking questions is probably the most important thing you can do to increase reading comprehension. Why? Because when kids are actively engaged in the text, they’re more likely to understand and remember what they read.

There are two types of questions you want your kids to ask while they’re reading:

  1. Text-dependent questions are specific to the text and can only be answered by referring back to what’s been read. These questions help kids focus on key details and ideas in the text.
  2. Text-independent questions are not specific to the text and can be answered without referring back to it. These questions help kids make connections to their own lives and experiences.

2. Making Connections

Making connections is another important strategy of the 7 reading comprehension strategies for increasing reading comprehension. Why? Because it helps kids see how the text is relevant to their own lives. When kids make connections, they’re more likely to be engaged with the text and to understand and remember what they read.

There are three types of connections kids can make:

  1. Text-to-self connections are when kids connect the text to their own lives and experiences.
  2. Text-to-text connections are when kids connect the text to other things they’ve read or seen.
  3. Text-to-world connections are when kids connect the text to the larger world around them.

3. Monitoring for Meaning

Monitoring for meaning is when kids stop to think about whether or not they understand what they’re reading. Why is this important? Because it allows kids to catch themselves when they start to lose focus or get confused. When kids monitor for meaning, they’re more likely to understand and remember what they read.

There are four main things you want your kids to keep in mind while they’re monitoring for meaning:

  1. What is the text about?
  2. What are the key ideas?
  3. How does this information fit with what I already know?
  4. Do I have any questions?

4. Summarizing & Paraphrasing

Summarizing and paraphrasing are closely related strategies for increasing 6th grade reading comprehension. Why are they important? Because they help kids distill the most important information from the text. When kids summarize and paraphrase, they’re more likely to understand and remember what they read.

To summarize, kids need to be able to identify the main idea of the text as well as the most important details. To paraphrase, kids need to be able to explain the text in their own words.

6th grade reading comprehension questions

5. Determining Importance

Determining importance is when kids identify the most important information in the text. Why is this important? Because it helps kids focus on the most essential information and understand how it fits into the overall structure of the text. When kids determine what’s important, they’re more likely to understand and remember what they read.

There are three main things you want your kids to keep in mind while they’re determining importance:

  1. What are the author’s main points?
  2. What are the supporting details?
  3. How does this information fit into what I already know?

6. Visualizing

Visualizing is when kids create a mental image of what they’re reading in their mind. Why is this important? Because it helps kids connect to the text on a deeper level and understand and remember what they read. This is a great strategy to have from the 7 reading comprehension strategies we discuss!

There are three main things you want your kids to keep in mind while they’re visualizing:

  1. What does the setting look like?
  2. What do the characters look like?
  3. What’s happening in the scene?

7. Asking Questions

Asking questions is when kids pose questions to themselves as they’re reading. Why is this important? Because it helps kids focus on the text and figure out what they don’t understand. When kids ask questions, they’re more likely to understand and remember what they read.

There are three main types of questions you want your kids to ask while they’re reading:

  1. Text-dependent questions are specific to the text and can only be answered by referring back to what’s been read. These questions help kids focus on key details and ideas in the text.
  2. Text-independent questions are not specific to the text and can be answered without referring back to what’s been read. These questions help kids connect the text to their own lives and experiences.
  3. Text-explicit questions are questions that are explicitly stated in the text. These questions can be answered by looking at the text, but they might also require kids to make inferences.

7 6th Grade Reading Comprehension Strategies To Make Stronger Readers

Applying these 7 reading comprehension strategies will help your sixth grader read with greater comprehension and understanding, improving their reading skills and opening up a world of new information to them. Reading is an essential skill for success in all areas of life, so give your child a head start by helping them become better readers today. How have you helped your child develop better reading comprehension skills?

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