So you’ve set everything up with the base reading and you are ready to move on….so are the students!! You know where you want the students to be in the final version and now you need to get from here to there.
Let’s look at some additional goals for those readings beyond getting from point A to point Z.
- Identify the main idea or theme of the text.
- Identify the supporting details of the main idea or theme.
- Visualize the meaning of the text.
- Identify new details in the text.
- Put the details of the text into a graphic organizer.
- Illustrate or add details to a storyboard.
- Add dialogue where it doesn’t appear.
- Compare/contrast the text to a previously read text or familiar story.
- Summarize the text.
- Predict what will happen in the future.
- Identify the physical description, personality traits, strengths and weaknesses of the characters
- Predict the emotional reactions of the characters.
- Compare contrast experiences of the characters with personal stories/experiences.
- Build reading stamina (the ability to read longer and longer passages without losing focus or forgetting information).
- Recognize synonyms of familiar words.
- Create a graphic organizer for the information in the text.
- Think beyond the reading to create possible additional characters/events that could be added.
- Wonder what else might be happening in regards to the events and characters in the text.
- Ask questions about incomprehensible vocabulary or disconnected/missing information.
- Use the text to create a version that is even more detailed.
It’s completely possible to choose a wonderful activity to do with each level of the text, without having a goal. However, it usually makes more sense to students if we can connect the chosen activity to a particular goal.
Shhhh….the truth is that COMPREHENSIBLE INPUT is always the goal of reading. To enjoy the material, to understand the text, to see the movie in the head….and by doing that ….grow language.
But we can also choose other goals. Ideally, every text we read would be so enthralling that teachers would never have to have other reasons…but then again…we teach in the real world…so…what goal do you have in mind??
In the next post we will look at activities that support our goals! My guess is that you have a decent repertoire of these already!