Open-Ended Comprehension – Part 2

To show you how we do it, we are going to use a passage about Zheng He. First of all, download the passage for your child. The last page of the download contains the answers, so do not let your child see the answers yet!

Download:  Comprehension - Zheng He

Next, download the template. The template will help your child follow the though process required to find and organise their answers.

Download:  Active thinking for Open-Ended Comprehension

Once you have gotten both the passage and the template downloaded, ask your child to read the questions first. After that they should read the first sentence of the first paragraph of the passage. Then get them to read the sample question is formulated in the template. As you can see, active reading is achieved when the child formulates a question like this or something similar. Your child will be thinking about what Zheng He achieved, and when your child continues reading the passage, they will be able to focus on Zheng He’s achievements (which is the focus of the entire passage).

Your child can then look at the first sentence of the second paragraph and formulate a question. The question formulated can be along the lines of 5W1H (Why, What, When, What, Where and How). The process continues until all the paragraphs have been completed.

After your child has completed the strategy with all paragraphs, get them to read through the template and the questions that they wrote down once more before reading the rest of the passage. If they did the exercise properly, this should activate their active thinking process while reading the passage and will thus put them in a better position to tackle the questions. We’ve provided the answers so that you can go through it with them after.

Practice this method with other Open-Ended Comprehension passages. Remember that it is not necessary to have questions for each sentence. The most important is for your child to be thinking about the passage, thinking about the sentence and thinking about the questions while they are reading. That way, active reading is achieved and that will mean comprehension of the passage will be higher. Naturally, answering of the questions will also be easier.

If you have any questions about this method, please feel free to contact RG Channel. Good luck!