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Instructional Resources - Instructional Activities
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Reading Instructional Resources Database - Instructional Activities (Search Results)

The essential cognitive elements of the reading process have been outlined in the cognitive framework of reading. To assist educators in organizing their practice around the cognitive framework, we've created a way to easily search for instructional activities that specifically address skills and knowledge outlined by the cognitive framework of reading.

To find out more about the Instructional Activities portion of the Instructional Resources Database, we have provided an overview of the database and a description of the resources from which these activities were selected.

How to use this page

You have just searched the Reading Instructional Resources Database for instructional activities that test Language Comprehension. There are 17 activities that match your search. You can also perform an advanced search of the Instructional Resources Database to search for more specific activities.



Language Comprehension

What is Language Comprehension?
To read and understand text, a child needs to be able to understand language. Before expecting a child to be able to read and understand a story, the question should be asked, "Could the child understand this story if it was read TO her?" An essential aspect of language comprehension hinges on the ability to draw inferences and appreciate implications--it is important to understand both the explicit and implicit messages contained in language.

What does teaching Language Comprehension look like?
For a child to be successful in language comprehension activities, the child must have sufficient development in more basic linguistic domains, such as syntax, semantics and phonology, combined with a well developed background knowledge that is relevant to the task at hand. If a child is having trouble with a language comprehension activity, it is probably because the child has not yet developed and integrated these more basic linguistic domains.

Language comprehension activities do not involve text (activities that involve text are reading comprehension or decoding activities). Instead, they involve helping children to develop more elaborate and sophisticated comprehension strategies for understanding speech. Activities should focus on providing opportunities to interact with and examine various types of language (narrative, expository, formal, informal, etc.), different genres, and different speakers. If a child's native language is not English, activities can either focus on helping the child develop language skills in her native language, or the activities can focus on helping the child to develop strategies to improve comprehension of English.



Displaying 1 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Caps for SaleCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Read Slobodkina's Caps for Sale to your class. The following day, reread the story and have students dramatize scenes from the story. Assign several small groups of children to role play the monkeys who respond by imitating the peddler's actions as he jumps up and down, or wags his finger, or throws his cap down and says to them, "You monkeys, you. Give me back my caps!" As you reread the story a second time have the groups of children play their parts.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 2 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Cause and EffectCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Create a chart with two columns entitled "cause and effect." As you read a story for the class, pause to discuss cause and effect in the story, and make note of cause and effect events from the story on the chart. Start with books with one cause and several effects before moving on to ones with several causes and effects.

Notes: This activity does not depend on writing or reading skills, so it could be used with children of any age. However, the nature of this task is, on the surface, more appropriate for young children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Intervention Activities Guide


Displaying 3 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: CliffhangerCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Read part of a short story to your students — everything but the ending. Ask them to discuss or write down what they think the ending will be. Invite older students to write an ending in the style of the rest of the story. Pay attention to the sentences and clauses that students use in their discussions or writings — does the ending they generate fit with the themes of the book? This activity will help students understand sequencing of events and styles and how those variables affect the meaning of the story as a whole.

Notes: Younger children can still do this task, but without the ability to write, they will need to simply discuss and describe how they think the story will end.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 4 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: ConferencesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Structured time can be set aside in the class schedule to allow students to share infomation about themselves individually with the teacher. The student can be given an opportunity to share his or her life experiences, interests and background with the teacher. This is helpful for developing a relationship between the teacher and child, and it is an excellent opportunity for the child to practice linguistic expression.

When talking with children, support their efforts to communicate complex thoughts by waiting patiently, suggesting words as needed. Let them control the subjects of conversation, when possible, and encourage their efforts to use new words and describe complex topics.

Notes: Because this does not depend on reading ability, it is appropriate to use with both literate and pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 5 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Describe a PictureCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Cut pictures from magazines, advertisements, and old books. Have students describe the pictures. Prompt students to elaborate the descriptions of their pictures through questioning such as, "Tell me about the shape of the picture" or "Tell me more about the background." Teachers can also ask the students to make up a story based on the picture they see.

