The ghosts and goblins are among us…oh my!

Costumes…ghosts, witches, pirates, and more are found and put on.  Your kids are waiting at the door to get started on the yearly trick or treating. A great time is minutes away…So what does this have to do with improving comprehension skills? You CAN use Halloween activities to actually improve comprehension skills. You know as well as I do that your kids are excited about Halloween and just want to enjoy the day. What if you could sneak some learning into this day of days…your kids can enjoy the day and learn at the same time. That is a win-win situation in my book! So what do your kids need to do to improve their comprehension skills?

Improve Comprehension Skills Family Activity

One way to improve comprehension skills is to improve observation skills. And when you improve your observation skills and DO something with them, comprehension skills improve. Your ability to recall and visualize what you saw will improve comprehension skills. It is important to DO something with the observations because that is how you get those observations into longer term memory. One of the easiest ways to do this is to observe, visualize, and then write down your observations. Writing is the doing part of thinking so I always add that important component to the activity. While your kids are out trick or treating, have them make a point of noticing and observing. If you are with them, talk with them about the costumes they are seeing or the block they are on, or the store they are in. Look at and remember all of the different costumes others are wearing. Do some houses have Halloween decorations up? Are the houses spooky? Do the houses have a lot of lights and pumpkins outside? For those that attend Halloween parties, they can think about the costumes the party attendees wore. What were the decorations like? Were there spooky noises? Then after your kids get home…this is the important part…record those observations. Then pick two of the costumes that you liked the most and use them for a quick writing experience…comparing and contrasting the different Halloween costumes:

    1. Colors
    2. Shapes
    3. Most unusual
    4. Easiest to wear
    5. Funniest/silliest
    6. Scariest
    7. Animal
    8. Famous person
    9. Most difficult to get around in etc.

Final Step to Improve Comprehension Skills

Pull out the compare contrast fill-in-the-blank form from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills. It’s on page 29. It’s quick, easy, and fun! You can even draw pictures of the costumes you saw and add that to your compare/contrast form. In addition to helping you make comparisons this activity also builds memory skills and you can add it to your family memory or scrap book. Use Ten Minutes to Better Study Skillsto improve comprehension skills.

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET
Blog:  Reading, Writing & Math Help for Dyslexia, LD & ADHD

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