Tuesday, August 18, 2020

How to Use the Picture Walk Reading Strategy to Build Comprehension Skills

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Looking to improve your hyperlexic child's comprehension? Try the picture walk strategy for reading! Below you'll find out how to do a picture walk and why it is important.

There are so many different ways to work on comprehension skills before, during, and after reading a book. However, many people tend to focus more on the after portion of the reading, asking questions to check if the child understood what they were reading or not.

But what you do before reading can make a huge difference in your child's overall comprehension of the book.

That's where the picture walk reading strategy comes in. It's a quick and simple activity that you can do before reading the book.

But what is the picture walk strategy exactly? Let's find out!

How to do a picture book - a simple reading comprehension strategy

What is the Picture Walk Strategy for Reading

A picture walk is a shared activity between a child and an adult that occurs prior to reading the book where you flip through the pages one by one as a way to preview the story. It allows the child become more familiar with the book before actively reading the text. Think of a picture walk as a "before reading strategy."

Why are Picture Walks Important?

This reading strategy is important for building comprehension, a skill many hyperlexic children need extra help with. But here is a list of the benefits of doing a picture walk:

  • Improves comprehension
  • Activates schema (aka their background knowledge)
  • Introduces new vocabulary prior to reading
  • Increases interest and engagement in the story
  • Allows the child to practice asking and answering WH questions
  • Teaches the child about the different parts, structure, and format of a book
  • Gives the child a better idea of what the book will be about
  • Provides the child a chance to practice making predictions
  • Teaches the child that the pictures can be used as clues to understand what is happening in the story, what unfamiliar words might mean, etc.

How to Do a Picture Walk

A picture walk takes place before reading the book to activate background knowledge and improve comprehension, but how do you actually do a picture walk?

Well, basically, you start with the cover and start flipping through the pages, one by one. You point out important picture clues on each page and talk about what you see together with your child, asking them questions along the way. You don't really need to worry about the words on the pages quite yet as the goal is to focus on the pictures at this stage.

The picture walk should only take a few minutes to complete and isn't hard to do. This video shows some tips and tricks for doing a picture walk and what to point out. You might also find this free printable list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk helpful.

And now that you have a better understanding of what a picture walk is and how to do it, let's see it in action! Here is a video of an example picture walk:

Once you've completed the picture walk, you can go ahead and read the book itself.

Other Comprehension Resources You'll Love

How to Use the Making Connections Reading Strategy

Free Printable Reading Comprehension Dice Games

Free Outer Space Reading Comprehension Worksheets

What is the picture walk reading strategy? Find out how to do a picture walk to improve comprehension