Kelly Challis, DYT Consultant Teacher

One of the best things about working in schools around the country is seeing the challenges many teachers face day-to-day. One such challenge is how to encourage learners to better understand their lessons.

While teachers like to provide quick quizzes to students to test knowledge, home learning can pose some new challenges and limitations. In order to encourage this practice outside of the classroom, we need to make sure learners are tested with a variety of different questions. Luckily, DYT’s literacy hub has free Comprehension Cards to help.

The comprehension cards identify different approaches to information, following a sequence:

  • Knowledge and recall
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

Asking questions this way boosts a child’s understanding of a topic and helps them remember important information. By having the learner pin-point specific facts in their task, you’re making the task more memorable.

The cards don’t need to all be used at once – for example, if your child finds it difficult to develop their answers beyond basic facts, try setting them some questions using the ‘application’ and ‘analysis’ cards. This will encourage them to look at information from a different angle, and they’ll start to see the task differently.

Example: Rivers in geography

I like to use these cards to help a learner explore a topic that they are finding difficult to understand or remember a lot about. Choosing one question per section, I work with the learner in developing their answer from their previous work or their textbook.

For example, if we were learning about rivers in geography the questions could look something like this:

As you can see, each question looks at the information from a different angle and all are as important as each other. Don’t be put off by the technical terms – they reflect what is needed for GCSEs, but the cards can be used for learners from year 4 upwards. What’s most important here is the different ways you can ask questions about a task.

Try out our Comprehension Cards at home!

The comprehension cards, along with the rest of our literacy resources, are available for free in our resources page – I would love to hear how you and your child get on with them. We’re also releasing a range of ‘home learning’ resources and activities soon, so watch this space! Use the hashtag #DYThomelearning to share your child’s work with us!