How to Boost Reading Comprehension Through Storytelling

Stories are incredibly powerful tools therefore, this blog will detail some of our favourite books that you could explore. Before we begin, let us share some of the ways we boost reading comprehension through storytelling in our Comprehension Club.

Boost reading comprehension through storytelling

Powerful ways Storytelling Empowers our Children:

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool that stretches back into the depths of history. It is how history was shared, how morals were taught, how communities learned and developed. As you know, it is also at the centre of community as it brings people together. 

Storytelling is the act of sharing a story with a community. Have you ever changed the words of a book while telling it? What about paused to ask questions while reading? Then you’re a storyteller! 

While there are many benefits to guided reading and reading books out loud to children, there are just as many benefits of teaching storytelling.

Continuing the tradition of storytelling is an important task. We can boost reading comprehension through storytelling. Through stories, children are able to build confidence, boost their empathy of others as they gain perspective, develop strong writing and listening skills, help them to discover and understand feelings, and of course, become better communicators. All of which will help to serve them above and beyond the classroom.

Peer learning helps to build imaginations, develop vocabularies and deepen understanding, therefore our Comprehension Club is built on communication, community and connection.

This is the power of exploring stories together. 

Boost Reading Comprehension Through Storytelling

Before we get into sharing some of our favourite books, I also wanted to encourage you with some guided reading and storytelling tactics that will help you make the most of each reading opportunity!

How to Successfully Host a Guided Reading:

  • Ask plenty of questions that encourage making connections and drawing on previous understanding
  • Ask children to come up with some questions they have… effective readers interact with the text 
KWL Chart download for comprehension
Download Sarahlynn’s KWL chart to improve student comprehension
  • Model how to ask questions and make connections
  • Use simpler texts as gateways to key concepts and ideas

How to develop Strong Storytellers:

  • Start with a focus on rhythm and rhyme
  • Encourage participation on adding in details
  • Build a dialogue around the characters by asking questions
  • Encourage dramatic interpretations of the text: discuss character roles
  • Blend story telling with art as children draw story boards or scenes of the story
  • Play ‘what’s next’ in the story to encourage themed participation

Now that you’re a guided reading pro, here are a few of our favourite books:

10 of our Favourite Books

In no particular order, here are 10 of our favourite books.

Don’t Think About Purple Elephants by Susanne Merritt
This is a wonderful book that teaches about dealing with worries. As such it is highly recommended for children who are anxious, for instance.

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World by Kate Pankhurst

This is a great picture book that introduces the achievements of inspiring women through bite-sized text and brilliant illustrations. So learn about: Jane Austen, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Amelia Earhart, Agent Fifi, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, Coco Chanel and Anne Frank. 

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

This is a beautiful book about finding joy in routine. In other words, a very appropriate book to celebrate our current situation.

100 Women Who Made History by DK

This is a magazine style guide that is full of colour and facts about the women who impacted the world we live in. 

The Dot by Peter Reynolds

This book is great for children who say “I can’t”. It helps bring a growth mindset to life.

Additionally, if you’re looking for more support with growth mindset check out our latest blog.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

A tale of an independent princess on a journey to save a hapless prince is sure to become a favourite. “One of the best children’s books ever written” according to The New York Times. Consequently, your child will explore courage, kindness and bravery.

Amelia to Zora by Cynthia Chin-Lee

From A to Z: The lives of wenty-six women, from pilot Amelia Earhart to anthropologist Zora Neal Hurston, are captured in collage illustrations. That is to say, this book serves as a modern-day book of heroines.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu 

This is a great book for young and aspiring readers as it is presented as a graphic novel. Illustrating the remarkable lives from Wu Zetian, Chinese Empress, to Katia Krafft, volcanologist – as well as some incredible rappers, athletes, warriors, explorers, social workers and doctors from all periods of history.

Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson

This is a great book that can be used to discuss the Underground Railroad. It likewise has connections with art as you can look at the powerful use of colours used to convey feelings. Lastly, it is a great conversation starter as you explore the grit it takes to achieve a dream.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

This is a spin on the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs. Therefore, it is great for all ages and can be used to introduce Newspaper Articles, perspective and character writing.

Top 10 Books recommended by Bettering Youth Tutors

Please know that these books are affiliate links. This means that should you purchase via our recommendation, then Bettering Youth receives a small fee at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting our Reading community.

Boost your Child’s Storytelling and Comprehension Skills

If you’re struggling to get your child to finish reading a book,

Or if your child still can’t ‘see’ the mind movie while they are reading,

Or if you appreciate how important linguistic and communication skills are to your child’s future,

Then I highly recommend that you join us for Bettering Youth’s Free Trial of the Comprehension Club.

We are currently releasing a recording of one of our popular English Clubs. As a result, your child will get a chance to see what our clubs are like and if it will suit their needs.

This club has received great feedback from parents and students alike. So, be sure to register to save your child’s seat in our free trial.

We are only accepting 8 students.

1 thought on “How to Boost Reading Comprehension Through Storytelling”

  1. Pingback: 6 Book Recommendations Reluctant Readers will Love - Bettering Youth

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Everything that we do at Bettering Youth is backed by evidence, which is why we wanted to share with
you the research for which we have based our highly successful programmes on.

Scroll to Top