Literacy Series: A Changing Definition, A Greater Need for Comprehension

Just what exactly is the definition of literacy? Traditionally, it has been considered to be the ability to read, write, and use language. However, as time has passed, that definition has changed to encompass a more well-rounded understanding of language, to communicate and to comprehend. UNESCO said: “Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning to enable an individual to achieve his or her goals, to develop his or her knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in the wider society.”

How do we achieve this? How do we go from merely making sure our children can read, to making sure they are not only understanding what is read but can utilize that information in ways which will eventually help them to achieve their goals in life?

I did some digging and found the following sites which may be of use in this area.

1. RHL School offers free reading comprehension sheets that feature stories, poems, and essays. This site contains a search engine so you can find the reading material that will best suit the interest of your reader.

2. Sometimes better comprehension can be attained through better organization. offers a book report form to help middle grade readers to organize their thoughts as they prepare book reports.

3. offers reading comprehension stories and worksheets that also incorporate vocabulary, math, and spelling, in a variety of age groups to suit whatever grade you are working with.

4. Here you will find Reading Comprehension Strategies online tutorials and worksheets in a variety of grade levels. There’s no need to leave the house when you can get the help you need right at your own computer.

You can find more resources on the Internet by doing a search for “reading comprehension,” or you can ask your local school what classes might be available on the topic.

As we seek to increase our own levels of literacy as well as that of our children, let us always keep in mind the immense value that can be found in books. When you take the time to sharpen your own skills, you will find new wells of knowledge that will come in handy in all walks of life, and as you help your children, you will reap the reward of watching them achieve their goals. You are giving them the tools to succeed when you make sure they can read well.

The UNESCO quote and other facts for this article were found at Wikipedia.

Related Blogs:

Literacy Series: An Introduction

Literacy Series: Statistics on Literacy

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