SEDL Home
Advancing Research, Improving Education
SEDL's Reading Resources
Cognitive Framework of Reading Reading Assessment Database Short Papers Reading First Links
Table of Contents

Overview

14 Cognitive Elements of Reading

Reading Assessment Techniques

Research Evidence

Using the Framework

Acknowledgements

PDF version


Related Resources
Glossary of reading terms

Instructional Resources - Literary References

Instructional Resources - Instructional Activities
- Introduction
- Search
- Search Results


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 any cognitive element of reading. There are 126 activities that match your search. You can also perform an advanced search of the Instructional Resources Database to search for more specific activities.



Background Knowledge

What is Background Knowledge?
In order to understand language, the child must have some background knowledge to use as a reference for interpreting new information. Moreover, if the child is expected to understand something specific, her background knowledge must be relevant to what she is expected to understand.

What does teaching Background Knowledge look like?
Background knowledge activities focus on helping the child connect new information about the world with what she already knows. Activities that focus on enhancing background knowledge help children to see how they can incorporate their life experiences into their classroom lessons. Further, background knowledge activities can help a child to see how to make use of and apply information in different situations.



Displaying 1 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Book IntroductionsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Before reading a book aloud to students, engage them in discussion that draws on their background knowledge. Have students predict what they think the story will be about based on the cover of the book. Have children share personal experiences related to the topic. Acknowledge student's contributions and gently guide them back to the story so they can see how their personal experiences relate to the story you are about to read to them.

Present a brief overview of what the story is going to be about. Have a short conversation about the story, making predictions based on the pictures and the story line. Provide children with enough detail to stimulate their interest and leave them wondering about what will happen to the main character of the story.

For expository information, prior to introducing a new concepts or information, ask students to brainstorm what they already know about the topic. Relate what the children already know with the new information you provide.

Notes: This activity encourages children to relate prior knowledge with new information, but also, it gives the teacher some insights into children's experiences and relevant knowledge. Teachers can use that information to plan future activities for her students.

Developing background knowledge is a lifelong endeavor, so this activity is appropriate to use with children of any age.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Placitas Elementary—Placitas, NM


Displaying 2 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Creatures, Places, and ThingsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Select books and stories to read aloud that are about many different creatures, places, cultures and things. Augment each selection with pictures, discussion, activities, and other books and stories that allow the children to revisit and extend their new knowledge.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 3 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Field Trips — airportCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Take a field trip to the airport. Following the field trip, the whole class discusses the people and equipment observed at the airport. Students select their favorite part of the trip to illustrate. After completing their illustration, children describe to the teacher one thing they learned on the field trip. The pages can be collected and compiled into a class book.

Notes: The airport is just one example of a field trip that enhances a child's background knowledge. What is important is to follow field trips with class activities so you can connect real world experiences with what is studied in the classroom.

Developing background knowledge is a lifelong endeavor, so this activity is appropriate to use with children of any age.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Placitas Elementary—Placitas, NM


Displaying 4 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: KWHLCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

This is a variation of the original KWL chart. Before beginning a unit or theme, tap into student's background knowledge by creating a KWHL chart with four columns. Record student contributions under each column.

The K stands for what the children already know about the topic.
The W stands for what the children want to know or find out.
The H stands for how the children will find the new knowledge.
The L stands for what the children learned after studying that theme/unit.

What We Know — What We Want To Know — How We Will Find It — What We Learned

Notes: Developing background knowledge is a lifelong endeavor. However, on the surface, this task seems more appropriate for older children.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 5 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: My BookCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Books about the desert, woods, or rainforest provide students an opportunity to engage their background knowledge of sounds and animals they know. Students can talk about the animals and sounds in other environments and compose books about places they know and would like to write about. In their books, students can feature the sounds of nature and animals from the place they choose.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 6 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Semantic MapsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: You will need a big-book copy of Stuart Little or The Very Hungry Caterpillar for this activity. Begin with a discussion of mice (for Stuart Little) or caterpillars (for The Very Hungry Caterpillar). Write the topic in the middle of the chalk board, and then draw several boxes on the chalk board large enough to contain text. Above each box, write categories, such as "Physical Characteristics" or "Things They Eat" or "Other Stories." Then ask the students to brainstorm items to put under each category. Be sure that items are relevant to the story are included.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Literature-Based Reading Activities


Displaying 7 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Show and TellCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Background Knowledge

ACTIVITY: For this activity you will need a tape recorder, and children will need to be broken into small groups. Have children interview other students, teachers, and if possible, family members on tape to gather information about some specific topic (e.g. horses, bicycles, history). Encourage the children to add information they already know on the subject matter, and to use what they know to ask more informed questions of the people they interview. In the end, the recording will contain information that the child learned, and they can play back their recording for other people (or for the class for show and tell if the tape is short).

Notes: Developing background knowledge is a lifelong endeavor, so this activity is appropriate to use with children of any age.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Fredericksburg Elementary, Fredericksburg, TX


Cipher Knowledge

What is Cipher Knowledge?
Using the conventions of English to sound out regular words. Most words in English can be sounded out (deciphered) using common letter-sound conventions of English. These conventions of English are not transparent, but an implicit understanding of these conventions is clearly evident in all good readers.

What does teaching Cipher Knowledge look like?
Activities that focus on cipher knowledge help children to develop what are commonly called "word attack" skills - that is how to sound out regular words. These activities can help children to learn letter-sound relationships or to appreciate word families. The emphasis with cipher knowledge activities is placed upon teaching children to apply their grapho-phonemic knowledge to sound-out words. Therefore, these activities should incorporate words with regular letter-sound relationships; irregular words should be avoided (see lexical knowledge).



Displaying 8 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ¿Qué falta?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: On a sentence strip staple 4 sets of five blank cards. Write words onto the cards but leave a letter out of each word. Students are to figure out the words, draw a picture of what the word represents, and write the missing letter.

Words that can be used include:

masa, taco, pato, casa, pan, vaca, mesa, niño (a), vaso, oso, vela, dado, piso, gato, tela, pero, foca, pera

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: More Alternatives to Worksheets, Creative Teaching Press, Inc.


Displaying 9 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ¡Gran slam!COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: For this activity, the teacher will need a collection of cards which contain a picture with the name of the picture under it — the word should have the first letter omitted (e.g. a picture of a ball with the word "_all" under it). The teacher begins by drawing two baseball diamonds on the board, and dividing the class into two teams. Each team then sends a child to the board to "bat." Using the index cards, the teacher shows the "batters" a focus word and picture. The first batter to correctly write the missing initial letter of the focus word on the board advances his or her team one base on the baseball diamond. The first team to score five (5) runs is the winner.

Examples of focus words include:

cebolla (onion), cien (one hundred), zanahoria (carrot), zacate (grass), sirena (mermaid), sandía (watermelon), zorro (fox), cepillo (brush), sombrilla (umbrella), general (general), seis (six), sapo (toad), jirafa (giraffe), cisne (swan), ballena (whale), geletina (Jello), saco (coat), ventana (window)

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 10 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: BlendingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Blending sounds together to make words is a critical step in reading. Blending practice can begin as soon as the student knows two sounds. The teacher models the practice by pointing to the a in "am" and saying /aaa/ (short /a/ sound) for two seconds, and then by pointing to the m in "am" and saying /mmm/ again for two seconds. Students then say the sounds (holding each for two seconds as the teacher points to the letters).

Students are then asked to say the word the "fast way." The students say "am." The teacher repeats the task and then allows individual students the opportunity to "sound out" a word.

Notes: The emphasis in this activity should be on regular words. Avoid words like "one" and "two" in this activity.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Wesley Elementary—Houston, TX K-1 Grade


Displaying 11 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Consonant SwapCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

For this activity, you will need a collection of words that are identical except for the first letter (e.g., cat, hat, mat, etc). Write one of the words on the board and have the children read the word aloud. Next, erase the first letter and replace it with a different letter to make a new word. Again, have the students sound out this new word. Demonstrate the sounding and blending of the letters for them.

Continue with this exercise until you feel confident that children could do the task on their own. Next, write a new word from a different word family on the board. Have a contest to see who can generate the most words from that word family.

Notes: You can use Dr. Seuss books (e.g. Hop on Pop) to illustrate word families to the children. Show them how often words appear that only differ in the first letter. Draw their attention to the spelling and the sound of the words.

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 12 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Detecting Medial SoundsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Provide each student a set of letter tiles (or cards with letters on them) needed to build a set of predetermined words. Demonstrate to the children how to build the word HIT using the letter tiles. Show that by replacing the middle letter, you can make other words (HAT, HOT, HUT). Tell the children what word to make, and let them decide what letters they need to change to make that new word. Make this more challenging by asking children to make and pronounce nonsense words (HET).