Notes: This activity does not depend on writing or reading skills, so it could be used with children of any age. However, the nature of this task is, on the surface, more appropriate for young children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Intervention Activities Guide


Displaying 6 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Dime lo que sabes.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: The teacher covers up the text of a Big Book with Post-Its, and takes the students on a picture walk through the book. The students then create a story from the pictures, which the teacher writes on chart paper. When the students complete their story, the teacher removes the Post-Its from the book and reads the actual printed story. The class then compares and contrasts their version of the story with the actual story.

Notes: This task seems to involve some literacy skills — even though the teacher is doing the writing, the children compare what she writes with what is written in the book. Therefore, this would not be an appropriate task for pre-literate students.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 7 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Dime otra vezCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Hand out a sheet of drawing paper to each group, pair or individual. Direct the children to fold the paper long ways or "hot dog". The top flap of the paper will be equally divided into four equal parts. Cut at the fold of the top flap only. The first flap will be for the" título" (title), the second flap will be labeled "el principio" (beginning), the third flap will be labeled "en medio" (middle) and the last flap labeled "el final" (end). After sharing a story read aloud to the class, pairs or individuals the children will illustrate or write about the story. Another version of this activity is to label the first flap "personajes principales" (main character), the second flap "el ambiente" (setting), the third flap, "el problema" (problem) and the last flap be labeled "la solución" (solution).

Notes: This task does not explicitly depend on reading skills (beyond recognizing the terms on the paper), but it is still a task which would be more appropriate to use with older children.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Alternatives to Worksheets. Creative Teaching Press, Inc. ISBN 1-57471-429-5


Displaying 8 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: FolktalesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Encourage children and their parents to tell cultural folktales that have been handed down from generation to generation. Begin the process by sharing Rudolfo Anaya's Maya's Children: The Story of La Llorona with the class and discussing the folktale aspects of the story.

Ask students to use a tape recorder to record their retelling of the story. This tape can be shared with parents during conference.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 9 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Guest speakersCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Invite your students' parents or other outside guests to come in and talk to the class — the guest may tell a story or tell something about themselves or their heritage.

Having students listen to oral story-telling promotes listening skills and enhances background knowledge, and the experience of listening to different people speak gives students the opportunity to hear different speech styles.

For English Language learners, this can be a good opportunity to hear stories in English from different speakers, or similarly, it could be a good opportunity to hear stories in their native language.

Notes:

This activity would be more powerful if students were encouraged to ask questions, share similar stories of their own, and / or describe what they learned from each speaker.

Because this does not depend on reading ability, it is appropriate to use with both literate and pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 10 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Impresión del pulgarCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Step 1: Have each student make a thumbprint in the center of a sheet of paper. Have the students then make a character / object by adding to the thumbprint (for example: hippo, frog, whale, submarine)

Step 2: Hopefully it is obvious what the child has created, but if not, you may need to ask. Next, tell the student to elaborate on what they have created.

For example, if the student creates a hippo, tell the student to:

Añade (Draw ):

un rio (a river)

un pajarito el la espalda del hopótamo (a little bird on the hippo's back)
un sol caliente en el cielo (a hot sun in the sky)

Step 3: Have the student answer the following questions regarding the picture they have made.

¿Quién? o ¿Qué?__________________________
¿Hizo qué _______________________________
¿Dónde? _______________________________
¿Cuándo? _______________________________
¿Por qué? _______________________________

The answers to the questions should reflect what they have drawn.

Notes: It is not stated explicitly, but writing should not be a part of this task. When students answer the questions at the end, they should do so orally. This task would be most appropriate for young children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Dibuja...luego, Escribe by Evan-Moor Corp.


Displaying 11 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Jump Frog JumpCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Read a story with a repetitive theme, such as "Jump Frog Jump." Tell the students to listen to the part of the story that is being repeated over and over. After reading, ask, "What part of the story did you hear repeated?" (e.g. "Jump frog jump.")

