Tips for Supporting Your Middle Grade Reader's Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills

kids book box

Are you struggling to help your middle grade reader improve their comprehension and critical thinking skills? It can be tough, especially as they face increasingly complex texts and ideas. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered! 

With the right strategies and support, you can help your child become a confident, skilled reader who is able to analyze and interpret what they read with ease. Here are some of our top tips for supporting your middle grade reader's comprehension and critical thinking skills - so grab that glass of wine, sit back and relax.

Middle Grade Reading Development

It's no secret that reading development is vital to your child’s success both in and out of school. Being able to read effectively opens up a world of possibilities; besides the comprehension and critical thinking skills your child will master, their confidence will grow, and as parents, we know only too well that a confident child is capable of anything!

Mastering comprehension and critical thinking skills is one of those opportunities where you and your child can work together, have fun, and create memories. Reading together is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Encourage active reading

As your child reads, ask them questions about the book to make sure they have understood what they were reading. We find that having them retell the story in their own words is a great way for them to engage and remember what they've read.

Help them find connections

As your child reads, look for places where they can make connections to their own life or the world around them. This will help them see how the text is relevant to them and better understand it on a personal level. We find that the more personal something is, the more likely your child is to engage and remember it. There is nothing better than pretending you are the hero of the story.

Encourage questioning

Good readers are always asking questions! Help your child develop their questioning skills by having them generate questions about the book or chapter before, during, and after reading it. This will not only improve their comprehension but also help them learn how to think critically about what they're reading.

Middle Grade Reader's Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills

Benefits of Reading for Kids' Comprehension and Critical Thinking

By honing these skills, your child will not only become a better reader overall but be able to understand and analyze the text they are reading. In addition, developing strong comprehension and critical thinking skills can help them in other areas of their academics, such as writing and problem-solving.

Some of the specific benefits that your middle grade reader can experience by improving their comprehension and critical thinking skills include:

  • better grades in school; after all, every subject requires reading and understanding in one form or another
  • increased ability to comprehend and remember what they read
  • greater enjoyment of reading as they will actually understand what they read
  • better ability to critically analyze what they read, including spotting errors or inconsistencies
  • ability to develop their own opinions 

The Role of Parents in Supporting Reading Development

As a parent, you can support your middle grade reader's comprehension and critical thinking skills in a number of ways. Firstly, it is important to create a literary-friendly environment. This means having plenty of books around, encouraging your child to read for pleasure, and talking about what they are reading. And we are a firm believer in creating the ideal environment, which is why we have the best bookish accessories around for the ideal reading nook. 

Secondly, it's all about the books and the experience. And when it comes to choosing books, we can’t think of any better way than signing up for our middle grade book box subscription. It's the perfect way to get your child excited about reading. Who wouldn’t want to receive the latest book accompanied by surprise gifts?

And lastly, it is important to praise your child's efforts and encourage them to keep reading. Congratulate them when they finish a book, no matter how long it took them or how difficult it was. Let them know that you think reading is important and that you're proud of their progress. 

Tips for Encouraging a Good Mindset Around Reading Practices

Encouraging a positive mindset around reading practices can be difficult, but it is important and a great way to lay a solid foundation that will set them up for success.

  1. Encourage them to read daily. A daily reading habit will help them develop strong reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.
  2. Help them find books that they are interested in. If they are reading something they enjoy, they will be more likely to engage with the text and think critically about it.
  3. Have them keep a reading journal. This will allow them to track their progress and reflect on their thoughts and impressions after finishing a book.
  4. Encourage discussion about the books they are reading. Talking about what they have read will help them process the information and think more deeply about it.
  5. Help them connect what they read to real-life experiences. This will deepen their understanding of the text and ensure that they apply what they have learned.
Tips for Supporting Your Middle Grade Reader's Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills

Activity Ideas to Support Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills

There are a variety of activities you can do to support your middle grade reader's comprehension and critical thinking skills. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Read aloud to your child and discuss the story as you go. This will help them to follow along and understand the plot, characters, and setting. You can also stop periodically to ask questions about what's happening in the story and why and kids love it if you take turns doing this!
  2. Have your child retell the story to you in their own words after they've read it. This will help them to identify the main events, recall details, and think critically about the sequence of events.
  3. Engage in discussions about the book with your child. Ask them open-ended questions such as "What did you think of the ending?" or "How would you have handled that situation?" This will encourage them to reflect on the story and share their thoughts and opinions.
  4. Help your child connect what they're reading to their own life experiences. Asking questions like "How do you think that character felt?" or "What would you have done in that situation?" will encourage them to empathize with the characters and see themselves in the text.


It is never too late to introduce the wonderful world of books and the magic of words. Reading is a crucial skill for anyone to succeed in life and, fortunately, it's one of those skills that will stay with you forever.

A home full of books and readers is a home full of imagination and possibilities. As Tomie de Paola says, “Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.”

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.