Notes: This activity is most appropriate with a small group of children.

This activity can be extended by asking children to replace the first or last letters, or by asking children to add letters to the beginning or end of words.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Intervention Activities Guide


Displaying 13 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Guess Who? Letter SoundsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Seat children sit in a circle and say, "I'm thinking of somebody's name that begins with the letter ____". On the board, write the first letter of that person's name and say the letter's name for the children. Then say, "The first sound in that person's name is_____". Repeat the letter name and the first sound (e.g. if you are thinking of the name Robert, say, "The first letter is "R", and his name starts with /r/.). For names beginning with digraphs, such as "CHarles" or "SHawn", it is appropriate to display the diagraph rather than the initial letter only. For names that begin with consonant clusters, such as "SCott" or "TRacy", it is better to only make the first phoneme (/s/ and /t/ respectively) rather than the whole cluster.

Notes: This activity can be done with other words as well. Using the children's names may help to stimulate interest, but it can be combined with lessons in other content areas, too (e.g. I'm thinking of the name of a state that begins with T).

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Fredericksburg Learning Center-Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 14 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Hot PotatoCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Place a collection of letter tiles or cards with letters on them in a box. the first child begins by drawing a letter tile. The child must identify the letter and a word that begins with that letter.

The next child names a different word that begins with the same letter. Continue around the circle until a student is unable to think of a new word. That student loses a point (keep score any way you think appropriate), and draws a new tile or card to start the process over again.

This game can be extended to initial clusters, digraphs, medial vowels and word families (e.g. everybody must think of a words that end in ESS).

Notes: This activity works best with no more than 4 or 5 children at a time.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 15 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Loteria de letras especialesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: For this activity, the teacher will need bingo (loteria) cards that contain different combinations of 9 letters arranged in a 3x3 matrix. For example the teacher could choose from the following letters: y, ll, b, v, j, g, z, s, c, k, c(o), qu,. The children will be given a loteria card with covers to place on the card. Explain to the children that the game is played as the usual bingo game but with letters. The teacher will say a word out loud and the children are to place a cover over the letter that the word begins with. Different bingo games can be played. They may play four corners, blackout or diagonal. Any words or nonsense words can be used in the activity. What follows is a list of the most commonly used for the suggested letters:

y - Ya, Yate, Yegua, Yema, Yerba, Yeso, Yo, Yodo, Yoyo, Yuca
ll - llama, llanta, llave, llegar, llorar, lluvia
b - bailar, bajar, bajo, barco, bate, beso, bicicleta, bien, bola, bonita
v - vaca, vamos, van, vaso, vegetal, vela, ven, vender, vez, vino
j - jabón, jamon, jardín, jarra, jaula, jinete, jirafa, joyas, juega, junto
g - gemelos, gente, gigante, gira, girasol, gis
z - Zacate, Zanahoris, Zapato, zoológico, zorro, zumo
s - sacar, saco, sal, saltar, sapo, sartén
c - cepillo, cerrillo, cero, cinco, círculo, ciudad
k - kaki, kermesse, klate, kinder, kiosco
c - conejo, con, compar, contar, contento, corazón, correr
qu - que, quedan, quedar, queria, quien, quiere, queso

Notes: This activity can be extended by focusing on the final phoneme or a vowel.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Modified from activities submitted by Stella G. Mata and Isabel Reyes


Displaying 16 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Magazine searchCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Magazines and newspapers are good sources of words, phrases, and sentences with a particular feature (i.e., beginning sounds, initial consonants, blends, and endings). Provide students a collection of magazines and newspapers. Specify a word feature to be found, such as "words that start like BALL and BACK" or "words that end like WASHED or STARTED." Students cut and paste examples on posters or individual sheets. Students review words found and underline or circle the featured word part.

Notes: In this activity, the teacher should emphasize the consistency in the letter-sound relationships. When a collection of words that "start like BALL" is assembled, for example, the teacher should show the students that all of the words start with the letter "B" and that they also all begin with the sound /b/.

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Teaching Kids to Spell


Displaying 17 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Making WordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Provide each child a set of 26 letter cards (vowels in red, consonants in black). Announce and display the letters for the day: one or two vowels and three or more consonants. Have children pull the same letters from their own set of cards. Call out words for the children to construct with their cards. Begin with simple two-letter words and progress to words with more letters. In this way, children practice spelling and reading words. One at a time, display the correctly spelled word, taking care to point out letter-sound correspondence and spelling patterns.

Notes: This activity can be used with young children with simple two- or three-letter words. For older children, longer words can be used.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 18 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Making WordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: In a pocket chart, assemble letters to make a simple word (e.g. FAN). Have students read the word with you. Model changing one letter of the word to make a new word (e.g. FAT). Direct students to build the new word, one letter at a time. Tell students to say the word out loud. Ask students to change one or two letters at a time and read the new word. For example: FAT can become FAST by adding an S. FAST can become FASTER by adding ER.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Intervention Activities Guide


Displaying 19 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Making WordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: This activity can be done after you read a story and you want the students to connect the visual images of the story to the text. After reading the book, select the longest word in the story and make the word with magnetic letters on the magnetic/dry board. Read the word to the students while you point to it. Tell the students that this word (e.g. encontre) is a big word. Count the letters. Then tell them that they are going to help you make little words using the same letters in that word. For example, In El bolsillo de Corduroy the word encontre is repeated several times. Model for the students that the word tren can be made out of the word encontre = tren. Aqui esta la palabra encontre. Vean como puedo usar las letras t, r, e, y n para formar la palabra tren. Show the students how they can move the letters around to make the words. Then ask them to "make" a word for you. ¿Quién me puede hacer la palabra con? Make the word encontre again and let the students move the letters again to form another word.

Example: encontre = con, en, cene, no, noté.

Notes:

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Isabel Reyes adapted from Making Words (grades 3 - 6 ) By Patricia M. Cunninghm & Dorothy P. Hall


Displaying 20 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Nuestro dia en el circoCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Give each child a story written on a chart with certain letters missing (e.g. s, c, qu, k, y, ll, j, b, and v). Let children know which letters have been omitted (so they are less likely to fill in inappropriate letters). Have the children race to see who can fill in all of the missing letters first.

Nue_tro día en el _irco

Un día fuimos al _irco __u _ino a nue_stra _iudad. El pa_aso esta_a __orando por__e no podia en_ontrar _u amiga la _irafa. De_idim os a a_udar el pa_aso en_ontrar la _irafa. _uscamos por todas las _aulas. No esta_a con los monos chisto_os __e esta_an _omiendo plátanos. No esta_a _on los o_os negros __e esta_an durmiendo. No esta_a _on las fo_as _entadas en las si__as _ugando _on la pelota. No esta_a _on los elefantes __e esta_an a_udando los hom_res _on la _arpa. ¡Nadien sa_ia donde esta_ba la _irafa! El pa_aso esta_a preo_upado. Finalmente, en_ontramos un raton_ito _afé __u esta_a _entado a un lado del _iosco. El raton_ito di_o —-_o sé donde e_tá la _irafa. La _irafa está _omiendo las hojas de los árboles __ue están un lado del par__e. —- _uando __egamos a los árboles en_ontramos la _irafa. El pa_aso esta_a muy feli_. ¡La _irafa esta_a muy __ena! El pa_aso nos dio unos _oletos gratis para entrar al _irco. Á¡Nos divertimos mucho y todos nos __edamos muy feliz!

Notes: This activity can be made more or less difficult, depending on how many letters are removed. If only the letters a, m, and g are removed, the task becomes much easier.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Gloria Sanchez


Displaying 21 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Onset and Rime SubstitutionCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Dictate pairs of words for the students to write. Have students write one word in red ink and the other word in blue ink. Have them combine the onset of one word (any consonant sounds that precede the vowel) with the rime of the other word (the vowel and any consonant sounds that come after it) to make a new word. Tell them to not change the colors of the letters when they write the new word. For example: Combine the onset of BALL (in red) with the rime of SACK (in blue) to make the word BACK (the letter B would be written in red, the rime ACK would be written in blue).

Other examples include
combine BRAIN with HIDE to make BRIDE
combine FACE with DOG to make FOG
combine CAR with MAT to make CAT

Notes: For older children, you can use non-sense words (combine HAIR with TAR to make HAR or TAIR). Also, you can have students try to come up with words that work in both directions (BALL can be combined with FAT to make both BAT and FALL).

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Fredericksburg Elementary, Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 22 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Phonics with Dr. SeussCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: You will need a copy of Dr. Seuss' One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Prepare a sheet of large chart paper with the following phonograms written on top: -ad,-op,-ish,-ink,-ump.

