Comprehension Ninja Workbooks, Ages 7-8 & 8-9 by Andrew Jennings

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Published by Bloomsbury Education, 2020.

The Comprehension Ninja Workbooks have books have been published for parents and carers to use at home with their children. They focus on the key skills required for reading comprehension success at primary school level. They have been written by Andrew Jennings, an author and primary school teacher.

Each book contains seven different non-fiction texts, covering a range of topics. For example, in the workbook for 7-8 year olds, children will read about Gandhi, Pompeii, the Stone Age, and chocolate. Topics covered in the workbook for 8-9 year olds include Boudicca, the Anglo-Saxons, and Ramadan and Eid. These are subjects that children either will already be familiar with or are likely to encounter during their primary school career. The texts are two A4 pages long. In the workbook for 8-9 year olds, children read slightly longer texts (owing to smaller font size). There’s also a greater use of sub-headings to organise information.

Each text is followed by a series of questions. Questions focus on three key aspects of reading comprehension: skimming and scanning; retrieval; and vocabulary awareness and the effect of word choices. The format of the questions requires children to attempt a range of different activities:

  • Labelling
  • Matching (information)
  • Fill in the gap
  • Multiple choice
  • True or false
  • Find and copy (specific words from the text to show that they’ve understood their meaning)
  • Sequencing
  • Underline or highlight (words in the text to match the definition they’ve been given).

These are very useful workbooks that will help children consolidate their reading comprehension skills. The books have strong links to the National Curriculum and will help prepare children for the style of questions they are likely to face in SATs and other school assessments. The tasks will not take too long to complete and the reading passages are fairly short which means that families are more likely to find time to do them together – too long or too involved and you risk putting children off. The Comprehension Ninja Workbooks are excellent resources for helping you support your child’s learning at home. Although designed for use at home, I could see these books being useful in a classroom setting too.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 7+

Thank you to Bloomsbury  Education for sending me this book to review.

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