Wednesday, I wrote up a blog post about Reciprocal Teaching, and since then, I've been thinking that this might be a good topic for a linky...Comprehension Strategies. I've enjoyed following and connecting up with lots of reading specialists and classroom teachers (who love teaching reading) over the past few months, and I've loved learning and sharing all of the wonderful ideas I've gotten from them. Why not connect up to have a set of links to new ideas in one place?
With this linky, my idea is for the blogger to write up information about the reading strategy that he/she enjoys using (give it a name for the linky tool) and share a freebie and/or paid product, add the link to the blog post, and upload your blog button for the picture. I am setting up the linky as a blog hop so you can post the list of links to the bottom of your post to help readers find the links to other reading strategy ideas, so copy and paste the code into your blog post too. If you have questions, you can email me at the address to the right.
Now, on to the strategies I'd like to share...
For my students, I work hard to build motivation and interest in the topic we're reading about. Whether the book I'm using is fiction or nonfiction, there is typically a related theme. I love using cooperative groups and discussion to get my students talking about the topic as several heads are better than one since each child has different experiences. As a before and after reading activity, one activity I like to use is Give One, Get One. You can list descriptors in each box, and students get with each other to exchange the information. It might be used to get answers to comprehension questions after reading too. The sample page I gave you is for use with The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. This activity could also be used for Grandparents Day if you have that at your school. The strategy works like this. Each student is given the page, and when time has begun, students locate a friend to sign his/her form and provide the information in the block. Once they've exchanged ideas, the students move on to another friend. This continues until all of the information is gathered sort of like a scavenger hunt. When time is called, the whole group discusses what was learned.
Another fun brainstorming idea is a word splash. Word splashes are basically an open space where the student writes graphite style any words related to the topic. I've done two styles of word splashes. One is called Inside/Outside Circles. This allows two related topics to be explored such as camping and fishing or soccer and football. Again, students can work in pairs or groups to brainstorm related vocabulary. No words are incorrect if the student explains his/her thinking. These work well for during and after reading too (students just add new words to their lists), and they can use the word bank for post reading responses. The other form I thought I'd share is just a simple word splash for one topic. With the sample I shared, the topic is frogs. Students might include words like sticky tongue, slimy, amphibian, pond, and lily pad.
If you like these activities, I do have several comprehension related products available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store you might check out. The first are the comprehension workmats I have uploaded for during and after reading. They can be printed, laminated and bound for use with small groups or in partners or used individually as a graphic organizer.
I also have a collection of before, during, and after reading activities I've put together in this set. It included 50 pages of activities for fiction and nonfiction. Here's the link to that product.
What strategies do you enjoy? Share your ideas in the comments.