Ramona Quimby is one of my all time favorite characters. Poor, misunderstood, trouble-making Ramona. Her first book, Beezus and Ramona, isn’t told from her point of view but her older sister’s. And Beezus is extremely annoyed with Ramona All The Time. But she’s a good sister. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in this book that any little would enjoy reading it.
Short and easy to read, Beezus and Ramona is a perfect story for introducing chapter books to littles, and you don’t have to wait with this one. Read it to them when they’re 4 like Ramona is in the book. Read it to them when they’re 6 and they’re ready to start learning comprehension. Read it to them when they’re 8 and they can use these activities to deepen their understanding.
Getting your young readers hooked on a good story doesn’t have to be too difficult, but sometimes comprehending the story isn’t enough. Sometimes comprehending the meaning behind the story requires us to think on a deeper level. For me, those are the best kinds of books.
One of my favorites in that respect is Animal Farm by George Orwell.
Basically a political treatise disguised as a children’s fable, Animal Farm has all the things. And since it does, it might take a little work to get your readers thinking about it and understanding it the way they should.
Don’t worry. I got you. But first let’s talk about some of the key strategies for reading comprehension that you should implement no matter what you’re reading.
You guys. I love this book.
I mean, come on. Strong female characters. Girls who chase their dreams. A beautiful family life. And Christmas. Sweet Christmas. This is another one I like to read during the holidays and have read many times. Because limes.
Okay, that’s not why, but I do love the limes scene. I love all the scenes. In fact, it’s hot and this book makes me think of winter, so I might start reading it tomorrow.
The Outsiders is amazing for its raw look at teen life and class differences. It stresses the dangers of stereotypes and conformity; it validates a teen’s feelings about wanting to fit in and feeling outside of things almost everywhere. It also makes us think about what comprises family and tests our beliefs about loyalty. I have to admit, I haven’t been able to read it since the 80s without picturing the amazing ensemble cast that played in the film, and since I made the Littles watch it with me last night, today I have Stevie Wonder’s Stay Gold going constantly through my head.
But you’re here to read about the ways you can deepen your littles’ understanding of this amazing classic. So what am I waiting for?