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Overview

14 Cognitive Elements of Reading

Reading Assessment Techniques

Research Evidence

Using the Framework

Acknowledgements

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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 Reading Comprehension. There are 19 activities that match your search. You can also perform an advanced search of the Instructional Resources Database to search for more specific activities.



Reading Comprehension

What is Reading Comprehension?
Reading comprehension is composed of two equally important components. Decoding, or the ability to translate text into speech, is only part of the process of reading comprehension. The other part is language comprehension, or the ability to understand spoken language. All struggling readers have difficulty with either language comprehension or decoding or both.

What does teaching Reading Comprehension look like?
Reading comprehension activities depend upon sufficient development of decoding skills and language comprehension skills. If a child is having trouble with a reading comprehension activity, it is probably because the child needs more instructional support focused on helping the child to develop language comprehension and/or decoding skills.

Reading comprehension activities involve helping children to fluently read and understand connected text. The text can be expository or narrative, and the instructional activity may focus their attention on different levels of comprehension (explicit, implicit, etc). Further, reading comprehension instruction may focus on helping children learn to preview selections, anticipate content, or make connections between what they will read and what they already know. Similarly, instruction that focuses on reading comprehension might focus on helping children learn to compare characters, events, and themes of different stories.



Displaying 1 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Author StudiesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: For author studies it's important to allow children the opportunity to read a variety of books by the same author (Suggestions: Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, H.A. and Margaret Rey). Organize books (on shelves or in baskets) by author. Assign children to groups or pairs, and for each author studied, have children talk about the author's style. Have students look for similarities across stories and for certain characteristics of style unique to a particular author. Through activities such as this, children often learn they have a "favorite author."

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 2 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Character AttributesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: We use many different ways of helping children identify character attributes. We use character graphs to more easily show students' similarities and differences. Ask students to group themselves according to likenesses (brown hair, tied shoes). Graph students by physical attributes. Discuss other kinds of attributes, such as emotions and behavior. Read a story and have students brainstorm attributes of a given character.

Next, ask students to compare themselves to the character in the story, recognizing likes and differences. Provide each student with a simple body outline. (It can be a diagram or students may trace each other's body shapes.) Students divide the body into two halves (lengthwise) and record words and/or pictures of various attributes—the character on one half and themselves on the other. Lead students in a compare / contrast discussion regarding similarities and differences in the character and themselves.

Notes: As an extension of this activity, compare different characters within the story. Comparisons easily lead into predicting what a specific character might do based on his or her attributes.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Cedar Valley Elementary—Killeen, TX


Displaying 3 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Collaborative GroupsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Have students collect, read, discuss, and share literature for a particular purpose. The purpose may be recreational or for students to become knowledgeable about a particular topic. Set aside time during the week for students to read and for groups to meet and share information. Students can collect specific literature such as fables and short stories, and they can also take this opporutnity to share materials, stories and information from their own background.

Notes: This is a good activity for integrating reading into other content areas. Children should be taught to use text to gather information about specific topics, such as history, science, social studies, and math.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 4 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Comprehension StraegiesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

The Question and Answer game is one way to make students more aware of the different kinds of comprehension questions and how to find their answers in print. After reading a selection, divide the class into 5 cooperative learning groups. Each group chooses a leader, and the leader draws a card from a stack turned face down. Each card has one of the categories of comprehension questions written on it. For example, a card might say "main idea," "detail," "sequence," "word meaning," "cause and effect," "feelings," or "fact and fantasy."