Introduce the book by telling students they will hear lots of words that rhyme as you read. Tell students to listen for words that end in (point and say each phonogram on chart). After reading, ask students to name words having the same endings as the 5 phonograms. Give some words as examples. When students name a word, ask them to find the word ending on the chart.

The teacher or student writes the identified word under the correct phonogram on the chart paper. As the list grows, students read the words that are already written on the chart paper.

Notes: It is important to remember that the emphasis of this activity should be placed on teaching children word families, not rhyme, per se. Children should be encouraged to think about how the words are spelled and how the words sound.

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: AskERIC Lesson Plan #AELP-RDG0027


Displaying 23 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Regular Word BingoCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Create 2-4 bingo cards (8 1/2 x 11), each containing 20 squares, and a deck of cards containing 32 pattern words and 6 "wild cards." Wild cards can have any symbol on them (e.g., happy face). At the top of each card place headers with the vowel sounds the class is studying (e.g. BAT, MAKE, CAR, FOOD, etc.).

To begin the game, a player draws a word from the deck. If the player can place the word in the appropriate column (e.g., /man/ under /bat/, /hard/ under /car/), and then read each word in that column, the word is left on the board. If the player misreads the word or places it in an incorrect column, the word is removed from the board. If a player draws a wild card from the deck, the card can be placed anywhere on the board. Then the player takes another turn. The game is over when one of the players fills all the squares on the bingo card.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 24 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Swap a LetterCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Write a word on the board. Have the students sound, blend, and identify. Replace one letter of the spelled word. Ask students to read the new word. Reinforce their responses by distinctly sounding and blending its letters.

Increase the difficulty of the task by using nonsense words (e.g. change STEP, a real word, into STIP or STEB). Children should see that even when the word does not make sense, the rules of pronunciation still apply.

Notes: In this activity you may find that it is better to keep the old word on the board and write the new word below it so the students are reminded to think of the previous word, how it was pronounced, and to think about how this new word is pronounced similarly. (e.g. if you changed STEP into STOP, children should see that only the vowel sound in the middle changed — the rest of the word is the same).

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Roosevelt Elementary—Bernalillo, NM


Displaying 25 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Word SortCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Cipher Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Give students a stack of cards with words written on them. The words on the cards should belong to a variety of categories (see below), and should be words the children are familiar with. The students should figure out what the categories are and sort the cards into appropriate piles.

Examples of categories include:
Words that rhyme
Words with the same initial or final letter
Words with initial or final letter clusters
Words with the same number of syllables
Words with the same vowel sound

Notes: Note, sometimes children come up with categories that the teacher did not intend — children should be asked to explain how the cards represent the categories that they defined.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Guided Reading


Concepts About Print

What is Concepts About Print?
Understanding print involves recognizing and understanding the mechanics of text. A reader must understand that text contains a message; that it flows from left to right and from top to bottom; that individual words on the page correspond to individual spoken words, and so on. Written English has a structure, and understanding that structure is prerequisite to good decoding skills.

What does teaching Concepts About Print look like?
Concepts about print activities should help children to understand the mechanics and purpose of text, and may also emphasize characteristics of text (such as capital letters and punctuation). For young children, the emphasis may be placed on finding text in books or in the environment and developing awareness of the fact that written words represent spoken words. For older children, the emphasis may be placed on the subtleties of text mechanics or on the different types of text (lists, stories, signs, etc.).



Displaying 26 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Daily NewsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Concepts About Print

ACTIVITY: On a chart tablet, write one sentence that the student dictated as daily news. Write and speak the words of the sentence simultaneously so the child can learn one-to-one correspondence (between spoken words and written words). Children also can be shown the function of capitalization and punctuation as the need arises.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Zavala Elementary—Grand Prairie, TX


Displaying 27 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: DictationCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Concepts About Print

ACTIVITY: Collect stories children have dictated, illustrated, and shared. Help children notice various aspects of how print works (e.g., text is read from left to right and top to bottom). Show students that each word they say is encoded as a written word with a space on each side. Show them that punctuation reflects their reading pauses.

Notes: It is especially powerful for young children to see that the words they speak can be written down.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 28 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Leyendo juntosCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Concepts About Print

ACTIVITY: On an easel, have a big book as the tool for instruction. Introduce the basic parts of the book, and then proceed on to the first page. Using a pointer, read the text (it is best to have one sentence on a page) orally while pointing to each word stressing the directionality of left to right. Reread the first page and then have children place a colored dot under each word. This process allows the children to "see" the words and how they are used to construct a sentence. Continue with the process also using highlighting tape or different types of pointers.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Guided Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell ISBN 0-435-08863-7


Displaying 29 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Luz verde, luz roja.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Concepts About Print

ACTIVITY: The teacher needs to begin by discussing the purpose and meaning of green and red lights in a traffic signal. The teacher places a green color coding label under the first word in a sentence, and a red color coding label under the punctuation mark. This activity works best with an emergent Big Book, which has only one line of text per page, or with sentences written on sentence strips and placed in a pocket chart. The teacher then models for the students where to start reading (green label), and where to stop reading (red label).

Notes: This activity can also be used to help children to see how we read individual words from left to right. Young children have a tendency to look for distinguishing features of words (like the "m" in the middle of the word "camel"), and this activity can help them to understand that words are "sounded out" from left to right.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 30 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Morning MessageCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Concepts About Print

ACTIVITY: Students dictate to the teacher predictions of activities which will transpire throughout the day. The message is written on the board by the teacher. (in many cases the message is in English and Spanish.) The teacher emphasizes the aspects of the written message she wants the children to understand. One day, the teacher may emphasize word boundaries; the next, she may emphasize punctuation. Every day, she shows that she is writing, word for word, what the children are telling her to write.

Notes: If this activity was modified, it could be used to teach the alphabetic principle — in that case, the teacher would need to emphasize the fact that she is writing down the sounds the children are making (not just the words). To emphasize the alphabetic principle, she will need to ask students to carefully enunciate each word so she can write down each sound they make.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Placitas Elementary—Placitas, NM


Decoding

What is Decoding?
Good readers are able to correctly pronounce familiar words (at the reader's level) whether they be regular or irregular words, and are able to pronounce unfamiliar words in a way consistent with the conventions of written English. For skilled readers, decoding is so automatic that it requires virtually no conscious effort, so the reader can devote full attention to the task of comprehending the text.

What does teaching Decoding look like?
Decoding activities focus on helping the child to develop fluent word recognition skills. Lessons aimed at developing decoding skills assume that the child has adequate cipher knowledge and lexical knowledge (the child can sound-out regular words and can recognize familiar irregular words). Decoding lessons focus on helping children to fluently and automatically recognize ALL words, both regular and irregular. If a child is having trouble with a decoding activity, it is probably because the child has not yet adequately developed and integrated cipher knowledge and lexical knowledge.

Decoding activities focus on fluid and rapid word recognition skills. This can be done in the context of authentic, connected text, or decoding lessons may involve word games.



Displaying 31 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: BaseballCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: One child sits (the "hitter") and one stands (the "catcher") behind at the "plate." The "pitcher" (can be the teacher) stands in front of the other two with a stack of plainly printed word cards. Each word card has a "value" (single, double, triple, home-run) depending on how difficult the word is —simple, regular words are not worth as much as rare, irregular words. If the catcher names the word first, the hitter is out. If the hitter names the word first, he or she takes however many bases the word was worth.

With each new hitter from one team, the other team provides a new catcher (make sure the same children are not always competing against each other). After three outs, the teams switch. Keep score to motivate students.

Notes: This activity, and other activities that require a fast response, help the reader to develop fluency in decoding.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 32 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Big word of the dayCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: All day each day, students hunt for a "big word" they think is the best big word. Each student may find one best big word each day. Students write their name and nomination for "big word of the day" on a piece of paper and put the nomination in the ballot box.

