Listening comprehension is an important building block on the road to reading comprehension. Providing your child with opportunities to practice and improve her listening comprehension skills may lead to reading success in school, according to reading rockets.org, a website focused on reading skills created through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education. Many fun activities that focus on listening comprehension are available to you and your child.
Reading a story aloud with your child is a simple way to work on listening comprehension. While reading the story to your child, talk to her about what is happening in the story and what she thinks will happen next, as well as the characters and setting of the story. After you have finished reading the story, share your favorite parts and talk about your child's. Ask your child what might happen to the characters next or what your child would have done differently if she were a character in the story. Guide your child to give evidence from the story when answering. Provide support and encouragement. Discussing a story read aloud gives your child the opportunity to process and comprehend the story as it is being read, as well as the ability to recall story events once the read-aloud is over.
Active games such as Mother May I, Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light all are fun activities that focus on listening comprehension. These games encourage your child to listen to directions and then perform tasks. Use simple directions for a young child, such as "Simon says 'clap two times.' " For an older child, multi-step directions such as "Simon says 'clap three times and then spin in two circles' " provide an extra challenge. Games such as Twenty Questions and I Spy also improve listening comprehension, as your child must listen in order to recall previous questions and answers to craft his own guess.
Story retelling helps your child recall events in sequential order. Read a story aloud to your child and then encourage her to tell the story back to you. Younger children may struggle to retell a new or unfamiliar story; choosing a story that your young child is familiar with will make introducing the process of retelling easier. Other ways to use retelling for listening comprehension include reading a story to a group of children and allowing them to dramatically retell the story as a play and giving your child the chance to retell the story in her own illustrations. Older children often enjoy retelling a story from a different character's point of view.