Reading improves children's overall literacy, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension, but you can extend their skills with follow-up activities. The literacy activities you do after reading a story should relate back to the plot, characters, information or meaning of the story. Activities also can focus on specific reading skills, such as recalling details and reading the words in the story accurately.
Tell It Again
Retelling activities improve comprehension. When children retell a story, they have to pick out the main ideas and events that happened, encouraging them to focus on details as they read. Acting out the story is an entertaining way to retell what happens. Allow children to use props or draw pictures to illustrate key points in the story.
Go Inside a Character's Head
Thinking like the characters in a story helps children better understand actions and make predictions as they read by thinking about the emotions and personality traits of the characters. Have students write questions they could ask the character in an interview, then have them also answer the questions as the character. Another idea is to write a new scene in the story between two of the characters and write dialogue that would be something the characters would say.
Art projects work well for visual learners or kids who prefer hands-on activities. They are able to take details from the story and expand on them in a different format to show they understand the information. One option is a map that shows where different actions in the story take place. This helps kids focus on setting and how it relates to the action. Another idea is to have kids pretend the story is being turned into a movie and create a promotional poster that highlights the main parts of the story.
Let the students take center stage to show off what they learned from the story. A book presentation in front of classmates gives children practice at public speaking and communicating their thoughts verbally. Have the students make a visual aid, such as a poster, graph or diorama, to support the presentation. The kids can explain how their creations relate to the story to demonstrate comprehension.
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