At the end of the day, the teacher reads big word nominations to the class. Students who nominated the words talk to the class about why they think their big word is interesting or special . The class votes on the best big word. Each day's big word is added to a word-wall or bulletin board so students can see and practice saying the big words every day.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Phonics They Use


Displaying 33 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Echo ReadingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Echo Reading may be used enhance oral reading fluency. Read aloud one or two sentences of a text at the child's instructional level. Have the child attempt to "echo" your reading. Make sure to use appropriate phrasing and intonation, running your finger under the lines of print as you read. Have the child go back to the beginning of the sentence and read. Tell students to make their reading sound like yours.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Placitas Elementary—Placitas, NM


Displaying 34 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Making big wordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Provide each child a piece of paper with a collection of letters written at the top, and enough space on the page to write 20 to 30 words. The letters should be a mixture of vowels and consonants, with some of the common letters repeated, such as E, E, O, O, L, L, N, S, T, W, Y. Ask students to generate as many words as they can using the letters which are provided (for younger children, you may wish to give them manipulable letter tiles, so they can move the letters around). Tell students letters may not be used twice in a word unless the letter has been given twice. Some sample words that can be generated from the letters above include ON, LOW, SNOW, SLOWLY, SWEET, and YELLOWSTONE.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Phonics They Use


Displaying 35 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Making Words — Regular and IrregularCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Assemble letters in a pocket chart to make a simple regular word (e.g. MINT). Have students read the word with you. Show them how you can change one letter of the word to make another regular word (e.g. LINT). When students start to see the regular pattern, show them that the same pattern is not always pronounced the same (e.g. PINT). Emphasize the fact that most words follow the pattern, but some words do not. (e.g. HOME, DOME, ROME, SOME, COME or ROOT, HOOT, BOOT, SHOOT, FOOT).

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 36 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Rhyming and spellingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Write word families on a chart (e.g. work with children with common words that have the same rime but different onsets, such as RUG, BUG, HUG, etc.). Encourage students to read the words aloud. Illustrate that words that are spelled similarly (after the onset) usually rhyme (e.g. RAY, PLAY, HAY, BAY, DAY, PAY, MAY, etc). Show students that sometimes words rhyme even though they are spelled differently than the rhyming pattern (HEY, SLEIGH, WEIGH, etc). Ask students to practice saying the rhyming words and matching them to the written forms.

Notes: It is important that children first learn the typical letter-sound patterns, and that they then learn that some words rhyme even though they are not in the same "word-family."

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 37 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Vowel SoundsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need a pocket chart with the vowels arranged at the top of the chart, and you will need a stack of cards with vocabulary words (with the vowels missing) on them. Provide students with a small stack of word cards — remember, vowels are missing from each word (e.g., CH_KE, T_GHT, P_NT. Students decide what the word is, and place it under the appropriate vowel on the pocket chart. Students should then use each word to construct a sentence. As a challenge, irregular words can be mixed into the word set (e.g. CHO_R, MIN_TE, ISL_ND).

Notes: As a modification, divide the class into two teams. Teams score a point for each correct word. Throughout the activity, remind students that some words can be placed under more than one vowel on the pocket chart (e.g. P_NT could be placed under A, I, or U). Discuss word meanings to stimulate vocabulary development.

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Cochiti Elementary-Cochiti, NM


Displaying 38 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Word LaddersCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Write a word on the board that the students know how to spell and read. Tell students to come to the board and write a new word which is identical to the old word except for one letter (added, removed or changed). For example, if you start with the word IN, the first student could add a P to make PIN; the next student could change the I to an E to make PEN. Then it could become OPEN, and then OPENS, then OVENS, etc. Tell students not to go back to words that have already been used.

Notes: Variation: Tell students the first and last word in a ladder. Ask them to construct the words in the middle. Example: Provide the words, GO and KNOW; students would construct a pathway, such as GO, GOT, NOT, KNOT, KNOW.

This could also be turned into a game, like baseball. Each team takes a swing at adding a word, and when one team can not add any more words, they are "out."

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Guided Reading


Displaying 39 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Word searchCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Decoding

ACTIVITY: Place word cards around the classroom in prominent locations easy for students to see and reach. Gather students in the middle of the room. Say a word, and tell students to look for that word on a word card in the classroom. When they see it, raise their hand. The first to raise a hand is called on to get the word card. The child with the most word cards at the end wins.

Notes: As a variation, give each child a stack of cards with names of objects that can be found in the room, and have the children move around the room putting their cards with the appropriate objects.

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

What is Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle?
Spoken words are made up of phonemes, and written words are made up of letters. However, knowledge of those two facts is not sufficient for developing good decoding skills. Knowledge of the alphabetic principle refers to an understanding that the letters in written words represent the phonemes in spoken words.

What does teaching Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle look like?
Alphabetic principle activities help the child to understand when you write, you use letters to represent speech sounds (phonemes). The emphasis should be placed on helping children understand that written words are made up of letters, that spoken words are made up of phonemes (phoneme awareness), and that the letters in the written words represent the phonemes in the spoken words. Activities should help children to understand that written words are "sounded out," not memorized.



Displaying 40 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Entrevista con un marcianoCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

ACTIVITY:

For this activity, the teacher will need a puppet of a Martian or space alien. The teacher tells the students they will interview the Martian. The teacher models for the students the types of questions that are asked in an interview. The teacher writes the students' questions on chart paper, and provides the answers with "Martian talk."

Example:

Q: "¿Como te llamas?"
A: "Li."

Q: "¿De donde vienes?"
A: "Mafe."

Q: "¿Cuantos años tienes?"
A: "Sipo."

Q: "¿Qué te gusta comer?"
A: "Golupos."

The teacher should write out the answers to the questions that the puppet gives. When doing this the teacher should call attention to the number of letters in each word and how the words can be sounded out as they are spelled. Alternatively the teacher could have the children try to write out the answers that the puppet gives especially if the answers are nonsense words that the children do not know.

Additionally the teacher could have the children compare the answers that the puppet gives with answers that the children can give to the same questions. Compare the words on their length and number of letters.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 41 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: La carreraCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

ACTIVITY: This activity requires a small model car. The teacher writes several short words (three to four letters long) on the board. The teacher then models fluency and segmentation for the students by placing the car at the beginning of the word, and moving the car under each letter that is read. The car can either be moved fluently to blend the phonemes together to form the word or disjointedly to segment the word into its individual phonemes. In this case the teacher would stop the car under each letter while pronouncing each individual phoneme in isolation.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 42 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Role ReversalCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

ACTIVITY: Students make up nonsense words for you to write down. Write the word exactly as they sound. Ask students to clearly enunciate each sound. Emphasize that you are writing a letter or two for each sound.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 43 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Sort Words According to LengthCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

ACTIVITY:

Give each child a collection of words written on cards (one word per card). Make sure each child has words ranging from 1 to 11 letters in length. Write the numbers 1 through 11 at even intervals across the board. Have students count the letters in their words and bring to the board any words that only contain one letter. Place those cards under the number 1 on the board. Then ask students to bring up words with two letters. Place those cards under the 2. Continue until you have used all the cards, or until you have reached 11 letters.

Select a card from the 4 letter pile and a card from the 11 letter pile. Point out to the students that you have a 4 letter word and an 11 letter word. Read one of the words aloud to the students — ask them to guess if it is a 4 letter word or an 11 letter word. Draw students' attention to the fact that words with more letters have more sounds and syllables and take longer to say out loud.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Phonics They Use


Displaying 44 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Who is biggest?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Knowledge of the Alphabetic Principle

ACTIVITY: Write each child's name on a card. Ask students to keep cards face down on their desk. Ask the class whose name is biggest (note, children at this age may confuse a person's name with the person, so they may say the tallest child in the class has the biggest name). Talk about how long it takes to say different names, emphasizing number of syllables and number of sounds in the person's name (e.g. Ted, Samantha). Teachers can also talk about shortened names (e.g. Mike versus Michael). After everybody understands that some names take longer to pronounce than others, ask the children to turn over the cards and compare written size Ð Emphasize the fact that children whose names are short and easy to say also have very few letters in them. Repeat the process, using children's full names or nicknames. Display the cards on the wall sorted from shortest name to longest name.

Notes: Using children's names helps children to think about names and words as being separate from the objects they represent. It is easy to contrast the characteristics of the child with the characteristics of the child's name (e.g. a small child may have a very large name).

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


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 45 of 126
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 46 of 126
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 47 of 126
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 48 of 126
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 49 of 126
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 50 of 126
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 51 of 126
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 52 of 126
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 53 of 126
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 54 of 126
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 55 of 126
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 56 of 126
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 57 of 126
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 58 of 126
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 59 of 126
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 60 of 126
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 61 of 126
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


Letter Knowledge

What is Letter Knowledge?
The letter is the basic unit of reading and writing in English, and familiarity with the letters of the alphabet has consistently been shown to be a strong predictor of future reading success. While not sufficient in itself for reading success, familiarity with the letters of the alphabet is important for developing decoding skills.

What does teaching Letter Knowledge look like?
Letter knowledge activities help children to recognize and discriminate all of the letters of the alphabet. Activities may emphasize the letter names, or sounds that the letter usually "makes." The primary emphasis, however, should be placed on helping children to appreciate what makes each letter distinct and different from other letters.



