Last week, with a group of twelve-year olds we had great fun reading a short story. It was our first meeting so I started with a getting to know activity which came from freshly Leo Selivan’s latests blog post. Kids loved drawing stick figures and introducing themselves in third person.
Then we read the story and enjoyed ourselves a lot. On this blog post, I want to share some of the activities we did during the workshops.
1.I gave them word posters and asked them to work in groups. We checked the vocabulary together and then in groups they wrote a mini saga choosing 5 words from the word cloud.
2. We wrote a rap together about the characters and their meeting with the fantastic characters. Then we sang it all together.
3. When the characters met new fantasy characters, I put them in teams and asked them to write their songs together.
4. I also cut some of the illustrations from the book and gave each pair a different picture and asked them to write “a six word story” for each picture.
5. After reading the story, they created a fantasy character and the land of the character drawing the character and the land.
6. Finally, as they told me they loved the stick figure activity very much, I asked them to work in pairs and gave each pair a character. They wrote their memes on a padlet wall.
In the end for feedback I told the kids to write 3 things they loved, 2 things they learned and a feeling. I loved the feedbacks very much but one of them made my day.
image from #eltpics via @mkofab
In December, I had the chance to listen to Steven Krashen at YTU ELT symposium. He talked about the importance of reading, how he became a good reader and what narrow reading is. You can read Marisa Constantinides’ fabulous post on Dr Krashen’s talk here.
That was the time I went back to the past and thought how I became a reader. I did the narrow reading. There was a time in my life, I read Enid Blyton novels, then came the French classics and the Russians, I fell in love with Sartre, Camus and their contemporaries, then came the Italian novelists and the South Americans and of course there was a time I only read British novelists. There was a time I read poetry only -Orhan Veli, Melih Cevdet, Zahrad.
I was lucky to have two primary school teachers who led me to the paths of reading so I want to follow their footsteps. I believe teachers can help students become good readers. That’s why I think about fun activities to go with reading lessons.
Here you will find some activities that I use with my classes.
Write questions from the story or novel on slips of papers or post-it-notes and number them from 1-9. (Prepare double or triple questions for each number as students may not answer the questions)
Put in an envelope or a box or stick the papers on a ‘tic-tac-toe’ grid.
Team your students as Xs and Os.
Draw a tic-tac-toe grid on the board and tell them to choose a number. Take the numbered post-it from your tic-tac-toe handout. If they answer the question correctly, cross the number with X or O.
Continue until the questions finish.
2. Who Wants to be a Billionaire?
Play the game with questions from the novel or the story you read in the class.
3. Who said that?
Choose quotes or sentences from the novel
Divide the class into two teams.
Ask students “Who said that?”
4. Snowball fights
Tell students to write questions or quotes from the novel or the story on a piece of paper.
Tell them to make a paper snowball and allow them to play snowball fights for a while.
Tell them to take the closest snowball and answer the questions.
You can guide them to ask their questions according to Bloom’s Taxonomy using http://teachers.ash.org.au/researchskills/dalton.htm#top
Now I’d like you to invite my first ever blog challenge 🙂
Would you like to share some of your favorite reading activities on your blog?
If you don’t blog, I’d be very happy to host your post on this blog.
image taken from here
This is the 3rd and the last post of graded-reader-ideas. If you want to add another activity to this list, I will be very happy.
21. Tell students to list all the interesting words, phrases and expressions or all the new words, phrases and expressions from the book and create a word cloud, a mini-dictionary or a power-point-presentation, etc with these words.
22. Tell them to write a letter to the writer. They will inform the writer what they did in the class with the book and tell him/her about their reactions to the story/characters, etc.
23. Divide your students into groups. Tell them to create a trailer for the movie of the book.
24. Tell your students to adapt the story to the year they live and write the summary of this adaptation. You may want to remind them that time difference can make huge differences on the plot.
25. Using one of the online tools, create a timeline showing the events in the story. If they want they can draw and illustrate the timeline instead of the online alternative.
26. Create a new book cover, write a blurb for the cover.
27. Write a poem about the story and create a glog.
28. Tell your students to analyse one of the characters and write a list ’10 things I want to do before I die’ for their character and in the end of the list, they should persuade the teacher and the classmates that the character would really like to do those things.
29.Tell them to summarise the book, using as many different web 2.0 tools as they can. Show them Janet Bianchini’s An Idiomatic Love Story created for her IATEFL talk, if missed have a look at her blog
30. Tell them to create a brochure or a poster, titled ‘I read a book and I learned …..
Some examples of my students :
The Grapes of Wrath
The Great Gatsby
About A Boy
About a Boy 2011
2nd part of this post: Fun with Class Readers 2
1st part of this post: Fun with Class Readers 1
image taken from here
11. Tell the students to choose one of the characters and write about his/her life 10 years from the ending of the story.
12. Tell students to create a quiz on the story. They have to include vocabulary questions, comprehension questions, discussion questions, etc
13. Ask them to create a word poster of the book and display on the classroom walls.
14. Pair your students and tell them to write or record an interview with the writer of the book. They can even create an animation instead of recording themselves.
15. Tell them to write a 5 sentence summary of each chapter and create a glog, poster with illustrations or magazine cut-outs.
16. A classic but Tell students to prepare a wall display. On this poster, they have to include the character analysis, or the character they like the best and the least, book review or summary.
17. Tell students to find a song for each chapter or you may ask them to find 5 songs for the whole book. They can find the suitable songs searching batlyrics.
18. Divide the students into groups and tell them to retell the story with a rap.
19. Watch 60 second Recap with students and tell them to do something similar to it.
20. Tell students to choose a character and write that character’s biography.
If you are using class readers, short stories or novels with your students, here are some ideas. Some of them have been used and some of them has just downed on me while writing this post. I have some more ideas and will add them later. I’m sure you have also fun ideas (For example, #2 was suggested by Vladka) and I’ll be glad to hear them
- Ask your students to prepare a talk show, interviewing with one or more characters from the book you are reading. Preferably after reading some chapters or finishing the book.
- Discuss each chapter in the class. Put your students in groups and ask them to summarize the chapters together then ask them to create glogs.
- Tell your students to choose a character and write a letter to her/him asking questions, making suggestions, etc.
- Tell your students to choose a chapter from the book and write the script of the chapter then act. You can team them and tell them to work together. They can also video their performance. If you choose the same chapters with whole class, you can choose the best adaptation; best character A, B, best music, etc.
- Tell your students that they will direct the movie of the book. Ask them to choose their cast, soundtrack, venue, etc and write a brief note to the producer why they have chosen those actors/actresses, venue, etc.
- Tell them to organise a trip to the place where the story takes place. Tell them to prepare a brochure, daily programme, food to be eaten there, shopping, etc.
- Tell them to summarize the book by creating a comic or an animation by using online tools.
- Tell them to organise a book talk for another class. They have to create a poster of the event and at the talk they have to introduce the writer, the era, the place and they have to introduce the plot and the characters not revealing much about the book.
- Group your students. Give each group a chapter (or more according to the size of your class and the length of your book). Tell them to write a script for each chapter and read and record the chapters as a radio play. This can be a good alternative for reading aloud.
- Tell them to write what had happened before the story started. (This was suggested at the Black Cat publishing’s workshop on readers at IATEFL given by Robert Hill.)
More on reading on this blog:
A Pre-reading Task