The group then makes up a question about the selection for the category drawn. The question from each group is then posted on the board, and each group must discuss and write the answer to each question posted. Groups get one point for a correct question and one point for each correct answer to the questions on the board. To break a tie, the teacher may call on tying groups to prove their answer. The winning team receives a prize.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Atlanta Primary—Atlanta, TX


Displaying 5 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Frog and ToadCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Divide the class into three ability groups. Each group will be in charge of reading a different story from Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad and completing an activity based on their story. The groups will share activities with the class. The advanced group will read the story The Dream. After they read the story, they will divide into pairs, and each pair will create a diorama about a an original dream. The on-grade-level group will read the story The Lost Button. Children will read the story, discuss the description of the button, sort buttons, and then write a story about something lost . Students describe how the lost item looks. The below-grade-level group will read the story The Hat. The students will read the story, talk about what happened, sequence the story, and then make a hat out of paper plates and construction paper. Each group summarizes their story and presents their work to their classmates.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Fredericksburg Elementary — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 6 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Funds of KnowledgeCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Relate texts to children's lives: encourage children to make connections between the books they are reading and their own lives, their homes, their neighborhoods, their feelings and aspirations. For example, if children read an illustrated essay about animal tracks, ask them to write their own story about the animals and birds in their backyard or neighborhood. Ask what sort of tracks they might see, and ask them to illustrate their books the tracks they have found.

Similarly, children can relate books to their lives by writing a letter to the author of a book, explaining their feelings or insights about the author's work. Choose books that are relevant to children — books like Tortillas and Lullabies by L. Reiser or Too Many Tamales by G. Soto allow some children the opportunity to relate their lives with the text. It is important for readers to make sense of books by connecting their relevant experience to the book's topic. The goal is for children to make connections with their life experiences and the text.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success


Displaying 7 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Los seis pasosCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: This activity helps children learn to break down the process of reading a passage and answering questions about that passage into steps. The teacher must do this in small group instruction first, then span out to larger groups, as the children become more familiar with the steps.

Pasos de lectura

1. Numera los párrafos.
2. Lee las preguntas y las respuestas.
3. Subraya las palabras importantes en las preguntas con un lápiz.
4. Lee el pasaje.
5. Lee la pregunta otra vez, subraya el pasaje con el lápiz, y contesta la pregunta.
6. Revisa y revisa otra vez.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Elsa Gutierrez, Curriculum Specialist, Olmos Elementary, San Antonio, Texas


Displaying 8 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Message BoardsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY:

Set up a "message board" time at the beginning of class to help children express themselves through their writing (which helps their reading comprehension). As students enter the class, they write a message to the class about something they are thinking about. This provides a natural bridge between home and school, and it gives children a chance to express themselves and their feelings to the class.

Young children can be encouraged to draw pictures to complement their text, and to describe what they've written. Other children should also be encouraged to read and respond to the messages of their classmates.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Fredericksburg Elementary—Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 9 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Response JournalCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: When students read a story, have them write their personal reactions in their individual response journals. Model writing responses several times with students until they are excited to write their own responses. Then they will enjoy writing down their feelings about the story: what they liked, didn't like, what they would have done if they were one of the characters, etc. They can even change the ending of the story if they so choose. Students should be encouraged to share journal responses with the class, a classmate, or with the teacher.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 10 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Response logCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you can use a spiral notebook or a folder with brads and notebook paper. Before the children read a story, have children fold the paper in half lengthwise and predict what they think will happen in the story. After the students read the story, they open the paper and write what actually happens in the story.

Notes: It is a good idea to keep track of these papers in a student's portfolio. As the year progresses, children will make more accurate predictions and their response to the actual happenings in the story will be more complete.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Zavala Elementary-Grand Prairie, TX


Displaying 11 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Silent ReadingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: One strategy for providing support during silent reading is to guide or structure the reading with questions. Guiding students' reading with questions can provide helpful support by bringing key story concepts to the attention of students as they read, thereby helping them maintain comprehension, enhancing interest, and motivation.

