Elementary Independent Reading Activities Ashley Patnaude As with other independent tasks, it is important to model and demonstrate activitiesmentioned below in order to ensure student success and learning. Graphic organizers and post-its are wonderful ways to allow our elementary students to complete independent activities during reading. Another great idea is to have a reading journal where students can store their thinking before, during, and after reading. It is also essential to begin the year discussing and demonstrating the expectations of independent reading time. “A number of characteristics of successful implementation of independent reading have been identified,including the need for teacher scaffolding, determining what constitutes effective practice, the amount of time that should be devoted to independent reading, the need for students to read appropriate-level texts, and inclusion of social interaction.”(Samuels &Farstrup, 2011, p. 151) Pre-reading Activities KWL Chart: students complete a chart filling in what is known about the subject and what he/she would like to know. Chart is completed in the learned section once reading is complete. Make Predictions: Students can predict what the
book will be about based on the title, cover, and pictures only. They can fill in a prediction chart beforehand. Preview/Picture Walk: Before reading, students get an idea about the book by viewing the cover and pictures. This allows for background knowledge to be activated. During Reading Activities Ask Questions: Students can fill in a graphic organizer or use post-its to identify questions they might have We are learning about inferring as a comprehension related to reading. Make Connections: Again, an organizer or post- strategy proficient readers use to better understand their reading. its stuck to individual pages can be used to point out When we read: _____________________________ we inferred the meaning of unknown words, like: WORD What we infer What helped it means: us? connections students make. These include… text-to- self, text-to-text, text-to-media, text-to-world. Make Predictions: Students can use post-its to write down any predictions they come up with while reading. Post-its can be stuck on individual pages to monitor thinking.
Inferring: Students can choose unfamiliar words to add to a chart where they use clues on the page to determine meaning. Read to a Stuffed Animal: For primary aged students, reading to a “friend” can help develop fluency. Whisper Read: Another great strategy to develop fluency at the primary age. Visualizing SEEName:Title:Author:Date:
SMELL HEAR Post Reading Activities Write a Book Review:TASTE FEEL Students can complete a template about their book once it is completed. This can include a brief summary, as well as their opinions of the book, and a recommendation for classmates. Summarize the Text: A great way for students to practice the art of summarizing, while also allowing educators to monitor comprehension. Describe a Character/Setting: Students can choose one character or setting to create a description of. Visualize a Scene: Drawing or detailing the sensory aspects of a particular scene… a graphic organizer such as this. Strategy Discussions/Share-Out: It is essential that students conclude reading lessons with an opportunity to discuss their learning with their peers and instructor.
Reader’s Workshop:I have found that reader’s workshop is a wonderful organized way toallow for whole-group, small-group, and individualized instruction.Organizing reading lessons in this way promotes student thinking, while pushing students to be successful readers in an independent nature. Conferencing Teachers should check in with students on a weekly basis through quick conferences. “Researchers working on reading instruction… recommended a variety of approaches, including advance organizers, questioning and predicting, collaborative discussion, and think-alouds, to help students engage strategically with text and engage at the same time.”(Samuels &Farstrup, 2011, p. 170)
Elementary Teacher Resources http://www.busyteacherscafe.com/literacy/comprehension_strategies.htmlThis website contains lesson ideas, information on strategy instruction, as well as ready-to- go graphic organizers that can be used in your classroom. http://love4thgrade.blogspot.com/2011/10/power-of-post-its-in-reading.html Ideas for using post-its during reading. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMC4eRRwCYE YouTube video showing ideas about a reading response journal. http://www.lauracandler.com/filecabinet/literacyfiles.php Free printables with graphic organizers for reading activities. ResourcesFarstrup, A. F. & Samuels, S. J. (Eds). (2011). What Research Has to Say About Reading Instruction (4th Ed).International Reading Association.