Reading Kingdom Releases Story Smarts Online Reading Comprehension Program New Program Features Innovative Approach To Teaching Comprehension

Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Las Vegas, NV.

Reading Kingdom, the award-winning “Phonics-PLUS” online
reading program, is excited to announce the release of its latest new program,
Story Smarts. The Story Smarts program represents a significant evolution in
how to teach children comprehension. It is the first program that explicitly
teaches students how to determine a story’s main idea and how to recapitulate
it effectively. 

There are two main components in effective reading. One is
decoding where a child learns to turn sets of letters into words. The other is
comprehension where a child understands the messages that the words convey. Comprehension
is a vital skill for academic success, yet it receives little, if any,
systematic instruction —particularly in the early grades.

The emphasis in early reading is on decoding. The assumption
is that once the words are decoded, children will be able to understand the written
messages. To the extent that comprehension is taught, most instruction relies
on children being asked to recall details in a text. But the ability to recall
details does not lead to comprehending the main idea. Children can get by in
the early grades, but once they make the transition from “learning to read” to
“reading to learn” (around 4th grade) the increased demands for
comprehension skills often plunge them into a world of textual complexity for
which they are unprepared.

Ideally, the basis for effective reading comprehension
should be established from the outset — well before the texts are long and
complex. That is what Story Smarts is designed to do. And because many of the
skills are taught via spoken language, the program can also be used with
children who are not yet effectively decoding.

Story Smarts is composed of 30 stories, that steadily
increase in complexity, accompanied by sophisticated, but easy to use lessons
that teach the key components of comprehension, including the “main idea.”
Story Smarts also teaches both the skill of retelling and the sequencing of
pictures so that the pictures tell the story.

Story Smarts’ stories and associated activities have been
carefully crafted to enable children to grasp, in a relatively short time, the
essence of a story and its retelling. The skills that are taught include:

  • grasping details that are essential to the story;
  • retaining the sequence of information that is
    central to the story’s meaning;
  • seeing how the actions of the central characters
    affect the outcome of the story through animation;
  • learning to comprehend stories of increasing
  • reporting the ideas in the complete sentences
    needed for imparting a story
  • becoming comfortable with and skilled in the
    critical skill of recognizing the main idea

Story Smarts is ideal for children 5-8, but it can also be
used with older children who have difficulties in reading.

Find out more at:

The Story Smarts program is based on the work of Dr. Marion
Blank and Dr. Laura Berlin. Reading Kingdom is a world-renowned literacy and language
expert who created and directed the Light on Literacy Program at Columbia
University. Dr. Berlin is a psychologist specializing in the development of
language and learning.

Reading Kingdom is a developer of innovative educational curricula
including, an
online reading and writing program for neurotypical children, and, a literacy and
language program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other
learning disabilities.