Comprehension for 2nd Grade

What is Comprehension?

Child reading a book.

Reading comprehension refers to the ability to understand what one reads. It is the ultimate goal of reading instruction. (Definition from University of Oregon)

In 2nd grade, readers are able to demonstrate knowledge of what they read. This may include sharing specific information on characters, describing important events from the book, and/or accurately acting out a text.

What Does it Look Like?

Learn how to actively read with children.

Practice Activities

Think Aloud: Make connections while reading to or with the child.  Connect the story or information to the child's life experiences.  Connect the book to other books the child has read.  Connect the book to big ideas and lessons.  Think Aloud (optional)

Check for Understanding: Ask questions to determine the child's understanding of the story or information read.  Questions can be asked during reading and/or after reading.  Watch Check for Understanding.

Story Charades: Act out a story silently to retell it in a creative way.  Have the child guess which story you are acting out.  Take turns acting out and guessing.

Comprehension Ball: Write comprehension elements (e.g., central message, lesson, characters, problem, solution) on a ball. Toss the ball to the child.  The child describes the story element their right pointer finger (or other designated hand/finger) touches based on a book recently read.

Practice Activities (with Printables)

If you don't have a printer, your child's school will print these for you.

Comprehension Questions: Ask comprehension questions after reading a book.  Access a bookmark with comprehension questions here.  Comprehension Questions

Incredible Inferences: Play this Bingo-like game with the child by covering the situation described on the card drawn.  This activity supports children as they practice the skill of inference. Inferencing can be a challenge for young readers and is often needed to determine the moral or lesson of a story.  Incredible Inferences

Just the Facts: Support the child as they read informational text. Look for facts about the topic.  Children are expected to refer to the text to support what they have read about the topic.  Just the Facts

Retell Ring: Use cards on the Retell Ring to ask the child a series of questions after reading.  Retell Ring

Online Activities

Storyline Online: This resource provides access to many illustrated read alouds narrated by famous individuals.  Use the ABCs of Reading (ask questions, build vocabulary, and connect to the child's world) as you listen to the story with your child.

Read and Answer Questions: This resource provides access to informational text and stories with comprehension questions.

Story Elements: This Classroom Connect lesson teaches children how to identify story elements.  Extension activity (optional)