I like to think of reading comprehension as reading understanding. I do not think only reading words is really reading without understanding. To me it is just reciting. As teachers and guardians we can help early readers understand what goes on in a story such as by pointing out key points but how can we assess their comprehension. Here are a few suggestions that will help teachers know where a child is in their understanding of a story.
Ask the children to tell a section of a story through illustrations.
Ask the children to retell the “major” events of a story.
Ask the children to write a section of the story through the eyes of a another character.
Ask the children tell a section of a story using only puppets.
Ask the children to think of a time where something happened to them that was similar to part that happened in the story.
Ask the children to find the “most important” part of a story and explain why they think it is very important. Ask what makes it important.
Ask two children who have two different “most important” parts of the story to talk to each other about why they think it is most important.
Retell the story with parts that you make up and ask the children point out the fallacies.