Displaying 62 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ¿Cuál es?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: The teacher takes a shoe box and tapes down the lid. The teacher then cuts an opening at each end of the shoebox large enough for a student to insert his or her hands. The teacher places five plastic letters with distinct characteristics (for example b, j, m, o, and z) into the shoebox. The student inserts his or her hands into the box, picks up a letter, and tries to guess which one it is simply by how it feels. After the child makes a guess, he or she pulls out the letter to see if the guess was correct. The student continues in this manner until all the letters have been pulled out of the shoebox. As the student becomes more proficient at identifying the letters by feel, the teacher may make the activity more challenging by adding more letters, and by combining both lower case and upper case letters in the shoebox.

Notes: It is important to use letters with distinct characteristics because otherwise letters would be confused (p for q, b for d, etc.).

It is also important that the children not know in advance which letters are in the box, because otherwise the last letter could be guessed (rather than identified).

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Activity submitted by Carmen Rodríguez and Gloria Sanchez


Displaying 63 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Alphabet CookiesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: This activity involves baking cookies cut out with letter-shaped cookie cutters. Place appropriate letter-shaped dough on the cookie sheet to spell out the children's names. Bake the cookies, then give students the letter shaped cookies that make up their names. Students then arrange the cookies to spell their name. As they eat the cookies, have them give the name and / or the sound that each letter makes.

Notes: This activity is somewhat unpopular among children with short names, although children with names like Sebastian always look forward to this activity.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Algodones Elementary—Algodones, NM


Displaying 64 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Béisbol de letrasCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: For this task, you will need to prepare five playing cards labeled "primera base" (first base), "doble," (double), "triple" (triple), and "jonrón" (home run). Divide students into two teams. The first player from one team will come to the plate, stand in the pitcher's position and flash an alphabet card. If the player correctly names the letter, have him reach into a container without looking, remove a playing card, and take the number of bases indicated. If the player gets the letter wrong (or does not answer fast enough), then he or she is "afuera" (out). The first team continues playing until three outs are accumulated. Then the other team comes to bat.

Notes: You may want to use a timer to encourage students to respond within a certain amount of time — if children cannot name the letters of the alphabet right away without thought, then they need more practice.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Teacher.net (http://www.teachers.net/lessons)


Displaying 65 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Bilingual BooksCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: It's important for English language learners to see and hear their language. Use books like Gathering the Sun by Flor Ada. This alphabet book in Spanish and English provides 28 poems that relate to specific letters of the alphabet. Choose poems that your students can relate to so that they can learn about themselves and the letter-sound relationships. Children love reading and sharing poems with their family.

Notes: If this activity was used to enhance a child's letter knowledge, the child's attention would need to be drawn to each of the 28 letters explicitly. The book should be used to help children to identify and distinguish each of the letters in the alphabet.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Roosevelt Elementary—Bernalillo, NM


Displaying 66 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ConcentrationCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

Begin with eight letter cards (four uppercase, four matching lowercase). Use as many letters from the child's name as possible. Once the child has learned to name and write the first set of letters, he can begin to work on mastering new letters.

Mix and place the eight letter cards face down in a 3 x 4 array.

Rules of the game:

1.Turn over a card and name the letter. Then turn over a second card and see whether you have a match (t, T).

2. If you do have a match, turn the cards back over and let the other player have a turn.

3. The game is over when all the cards have been picked up. The winner is the player who has made the most matches.

The player must name the letter correctly while turning over the card; otherwise, he/she loses a turn.

Notes: This activity is especially powerful if the letters used within each set are easily confused (e.g. one set could contain the p, q, d, and b and the m, n, w, and v). This allows children to learn the distinguishing features of each letter more easily.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 67 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Las escondidasCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need letter cards or letter tiles of the Spanish alphabet. Begin by hiding the tiles around the room. Have the students search for the tiles (like an Easter egg hunt), and as they find the letter tiles, they write the letter on the board and identify the name of the letter. Continue until all the letters have been found.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Adapted from Phonics from A to Z : A Practical Guide by Wiley Blevins


Displaying 68 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Letter cutoutsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

Use letter cards or letter tiles to spell out each child's name. Show the children that the same letters used in their name are used in other students' names and in other words. Talk about the letter names.

Write each child's name on a card and give the name card to its owner. Now using letter tiles or letter cards, spell out different words, and ask the children to find letters in the word you've spelled out that are also contained in their names. For example, if you spell out the word "JUMP" with the letter tiles, a child named Jennifer would indicate that the letter J is in both the word "JUMP" and in "JENNIFER." Encourage each child to identify the letters by name.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Fredericksburg Elementary, Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 69 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Letter DayCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Label the objects in your classroom with name cards that are big enough to see from across the room (BOOK, SHELF, FISH, GERBIL, etc.). Have children play a variation of the "I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE" game. In this game, they are looking for words that begin with a certain letter. It is important that children focus on the word cards (and not on the objects themselves). The purpose of this activity is to teach children the names of letters.

Notes: As a variation, you can have children look for words that end in a certain letter or words that contain a certain vowel.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 70 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Letter SortCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY: People learn new things by elaborating on what they already know. When children are learning the letters of the alphabet, it is usually easier for them to begin with what they already know about the letters. Give the children letter tiles or plastic letters of either upper-case letters or lower-case letters (do not mix them up at this point). Ask the children to sort the letters into piles — letters that are made up of straight lines in one pile, those that are made up of curved lines in another, and those that are mixed in another. Start sorting those by features — diagnal lines versus vertical / horizontal lines, etc... Then start comparing letters, looking for similarities, and differences (the b and d are similar, but still different, as are the p and q, z and s, m and n, etc...). When children are familiar with the features of the letters, change their focus onto either the letter names, or the letter sounds (some research suggests that teaching the letter sounds instead of the letter names is less confusing to children).

Notes: This activity helps children to make direct comparisons between similar letters and learn what features make each letter distinct.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 71 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Our Alphabet BookCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Letter Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

Have children make up their own alphabet book — have them (orally) make up text to accompany each letter (A is for apricot, B is for bunny, etc.). The teacher writes the text for each page and students illustrate the pages. The whole class may work on a big book in which all the children illustrate pages or help cut out pictures from magazines to paste on the letter pages. Alphabet books can reflect a theme or select letters, such as those that begin children's names.

When children have finished, laminate and bind the pages and place the book in your classroom library. Children will enjoy looking at the pages and repeating the names of the pictures.

Notes: If children cut out pictures to paste on the letter pages, have them cut out several examples for each letter and make a collage (on the A page, there could be pictures of an airplane, an apple, an apron, etc.).

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Lexical Knowledge

What is Lexical Knowledge?
Some words cannot be easily sounded out because they do not follow the conventional letter-phoneme relationshipsÐa child who attempts to sound out words like one and two will not arrive at the correct pronunciation. For these "exception" words, the child will need additional information about correct pronunciation.

What does teaching Lexical Knowledge look like?
Activities that focus on lexical knowledge help children to understand that some words can not be sounded-out. These activities help children to learn which words are not pronounced the way they are spelled. For these activities, teachers may emphasize the "black sheep" of a word family, or may help children to learn the correct spelling for irregular words.



Displaying 72 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Go fishCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Lexical Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

Prepare and assemble 10 to 15 word cards with different irregular sight words like SAID, ARE, ONE, LOVE, THE, etc. Duplicate a second set of cards so you have matching pairs of each irregular word. Mix all of the cards together. Give students five cards; give yourself five. Put the rest of the cards in a pile, face down on the table.

Both of you pick up your cards to see if you have two words that match. If you have a pair, say the word and put the word match down as a pair. Then pick two more cards from the pile. If neither of you has a pair, draw a card from the pile.

Take turns until all the cards have been drawn or one player has matched all his cards. The player with the most matching pairs is the winner.

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 73 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Irregular WordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Lexical Knowledge

ACTIVITY:

Irregular words are difficult for students to decode because these words do not have regular letter-sound correspondences.

Teachers can select irregular words for study from thematic units or the literature they are using. Children can learn to spell these words through various activities such as dictation tasks; chanting, clapping, or snapping fingers as the words are spelled out; cloze activities, and word bingo, word memory, and other games.

Be sure that words used in irregular word activities are within the child's vocabulary.

Notes: It is important to follow through with this task and make sure that children easily recognize irregular words when they appear in context.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from The Reading Teacher, V 52 No 3 November, 1998


Displaying 74 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: King of the mountainCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Lexical Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Make up a collection of flash cards of irregular words that are within the speaking vocabulary of the students. One child sits in a chair, and one child stands behind the chair. Stand in front of the chair and flip over a flash card with an irregular word on it. If the child in the chair identifies it first, he or she gets to stay in the chair and a new challenger from the group stands behind the chair. If the child behind the chair names it first, he or she becomes the new king of the mountain and gets to sit in the chair while other "challengers" come up.

