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It’s never too early to infuse your child with the love of reading—it is one of the mot important ways for your child to learn about the world around them. Reading helps stimulate brain function and ensures better mental development throughout life.
But for children, it’s not just about learning to read—it’s about developing good reading comprehension skills so that they understand what they see on the page.
Visual imagery is a great tool to help boost your child’s reading comprehension skills.
Start now—it’s never too early
Natural reading comprehension skills develop over time. However, if you have a young beginning reader in your house, it is important to help build their reading comprehension skills sooner rather than later. Visuals have been proven to do it best.
When it comes to reading comprehension skills, visual is king
It has been proven through extensive research that all people are visual learners. In today’s world of video games, streaming videos, colorful cartoons (and shorter attention spans) it should be no surprise that using visuals to improve reading comprehension skills is especially true for children.
After all, the more visual something is, the easier it is to be recognized or recalled at a later time. Scientists have even named the effect that imagery has on learning as PSE (Pictorial Superiority Effect) and claim that it has a huge impact on all of us. According to research into PSE, scientists claim that a person can recall with almost 100% accuracy up to 2,500 images even days after seeing them. That’s pretty stellar recall.
In fact 50% of people’s brain processing power is devoted to simply seeing. That’s why business presentations are more visual and less wordy these days. Email marketing too. PSE impacts us all. That is why it can be especially powerful to combine both images and words—especially when it comes to building strong reading comprehension skills in young readers.
Think about it. You may not remember all the words in Dr. Seuss’ children’s book, The Cat in the Hat, but you probably can still recall the cover art and illustrations even decades later.
Images stick with you and tell their own kind of story. They make even the most complicated subjects easy to understand.
How to incorporate visuals to build your child’s reading comprehension skills
As you help your child develop their reading comprehension skills you should start incorporating imagery whenever you can. It will help your child remember the most important parts of a book or story.
Here are some good ways to do it:
• Use storyboards when you are storytelling to stimulate interest and recall with your child
• Sharing multimedia stories with your child (incorporating audio, visuals, text and human interaction) is another way to improve their reading comprehension skills
Again, over time children naturally develop reading comprehension skills, but using imagery as a tool is a great way to start them off.
There are reading comprehension skills tools that can help
As mentioned above, storyboards—or concept boards—are one of the best ways to bring imagery into the stories you share with your child. These boards are actually easy-to-use templates that can be brought into play whenever you are sharing a book or any story with your child. They consist of illustrations, graphs or photographs that really bring the story to life and aid your child in understanding the story on all levels.
Check out Storytime Capsule – short stories from the Bible, crafted and designed for easy to use storytelling aides.
The benefits of concept boards to build reading comprehension skills include helping children:
• Identify the main characters
• Understand the sequence of events
• Better visualize story settings
• Grasp the conflict and resolution of the story
• Recall the story
• Improve vocabulary
In conclusion, concept boards are one of the easiest ways to boost reading comprehension skills in your child. It makes books and storytelling fun for a child and helps establish a lifetime love of reading that will help them thrive. That’s the kind of happy ending all parents can hope for.
Pictorial superiority effect. Nelson, Douglas L.; Reed, Valerie S.; Walling, John R. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memor