SharpReading BLOG

Thoughts About Teaching Reading


The importance of AFTER reading Comprehension Activities

As part of our 2024 focus on Comprehension Instruction we take a look at another important aspect of reading instruction - the away-from-the-teacher independent practice that students should be engaging in to refine comprehension processing.

The reality of reading rotations in the upper primary school is one 30-minute guided reading session per group per week. Of course, this is not ideal when you are trying to habituate mental strategies but it is what it is. SharpReading students typically make significant progress under this regimen. 

The question is, how can I best use the other 2 hours (?) per week of the reading programme for the students who are not working directly with me?  Remember you are with one group for 30 minutes per day.

If your students are working at Stages 3&4 during their teacher-led instructional lesson then their focus is on sentence level comprehension - ensuring that they are developing the skills and strategies to REALLY understand what they are reading. The Stages 3&4 guided reading routines provide the concentrated practice of this. 

If that has been achieved (they really do understand what they have been reading) then they are well equipped to engage in higher-order thinking as AFTER READING follow-up activities. That means going back to the text and applying the ideas and information to another context, analysing the story structure, and evaluating the content. We are talking about Bloom's Taxonomy of increasingly complex thinking skills.

When I first started writing my own instructional text for students, I put a lot of thought into developing a series of follow-up activities that students could engage in to extend their processing of what they had read. I settled on just a few activities that I thought did the business so that students were not having to be taught new activities all the time (the killer of all independent work rotations). Their challenge came from applying the familiar activity to a new context.
CLICK HERE for an example.

When it came to writing StoryBytes and InfoBytes I included a scaled-down version of these activities. CLICK HERE.

What I am offering you here is some sets of generic activities based on these Bloom's Activities that can be applied to any text you are choosing to use, not just SharpReading text.

CLICK HERE for your FREE download.

Have a look at these and think about ways that you can integrate them into your existing reading rotation to develop that AFTER READING comprehension. 


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