Give students a popsicle stick with a picture of a frog taped on it. Tell the students that you will read the story again. This time have the students hold up their frog and say, "Jump Frog Jump" at the appropriate times in the story.

Notes: This activity does not depend on writing or reading skills, so it could be used with children of any age. However, the nature of this task is, on the surface, more appropriate for young children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Mading Elementary—Houston, TX


Displaying 12 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Pelota de preguntasCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need a beach ball labeled with the following words or questions: ambiente, personajes, problema, argumento, solución, ¿Quién?, ¿Qúe?, ¿Cuándo?, ¿Dónde?, and ¿Porqúe? After the teacher reads a story to the class, the students toss the beach ball to discuss the story's elements. Students may answer any question on the ball. After answering a question, the student tosses the ball to another student to answer the same or a different question.

Notes: For this task, children need to have some literacy skills (at least the ability to recognize each of the words on the beach ball), so it would not be appropriate to use this task with pre-literate students.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Cunningham & Allington, Classrooms that work: They can all read and write (New York: Longman, 1999).


Displaying 13 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Picture WalkCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Select a picture book. Before reading the story to the students, take a "walk" through the book; talk about the pictures and have students predict what is taking place in the story. This increases children's understanding of the text and promotes oral language development.

Notes: As an extension, you can create a set of picture cards for each student in the class (pictures from picture-books can be reproduced and cut out to make picture cards for the students). After reading the story to the class, ask the class to sequence the picture cards from that story in the same order in which events occurred in the story.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Fredericksburg Learning Center — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 14 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Pretend PlayCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Encourage pretending among children. Make sure children have long periods of time to let complex pretend play develop. Encourage pretending about familiar settings such as restaurants, the grocery store and home. Encourage children to verbalize and communicate with others what they are pretending. Provide props that link play to curriculum units or favorite books. Children can produce a puppet show or a play (improvisational plays are especially fun and challenging) set in situations that are either related to the children's life or to scenes from a story.

Notes: Because this does not depend on reading ability, it is appropriate to use with both literate and pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Placitas Elementary—Placitas, NM


Displaying 15 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: StoriesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Create an area in your classroom that is reserved for story building. Place pictures from magazines or books, photos, objects, markers, pencils, colors, loose paper, stapler, etc., in the area for students to draw or, if they are able, write a story. Children can dictate or write their stories.

When children create stories, evaluate the "super-structure" of the story (Does the story contain an introduction, a theme, a moral? Does the story make sense? Are events in the story related to a theme?).

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 16 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: Story BoardsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Describe the process by which motion picture cartoons are created (major events and scenes from the story are sketched out in a series of images called story-boards). Ask students to create a story-board (from a story they made up or a story that is familiar to them). Remind students to illustrate major scenes from the story. Help students to understand that scenes crucial to the plot are included in the illustrations in sequential order.

Notes: This activity does not depend on writing or reading skills, so it could be used with children of any age. However, the nature of this task is, on the surface, more appropriate for older children.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 17 of 17
ACTIVITY TITLE: The Very Hungry CaterpillarCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Language Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Create 5x8 index cards containing the days of the week and food including all foods mentioned in Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar prior to reading it aloud for the students.

Before reading the story to the students, show students the book, preview each page together and ask students to predict what is going to happen in the story. Read the story and discuss what happened to the caterpillar on each day, focusing specifically on what he ate.

Discuss the words "first, second, last," etc., and the order of the book. Show the days of the week and food cards. Divide the class into groups. Each group will sequence the days of the week cards. They will also put the food cards under the days of the week cards showing what the caterpillar ate each day.

After students complete this activity, have the groups of students tell how they arranged their cards.

Notes: Because this does not depend on reading ability, it is appropriate to use with both literate and pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers, emergent readers, and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: AskERIC, Lesson Plan #AELP-STT0002

End of search results.
Displayed 17 instructional activities.

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