Reading Strategies for Kids

What do kids need to do to understand what they read? Being an active reading is key. What is an active reader? An active reader focuses on the text, questions it and takes mental notes. Teachers use a number of reading strategies to help kids become active readers. They are strategies you can also use at home. Let us break them down for you.

Sound it out 

Look at all the parts of a word and sound out the parts.

Reading strategies - sound it out

Look for a base word 

Identify the prefix or suffix and isolate the root word. Recognize the meaning of the root word. Recognize the meaning of the prefix or suffix. Combine the two to learn the new meaning. 

Reading strategies - base word

Chunk it 

Group words in a sentence into short meaningful phrases (usually three to five words). This process prevents word-by-word reading, which can cause lack of comprehension.

Reading strategies - chunk it

Try a different sound 

As many singe and dual-sound vowel letters in English can represent more than one sound, try a different vowel sound. 

Reading strategies - different sound


Go back to the beginning of the sentence and re-read it.

Reading strategies - re-read

Use picture clues 

Look at the picture that accompanies the text for clues about the text.

Reading strategies - picture clues

Use context clues 

Look at the unfamiliar word and read the sentence before and after the word. Look for clues in the sentence that help work out the meaning of the unfamiliar word. Predict a meaning for the word. Reread the sentence with your predicted meaning of the word. 

Reading strategies - context clues

Use your background knowledge 

When students build on existing information they already know, they’re better able to understand the text they are reading. 

Reading strategies - background knowledge

Use the text features 

Identifying text features help students understand the information being presented, identify the main idea, key words and concepts. Discussing the text’s typical features, such as heading, graphics, main idea boxes and bolded words, helps students find and understand information. 

Reading strategies - text features

Reading strategies cards

We’ve created these cards for you to print out and use with your child when practicing reading.

Reading strategies cards


If you’re looking for reading comprehension stories, we have a large collection for kindergarten to grade 5.