Teens Need Comprehension Skills
Teens need comprehension and literacy skills. How can you build them?
With AI on the rise, being a critical thinker and reader and knowing how to read for meaning and understand how to build links between texts and ideas is vital. Reading skills are not enough and our teens are falling short in their high school years.
The problem: “I am looking for recommendations for books for a keen teenage reader that will encourage and develop comprehension and interpretation. My seventeen year old son is a good reader but struggled in his English exam recently around questions that needed interpretation and comprehension of grammar within a literary context.”
This question was raised on the The Good Book Appreciation Society (GBAS) a Face Book page, and it echoes what teachers are talking about around the world. With AI on the rise, being a critical thinker and reader and knowing how to read for meaning and understand how to build links between texts and ideas is vital.
Reading skills are not enough – we need to build comprehension, interpretation and grammar skills. My son’s Grade 11 teacher recommended we get a subscription to The Atlantic, a news site in the US that has well written essays on a variety of issues, from politics, science and tech to culture, business and fiction. It’s easier to find time to read an essay, you learn about the world and you can discuss the article afterwards and your interpretation of it. This can apply to any publication you enjoy.
Advice offered by readers:
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
The Poetry Path
- Clown Punk by Simon Armitage
- War Photographer by Carole Ann Duffy
- Mother in a Refugee Camp by Chinua Achebe
Use reading study sites
Great Book Recommendations
- The Road – Cormac McCarthy
- Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
- The Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
- The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hani Arikawa
- Klara and the Sun – Kazuo Ishiguro
- The Children’s Day – Michiel Heyns
- The Kite Runner – Khaled Houseini
- The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
- Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
- Harlan Coben’s Mickey Bolitar series
- The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Series by Michelle Paver
- The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- Q&A by Vikas Swarup
- Spud books by John van de Ruit
- The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien,
- Inkworld trilogy by Cornelia Funke
- Holes by Louis Sachar
- Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy
- Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
- All books by Markus Zusak, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Roald Dahl’s short stories.
The Giver Series by Lois Lowry
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Boy by Roald DahlFor more on building comprehension skills, read here.