It is a great step once students can decode the words they read on the page. However, the real power in reading comes when they can understand and interpret what they are reading. With this in mind, it is important to ensure students are engaged in their reading comprehension activities.
If you are not careful, your reading program can easily become dry, repetitive, and incredibly…boring. After some personal reflection (and a few direct and honest opinions from some of my students) I overhauled my reading program. My aim? Enjoyable and engaging reading comprehension activities!
Four Ways To Engage Students In Reading Comprehension Activities
1. Provide Engaging Texts
High-interest passages are key to ensuring your students are engaged in their reading. As a teacher, you know your students best, so you are the best judge of what would be an engaging topic for them. Effective Literacy Practice states,
It is critical that teachers (and students) think carefully about why they select particular texts to use. Teachers need to choose tasks and texts that will reflect their students’ lived experiences.
Our reading comprehension activities contain a range of texts proven to engage students. Some of our topics include:
- Sports Stars
- Natural Disasters
- Video Games
In addition, it is important to consider a variety of text types in your reading program. This will help to prepare students for texts they will encounter throughout life and promote student interest in a range of genres. As a result, your students will also be exposed to a range of text genres, including persuasive, informative and descriptive writing.
Other text types you could use in your classroom include:
- Internet articles
- Recipe books
- Restaurant Menus
Tip: Contact a magazine publisher to see if they will send you a box of past issues for free. When I did this, I was sent a large box of motorbike and car magazines. I was considered a super teacher to a bunch of students from that day on!
2. Offer A Variety of Follow-Up Activities
If I do the same task every day, I soon get very bored. The same is true for students who perform the same task every day. Reading a passage and completing a page of multi-choice follow up questions is the last thing your students want to do day after day. I am almost falling asleep just thinking about it!
Students need a variety of activities to complete once they have read and re-read their text. The activities provided in our Close Reading Comprehension activity packs feature a range of higher order thinking skills to encourage deeper critical and creative thinking about a text. Additionally, the added bonus is that variety is in-built into these resources.
Likewise, our reading comprehension puzzle posters are another great way to provide a variety of reading comprehension activities. Students hunt out information from fact cards placed around the room. They then use this information to complete their puzzle pieces. Watch this video to see one of our reading comprehension puzzles in action.
3. Build independence and Offer Choice
One way to increase engagement in a learning task is to offer your students choice. In his book, “Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn,” author Mike Anderson explains:
Offering students choices about their learning is one of the most powerful ways teachers can boost student learning.
Therefore, offering choice is a great way to encourage students to become independent learners.
In a reading context, there are many options.
For example, you can offer a choice in:
- The passage they read.
- Where they choose to read.
- The order that they complete their follow up activities in.
- Who they work with to complete their follow up activities.
- The amount of follow up activities that they complete.
4. Differentiate – don’t separate.
When students realise they are being made to do “easy” work while the rest of the class does a more complex activity, they disengage in learning. As much as is possible, I differentiate my reading program so that all students can take part in the same reading activities. Our reading comprehension activity packs provide two differentiated texts: a scaffold and extended text. This covers a range of reading abilities and ensures that the majority of your class can read about the same subject each week.
Each text features six activities, from lower order thinking activities through to more complex higher order thinking. Differentiation is built into these tasks. For example, assign all six activities to your higher students while the lower ability learners complete the first three activities.
Save Your Time and Provide Engaging Reading Comprehension Activities
Our range of reading comprehension activities provide:
- Engaging texts
Click on the photo above to see our full range!
Are you after a discounted bundle of our reading activities? Click here to check out our Reading Comprehension Mega bundle!
Learn more from another of our blog posts
Did you say FREEBIE?
We would love for you to try one of our engaging reading comprehension activity packs in your classroom. Our Jim Henson reading resource features two differentiated passages and six higher-order thinking follow-up activities. Click here to download this FREE reading comprehension activity.
Please leave me a comment below or get in touch if you have any questions relating to reading comprehension in your classroom. I’d love to help you.
Onwards and upwards!