This activity works best with 5 to 6 students, and the teacher should keep the pace lively so students are not sitting idle.

Notes: This activity not only enhances children's lexical knowledge, it really enhances fluency and automaticity. If one student is "king" for too long, that person could graduate to the facilitator role, flipping the cards for other students.

Reader Type: emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Linguistic Knowledge

What is Linguistic Knowledge?
Most of the problem of understanding language hinges on the knowledge of the mechanics of that language. All languages have structure, and an implicit knowledge of that structure is essential to comprehension.

What does teaching Linguistic Knowledge look like?
Linguistic knowledge activities focus on helping a child to fluently integrate and critically examine the mechanics of language. Linguistic knowledge activities help children to see how phonology, syntax and semantics are all related.



Displaying 75 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Linguistic KnowledgeCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Linguistic Knowledge

ACTIVITY: Linguistic knowledge is the synthesis of three other cognitive elements (phonology, syntax and semantics). Linguistic knowledge is more than the sum of it's parts, but it is not an isolated element that can be explicitly taught and reinforced. For children who seem to have a grasp on phonology, syntax, and semantics, but who have not yet learned to blend these elements together into a stable linguistic structure, the best instruction is to be sure the child is immersed in oral language. Everybody that child comes into contact with — other teachers, other school staff, the other students — should understand that they need to communicate with that child as much as possible. Every opportunity that the child has to speak and communicate with others should be exploited.

Notes:

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Phoneme Awareness

What is Phoneme Awareness?
One of the most basic building blocks of speech is the phoneme, and to gain knowledge of the alphabetic principle, a child must be consciously aware that spoken words are comprised of phonemes. Further, that child must be consciously aware of the fact that phonemes can be substituted and rearranged to create different words.

What does teaching Phoneme Awareness look like?
Phoneme awareness activities do not involve printed text or letter names. Instead, phoneme awareness activities help children to perceive individual phonemes. It is important that the child engage in activities that increase her awareness of all of the phonemes within spoken words, not just the first or last phoneme. Typical phoneme awareness activities involve word games that teach children to identify individual phonemes within words, segment words into phonemes, or to move phonemes around to make new words.



Displaying 76 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ¿Qué es mi sonido?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need a collection picture cards (small cards with pictures of easily identifiable objects on them). Be sure that there are an even number of objects whose names begin with the same phoneme (i.e. if one of the picture cards is of a perla, be sure that one of the other cards also begins with a /p/). Have the children play a variation on the game of concentration. Turn over all picture cards, and have children match pictures based on the initial phoneme (e.g. if the child picks up a picture of zebra, they have to find another picture whose name starts with /z/ or else they have to put the cards back).

Suggested picture words:

tambor, tortuga, tapete, talón, titere
zorro, zapato, zorillo, zanahoria
mapa, mariposa, máscara, melón
ábanico, árbol, avion, ala, abeja
casa, cadena, caja, campana, columpio
bandera, bolsa, bote, ballena, barco
sombrilla, sartén, sol, serrucho, silla
robot, rana, rata, regalo, ropa
plato, papalote, pato, pasta, perla
elote, elefante, escalera, empanada, escoba
jarra, jabón, jugo, joven, jardín
iglesia, imán, iglú, iguana, indio

Notes: Have students identify the last phoneme in words or have them identify what vowels different words have in common.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Adapted from Phoneme Awareness by Jo Fitzpatrick (ISBN 1-57471-231-4).


Displaying 77 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Elkonian phoneme countingCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

Tell children you are going to play a listening game with them. Give students three objects like beads that can be used for counting phonemes. Say a three-phoneme word such as "pot" and ask the children to repeat it. Then show the children how you can divide the word "pot" into three parts: /p/, /o/ and /t/. Tell them that that each bead can be used to "stand for" each part. Show them that you need all three beads to represent the word "pot".

Next explain that a new word can be made by taking away the last bead ( the /t/ part). Have everyone take away the last bead and ask what the remaining beads "say" (namely the word "paw" — it is spelled differently, but it is pronounced the same, and children at this age are likely unaware of the spelling of words). Then ask what would happen if the last bead was put back on (you would get the word "pot" again). Repeat this activity with a variety of three and four phoneme words removing the first (e.g. cat, pill, man) or last phoneme (e.g. ant, end, goat) as appropriate (e.g. cat, pill, man).

Notes:

These activities work better if the beads are different colors, and if the children actively move the phonemes around as they say each word.

As a variation, words can be said in reverse (rearrange the beads to turn "pot" into "top").

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 78 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Guess What?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Create a Guess What? Box by placing items in a box that all have names beginning with or ending with the same phoneme . Students reach into the box and try to figure out what the items are without looking — their only clue is what sound the item's name begins or ends with.

Example: Put in some plastic grapes, some gum, a toy gun, etc. and tell them the object begins with a /g/ sound. Put in a doll, a nail, a wheel, etc. and tell them that it ends with an /l/ sound.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Downs Elementary—San Benito, TX


Displaying 79 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: I SpyCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Have children look for objects in their classroom or the playground that begin with certain sounds. Have students say the phrase "I spy with my little eye something that begins with ____," where the blank is the first sound in the word (e.g.... something that begins with /s/.). Other students have to try to figure out what object the first student has in mind.

Notes: To make this activity more challenging, have students look for objects whose name ends with certain sounds (although be warned, students need to avoid plurals, or everything will end with /s/). Or have students look for objects that contain a certain vowel sound. You can also amend the rules to allow hints — children can give the first and last sound, or children can give the first two sounds.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 80 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Initial PhonemesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Gather a set of three or four pictures of objects whose names start with a particular phoneme (e.g. FOX, FOOT, FEATHER). Do this for several phonemes. Use only pictures that have single consonants at the beginning.

Have the children name each object depicted (to be sure the child's name for each picture starts with the phoneme /f/). After the names of all of the pcitures in a the set have been agreed upon, ask children to choose a picture from the set and name it. Then repeat the name, drawing out the initial consonat (e.g., f-f-f-f-ox).

Then, ask all of the children to repeat the name in the same way . Tell students to notice and describe what they are doing with their mouths as they make the /f-f-f/ sound (and make sure they notice it is the same sound at the beginning of different words). Continue this process with the other picture cards and make sure that the children understand that all of the picture names start with the same phoneme (/f/).

Notes: This activity can be extended by introducing onset consonant clusters (e.g. SNAIL, SCHOOL, STORE). Make sure that students can hear the /s/ sound separately from the consonant that follows it.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Fredericksburg Learning Center — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 81 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Jump to the soundsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

Children will need jump-ropes for this recess activity (this activity works just as well if two children swing the rope while a third jumps). Tell children to jump the rope in time with the words in a rhyme. Then tell them to jump the rope with each syllable. Then have student say a word slowly, jumping the rope once for each phoneme in the word.

Example: In the word "big," the child would jump and say, /b/, jump again and say, /i/, and a third time while saying, /g/.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Phonemic Awareness: Playing with sounds to strengthen beginning reading skills


Displaying 82 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Phoneme Awareness through SongCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Many songs allow students to practice phoneme manipulation or word segmentation. Examples include "Apples and Bananas," "Down by the Bay," and "The Name Game." In these songs (and others like them), students play with phonemes by substituting sounds to complete the lyrics as the class sings.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Algodones Elementary—Algodones, NM


Displaying 83 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Phoneme BallCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

You will need a bean bag or soft ball for this activity. Have your students gather in a circle. Pronounce a word phoneme -by -phoneme and have the child respond by putting the phonemes together.

Example: If the word is "kite," you would say out loud /k/ /i/ /t/ (be sure to pause between each phoneme). Throw a beanbag to a student. The student catches the bag and responds with "kite" while throwing the bag back to you. Use words that have easily pronounced phonemes (e.g. avoid phonemes like /g/ because they can not be pronounced without adding a vowel sound, as in /guh/).

Notes: You can make the activity more complicated by adding words with clusters (such as school, mask, stamp, etc). And you can reverse the process — you say the word as a whole, toss the beanbag to a student, and the student segments the word into its phonemes.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Algodones Elementary—Algodones, NM


Displaying 84 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Pinta, pinta, GregoritaCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

Read texts to your students that emphasize repetitive syllables in a natural way, for example, "Los Pollitos" (Fernandez, 1993) or predictable books with a pattern that also plays on sounds.

