Not Another Worksheet!!
Our brains need novelty and worksheets aren’t novel! So how can we review a reading without using another worksheet? Here are my favorite 5 activities:
- Write, Draw, Pass from Martina Bex
This activity can be cumbersome the first time, so allow extra time but after the first time, they will be pros! What I love about this activity is the flexibility! Martina has several blog posts with new ideas, so be sure to look around her site a bit. In my level 1 classes, I have them choose one sentence to write in the TL, then they pass. The next person has to draw the sentence, fold and pass. The third person must decide what the pictures is and write the sentence, and so on. Many times I allow them to have the story out to “help” them. The genius of this “help” is that when they get a new sheet, they have to read the story AGAIN! I’m good with that!
With other levels, I have them choose one sentence to write and pass, the second person draws and then the third person has to look at the picture, decide what come next and write that. Again it forces them to go back into the story and reread each time to find what they are looking for. More reading is not a problem!
- Paper Airplane Readings (I can’t remember where I learned this but the blog is by Alina Filipescu)
This is a great activity to get kids up and moving, especially good for those busy middle school kids but also good for days when they are not moving at all, even high schoolers like paper airplanes. Beyond reading this is great for teaching commands and getting kids to follow directions in the TL! Be sure to have them toss their planes in a new way each time, it adds to the fun!
- Picture Gallery Walk by Annabelle Allen
I can’t find a blog on this idea specifically but Annabelle’s blog is full of inspiration! For this idea, the kids draw a picture of one part of the reading and then hang it on the wall. Once all the pictures are up, students take post-it notes and walk around the room. While looking at the pictures, they must comment on them in the TL. They love seeing each others’ work while also reviewing the reading. Sometimes we will draw one day and then do the gallery walk the next, without the story in hand. Another great way to get sleepy kids up and moving or over energized kids worn out a bit!
- Student written comprehension questions
This is just what it sounds like. The kids write your worksheet for you. They must write good, solid questions for the reading. I then have them pass the questions around the room. Each student must answer 3 or 4 sets of questions, this way they have a good review of the facts of the story. My instruction to them is to trade with whomever is done at the same time they are. Fast kids can move faster, slower kids can have more time (and I can lessen their load if needed) Easy idea with no prep work.
This is a new one for me and I like it! This particular thumb ball comes with a sheet with each shape on it. So I assigned a different type of question to each shape (ie: who, what, where, yes/no, why). The kids throw the ball and whoever catches it, tells me where their thumb is. I ask a question about the story based on that shape and my chart. I don’t have to prep questions, can repeat them if I want and we can review a story quickly. You can also have the kids divide into teams and pre-write questions to ask each other. Again low to no prep for the teacher, but fun and interactive!
Have fun and be creative with reading comprehension, there are so many options that aren’t worksheets!
by: Lynne Hendrick