Notes: There is no reason to wait until AFTER a child has read a story to ask the child comprehension questions. Sometimes children get more out of a story if they have specific questions in mind as they read the story. This type of activity also helps children learn to ask questions as they read and monitor their own comprehension. The questions should also be somewhat structured — children should be asked to pay attention to explicit details as well as inferential information.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 12 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Story ComparisonCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Read two different versions of the same story, such as "Cinderella" or "The Three Little Pigs." Ask students to compare and contrast the two versions, listing the common characteristics and differences. This can be done in small groups and then shared with the class. Encourage students to reflect on the author's perspective.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 13 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Summarize storiesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Teachers can teach summarization in three general steps: identifying the beginning, middle, and end of a story; storymapping; and role-playing. Have the students begin by identifying the beginning, middle, and end of familiar read-aloud stories. Encourage students to respond in complete sentences. As students become proficient at this level, introduce simplified storymapping of the beginning, middle, and end of those same stories. In this way, students see the connection between a "map" and the story parts. Again, ask the students to formulate sentences using the storymap. Gradually expand the storymap by asking for one or two details for each section of the map. Record responses. In this way, students see how to sequentially summarize a story, step by step. Ask students to retell the story from the perspective of a specific character to enhance perspective (point of view) as well as comprehension.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Cedar Valley Elementary—Killeen, TX


Displaying 14 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: SummarizingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Summarzing is a skill that must be taught and reinforced through repeated practice. Work cooperatively with your students to demonstrate the various ways of summarizing while guiding them with necessary briefing and vocabulary. Have students write sentences that summarize the main points of the story, restate the idea in their own words, and skim each paragraph of a reading for the main ideas.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 15 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: SummaryCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: When students read a story, discuss issues of plot with them. Ask them to summarize the story, and create a list of all the plot points from the discussion (either on the board if this is a shared activity, or in their journal if it is an individual consultation). For nonfiction, have students make a list of all the major facts or ideas contained in the text.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success


Displaying 16 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: SummaryCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: In this activity children answer questions about the most important part of a story. To begin, ask students if they have seen a good movie lately. Ask "How long was the movie?" The students usually estimate about an hour or two. Ask the students to tell you about the movie. The name, who was in the story and what was the best part. Then point out that it took them about five minutes to tell you about the whole movie. Inform the students that when you read a story you can tell the most important part of the story by using a summary. The summary has the title, setting, the characters, the problem and the solution. Explain each part with examples. Show them that the same questions that they addressed in their description of their favorite move can be asked when reading a story. What is the title / name of the story? (You might want to say title and name at the same time until the students realize that title and name have the same meaning.) Where is the setting of the story? Who are the main characters in the story? What is the problem of the story? How is the problem solved?

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Isabel Reyes


Displaying 17 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Today's WeatherCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: Read a children's book about the weather. Discuss the book and the day's weather with the class (discuss more than just a description of the weather; children should elaborate — ask them to describe what they like to do when it is sunny, rainy, hot, cold, etc.) They can describe a fear of lightning or some event that happened during a recent storm. The students and the teacher should write sentences about the day's weather on the board, overhead, or chart paper. Then the students can use individual writing boards or pencil and paper at desks to write their own sentences. When students are done they can read what they have written to the group.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 18 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: Web mappingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: To facilitate reading comprehension, have students map out what they know about the topic before they read about it. Write the theme or subject in the center of the board or on chart paper, and have students call out words related to the theme. Connect words to the theme with radiating lines from the central picture to the word, creating a web effect. This activity helps students graphically organize relevant background knowledge before attempting to read a passage of text.

Notes: This activity encourages children to practice connecting background knowledge with text.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Roosevelt Elementary—Bernalillo, NM


Displaying 19 of 19
ACTIVITY TITLE: www.eduCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Reading Comprehension

ACTIVITY: The World Wide Web is a rich source for visual images, texts, and audio and video clips on a wide variety of topics and subjects. Students can investigate specialized sites based on the topic of study.

Students can do research individually or in small groups. This allows students the opportunity to write research reports in collaboratively while using multiple media resources. Printed web pages can be reproduced, cut up and inserted into student products, posted, or read aloud.

Notes: Younger and younger children are becoming comfortable with the world wide web — it is quite likely that many second graders in your class are already familiar with how to use the web to find information. For those that are not, it is never too early to start.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

End of search results.
Displayed 19 instructional activities.

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