A favorite is "Pinta, Pinta, Gregorita" (Paint, Paint, Gregorita) (Kratky, 1990). The imaginative and colorfully illustrated story is especially delightful because its artwork captures the imagination. The repetitive patterns and the rhyme, along with the illustrations, help emergent readers make sense of the story.

Notes: Note, this is more of a phonological awareness task (emphasizing syllables). A true phoneme awareness activity would follow through and emphasize the individual phonemes.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Teaching Reading and Writing in Spanish Bilingual Classrooms


Displaying 85 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Rompecabezas de sonidosCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: The teacher cuts various die-cut shapes into parts to represent the number of phonemes in a word. For example, the shape of the sun would be cut into three parts to represent the three phonemes /s/ /o/ /l/. Other die-cuts that could be used are "oso," "ala," "pan," "ojo," "red," "uña," and "ola." (Each die-cut shape can be stored in its own resealable bag.) The teacher assembles one of the die-cut puzzles on the overhead projector. The teacher then slowly takes the puzzle apart, saying each phoneme in the word individually, and blending the sounds as the puzzle pieces are put back together. Once the students have mastered this technique, the die-cut puzzle pieces can become part of a literacy station or center.

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Phonics Learning Centers by, M. Allen. Creative Teaching Press. ISBN 1-57471-630-1


Displaying 86 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: SNAPCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Play the game "SNAP" using shared sounds. The teacher begins by saying two words aloud to the students. If the words share a sound, other players "snap" their fingers. If the two words don't share a sound, everyone is quiet. Begin with first sounds; proceed to middle and final sounds when the child can do the first sound well.

Notes: You can keep score by giving students points for being the first to snap, or you can make it a game of elimination.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 87 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Spider WebCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Gather students in a circle on the floor. Holding onto the end of a ball of yarn, say a short word and toss the ball to a student. Whoever catches the ball says the first phoneme in the word. That student holds on to the yarn and tosses the yarn ball to another student in the circle who names the second phoneme in the word. As students continue the activity, a yarn "spider web" is taking form.

Notes: As a variation, begin with a word (e.g. "cat") and toss the ball. The next student thinks of a word that starts with the same phoneme that the last word ended with (e.g. "tap") and tosses the ball to the next student who has to think of a new word that starts with the same phoneme that the last word ended with (e.g. "pill"), etc.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Modified from Roosevelt Elementary—Bernalillo, NM


Displaying 88 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Syllable / phoneme bounceCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

This game reinforces the syllable concept. Students bounce a ball for the number of syllables in a word. Blindfold a student and ask the student to draw a picture out of a container.

The student identifies the picture and bounces the ball the correct number of syllables. For instance, the child would bounce twice while saying slowly "pen-cil."

When children have mastered syllables, move to phonemes. Ask students to bounce the ball once for each phoneme in each word.

Notes: It is easier for children to grasp the concept of the syllable than the phoneme, which is why it is important to start with syllables, then move to phonemes. Being able to count syllables, however, will not help a child to read — it is important that children be moved to the more difficult phoneme activity (bouncing the ball three times for words like "bat" and "pill")

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Mading Elementary—Houston, TX


Displaying 89 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Syllables and phonemes in namesCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY:

Go around the class, saying children's names, clapping and pausing with the syllables. For example, say "Sophia." Then say it with pauses between the syllables, "So-phi-a," while clapping once for each syllable. Do it again and ask children to join you.

Go around the classroom, clapping out the syllables to various children's names. Count the number of claps. Point out that some names get just one clap, and other names have many.

Next, do the same activity with phonemes — clap once for each phoneme in each child's name.

Notes: It is important to follow this activity through to the phoneme level because phoneme awareness is ultimately what you are trying to develop. This activity may be difficult with long names.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

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


Displaying 90 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Thumbs UpCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phoneme Awareness

ACTIVITY: Give each child a smiley sticker to place on the end of their thumb. Tell them to stick their thumb up each time you say a word that begins with a certain phoneme. Say words out loud, one at a time, and monitor student's responses (children who do not understand the concept will be inclined to imitate other children).

Notes: For a variation, this activity can be used with middle sounds and final sounds, or you could ask students to give a thumbs up every time they hear a word with a certain number of phonemes (e.g. Give a thumbs up every time I say a word with 5 sounds in it, such as BLAST, SIMPLE, STUDY, etc..)

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Phonemic Awareness: Playing with sounds to strengthen beginning reading skills


Phonology

What is Phonology?
Speech is the most typical form of language, and in order to understand speech, a child must be able to clearly hear, distinguish, and categorize the phonemes within the speech. A child who is unable to distinguish between similar phonemes may develop difficulties with comprehension. A child who has difficulty with English phonology may not be able to hear the difference between words like thin and fin or here and hair, and those words may confuse the child when they come up in context.

What does teaching Phonology look like?
Phonology activities help children to clearly hear and distinguish similar speech sounds when they are embedded in the context of words and sentences. Phonology activities help children to pay attention to the subtle differences that exist between similar sounding words, and how to correctly identify and distinguish potentially ambiguous words.



Displaying 91 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: ¿Son gemelos?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phonology

ACTIVITY: For this activity, children are asked to determine if two words are identical (the same word repeated twice), or if they are similar but different. Children can give a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" for each pair of words, or two students can compete to see who gets the most right.

Suggested words:

carro-carro, corral-correr, talón-melón, mira-tira, maleta-chaqueta, ratito-ratito, malo-palo, fresco-fresno, barrer-barro, galleta-galleta, hilo-hilo, fama-llama, metro-letra, encima-encina, insensible-imposible, cobro-cabra, broche-brocha, general-general, garage-gargajo, cuadro-cuadro, mono-moño, breve-breve, milpa-muela, lima-clima, cuchillo-cuchillo, raspa-rasca, copa-corbata, explorar-explotar, broma-toma, hueso-hueso, helado-Helena, fresa-fresa, valor-tambor

Notes: Phonology activities such as this one could be used with children of any age.

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

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Gloria Sanchez


Displaying 92 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Carrera de acentos.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phonology

ACTIVITY: You will need to come up with ten sentences that contain a word that could be spelled with or without an accent (the sentence should only make sense with one of the words, though). For half of the sentences, read the sentence aloud with the ambiguous word pronounced incorrectly. For the other half read the sentence with the correct word in place. After each sentence, ask students if the sentence makes sense the way you have read it.

Example sentences:

El es tan fuerte _________ un león. (como)
El _______ enfermo. (está)
Necesito una ______ para el caldo. (papa)
¿Dónde _______ por mi zapatos. (pago)
Mi _______ se llama Roberto. (papá)
¿_______ llego al parque. (Cómo)
El gatito _______ leche. (mama)
________ casa es de mi abuelita. (Esta)
Mi _______ es muy bonita. (mamá)
Ya ________ la entrada al cine. (pagó)

Notes:

Reader Type: Pre-readers and emergent readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Carmen Rodríguez and Stella G. Mata


Displaying 93 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Parrot talkCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phonology

ACTIVITY:

Sometimes children's productive phonology lags behind their receptive phonology (children may be able to hear subtle differences in speech, but may not be able to produce those differences when they speak). Teach children to focus on the subtle phonological differences by parroting what they say when they speak incorrectly.

Example: if the child says, "I want to go pray outside," repeat it back as a question — "you want to go pray outside? Do you want to pray? Or do you want to play?"

Notes: In this activity, if the child doesn't hear the difference when YOU say the two words there is cause for concern.

Reader Type: Pre-readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 94 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Same or different?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Phonology

ACTIVITY: For this activity you will need a collection of word pairs that sound very similar to each other (e.g. hair - here, mail - nail, ache - ate, etc.). Working one-on-one, say each word pair to the child and ask the child if the words are different or if they are the same. Sometimes, to keep the child honest, you will have to repeat one word twice (so it really is the same). This activity can be done with real words or nonsense words (nonsense word lists are easier to generate).

Suggested word pairs:

hill-hail, when-hen, lame-lane, parrot-pellet, smack-snack, shell-fell, grain-drain, bill-pill, slab-slap, meal-kneel, tight-kite, guide-tied, flew-flow, owed-old, bit-pit, chin-gin, beat-beak, break-brick, free-three, mask-mast

Notes: For this activity, it is important that you not over innunciate the words. Say them as naturally as you would in real conversation. With the difference exaggerated, it is likely most children may hear the difference between mail and nail, but in natural conversation those two words may sound exactly identical to some children.

Reader Type: Pre-readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


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 95 of 126
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 96 of 126
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 97 of 126
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 98 of 126
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 99 of 126
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 100 of 126
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 101 of 126
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 102 of 126
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 103 of 126
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 104 of 126
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 105 of 126
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 106 of 126
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 107 of 126
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 108 of 126
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 109 of 126
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 110 of 126
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 111 of 126
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 112 of 126
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 113 of 126
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


Semantics - Morphology

What is Semantics - Morphology?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Morphology look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 114 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Concept Wheel / CircleCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Morphology

ACTIVITY: Display a large circle divided into 4 parts on the board or overhead . In one part of the circle, write the main word for the lesson. Write a root word in one quadrant of the circle, and have students brainstorm other words that contain that same root word to write in the other three quadrants. For example, The teacher could write the word "sign" in the first quadrant, and students could add "signature," "assign," and "design." Discuss with students how the different words have meanings that are all related to the root word.

Notes: The example used above would be appropriate for older children — For younger children, it would be more appropriate to use root words and affixes, such as "fold," "folding," "folded," and "unfold."

Reader Type: Emergent readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 115 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Morphological examinationCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Morphology

ACTIVITY: Show children that many words have common origins, and that the meaning of the word can often be determined by examining the parts of the word. Create a list of words for students, and ask students to think of similar words that have a similar meaning and which contain similar roots.

Example: The word DUO means two. Many words build on the word DUO to mean two of something (e.g. DOUBLE, DUEL, DUPLICATE).

PRIME - PRIMITIVE
SIGN - SIGNAL - SIGNATURE
SECOND - CONSECUTIVE
DISECT - INTERSECTION
ASPECT - SPECTATOR - SPECTACLES - INSPECT - SPECTACULAR

Notes:

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adopted from Teaching Kids to Spell


Semantics - Sentence/phrase

What is Semantics - Sentence/phrase?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Sentence/phrase look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 116 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: English expressionsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Sentence/phrase

ACTIVITY: There are many expressions in English that are not meant to be interpreted literally. Discuss these expressions with your students and encourage them to think both about what these expressions really mean, and about what they would mean if the words were interpreted literally.

Example expressions:

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
A stitch in time saves nine
A face that launched a thousand ships
People in glass houses should not throw stones
He's a chip off the old block
The apple does not fall far from the tree
We're all in the same boat
I'm up to my ears in work
She has him under her thumb
I'm in the palm of her hand
My neck is on the line
You hit the nail on the head
It's raining cats and dogs
It's a dog-eat-dog world

Notes: A similar activity could be used to emphasize semantics-vocabulary development — especially slang (somebody could be a "fox," and everything can be "peachy"). If the idioms depend on the non-literal interpretation of a single word, then the emphasis is placed on vocabulary development, but if the idiom depends on the interpretation of a whole phrase, then the emphasis is on semantics at the sentence/phrase level.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 117 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Modismos de moda.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Sentence/phrase

ACTIVITY: For this activity, you will need a list of Spanish Idioms. The students explain what idiom would mean if it were interpreted literally, and then they state what it really means when somebody says it. They can create illustrations for both interpretations as well.

Examples of Spanish idioms:

Al pie de la letra
Con las manos en la mesa
Costar un ojo de la cara
Dar en el clavo
Dar gato por liebre
Dar rabia
Estar en las nubes
Tener algo en la punta de la lengua
Perder la cabeza

Notes: Writing is not necessary for this activity. Each idiom could be introduced orally, and children can be encouraged to write about each in turn.

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

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Submitted by Carmen Rodríguez and Stella G. Mata


Semantics - Vocabulary

What is Semantics - Vocabulary?
To understand language, a child must understand the meaning of word parts (morphology) and individual words within the language (vocabulary), but more than that, a child must understand that words are arranged in phrases, sentences, and discourse in meaningful ways. The child must understand how to use language to communicate complete and meaningful ideas.

What does teaching Semantics - Vocabulary look like?
Semantics activities involve helping children to examine meaning at various different levels (word parts, whole words, and sentences / discourse). Activities involving word parts can focus on helping children to see that words with common roots have similar meanings or that affixes change the meanings of words. Activities involving whole words can help children to develop vocabulary, by, for example, focusing on how words are used in stories or by encouraging them to keep records of interesting and related words. Activities involving sentences and discourse help children to use context to determine word meaning and to understand idioms and allusions.



Displaying 118 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: It's New to MeCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Before shared reading, introduce new vocabulary so that it makes sense to the children when they encounter it in the text. After the activity, encourage children to create their own story using some of the new vocabulary.

Notes: When children are asked to create their own story in this task, the teacher should consider whether the child is able to write his or her own story independently, or if the child will need to simple dictate a story for the teacher to write down.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Algodones Elementary—Algodones, NM


Displaying 119 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Same rhyme, different wordsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Using a familiar nursery rhyme, ask students to replace words in the nursery rhyme with synonyms (the meaning of the nursery rhyme should not change with substitutions of words). For example, "Mary had a small sheep, whose hair was pale as ice..."

Notes: Antonyms can be used for a variation on this activity. For example, "Mary had a massive sheep, whose fleece was black as coal..."

Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, but this activity will be difficult for pre-literate children.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adapted from Fredericksburg Elementary — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 120 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Semantic Word MapCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Word maps help students make connections among several words that are connected in meaning. Concepts become clearer when words are grouped together by similar criteria such as ideas, events, characteristics, and examples. Word maps work best when the teacher allows students time to brainstorm, generate a list, and participate in whole-class or small group discussion. Once the list is generated, the teacher can allow small groups to work together to create a semantic word map.

Example: a group of students may brainstorm words related to flying. The word FLYING could be put in the middle of the board, and children could generate related words like WINGS, BIRD, AIRPLANE, JET, PILOT, RUNWAY, CLOUDS, etc. The words can be placed in varying distance from the central word depending on how close in meaning they are (BIRD and FLYING are very closely related, but CLOUD may be placed further away.).

Notes: Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, but this activity will be difficult for pre-literate children (because of the writing involved).

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Adapted from the Reading Teacher, V 52 No 3 November, 1998


Displaying 121 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Synonyms / AntonymsCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Semantics - Vocabulary

ACTIVITY: Look for new or unusual words in a story and discuss them together. Ask children to use the new words in sentences (orally, or if possible, in writing). Talk about what the words mean, and ask the children if they know any words that mean the same thing (synonyms) or mean the exact opposite (antonyms). For example, if the new vocabulary is "serpent" most children will learn that faster if they learn that "serpent" and "snake" mean the same thing. Add the new vocabulary words to the word wall or children's alphabet files along with the known synonyms / antonyms and periodically remind children of the relationship between these new words and the words the child already knows.

Notes: Vocabulary development is a life-long endeavor, so it is always appropriate to focus on teaching children new vocabulary through synonyms and antonyms.

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

Language: English

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


Syntax

What is Syntax?
Understanding isolated words is not adequate for the task of understanding language. All languages have rules regarding how words can be combined to form sentences, and an implicit understanding of the rules of sentence structure and phrasing is essential to comprehension.

What does teaching Syntax look like?
Syntax activities focus on helping children to understand and use correct sentence construction and grammar. Syntax activities focus on helping children learn to formulate and appreciate complete and complex sentences.



Displaying 122 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: El nuevo poema.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Syntax

ACTIVITY: The teacher teaches the children a short poem, such as:

Marranitos
Este marranito se fue a la plaza,
éste se quedó en la casa,
éste comió ensalada,
éste no comió nada
y éste lloró gui, gui, gui...
hasta que llegó su nana.

The teacher then writes the poem on chart paper, leaving blank spaces for the nouns and verbs. The children suggest different nouns and verbs that can be used to create a new poem that is syntactically accurate. The teacher should discuss with the children why some words they suggest are appropriate while other words are not. The teacher then fills in the blank spaces on the chart paper with the nouns and verbs provided by the children.

Notes: In this activity, some of the words that children suggest could be syntactically appropriate but semantically inappropriate — you should remember that the focus of this activity is syntax, and you could even encourage students to think of nouns and verbs that are silly or meaningless in the poem.

Reading skills are necessary for this task.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 123 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Morning ActivityCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Syntax

ACTIVITY: Before students arrive, write a short paragraph (or short sentences) on the board. Include several syntactical mistakes in the paragraph. Have students proofread the paragraph independently or with partners. When everyone has completed the exercise, have volunteers come up to the board and make corrections. As children make corrections, they should explain their rationale.

Notes: This activity is only appropriate for children who have developed some reading skills.

Reader Type: Developing readers

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory


Displaying 124 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Pares perfectos.COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Syntax

ACTIVITY: Write the following masculine and feminine articles on index cards: "el," "la," "los," "un," "unos," and "una." Make a second set of index cards with masculine / feminine and singular / plural nouns, such as: "niño," "niña," "perro," "gata," "mariposa," "caballo," "mesa," "lapiz," "agua," "dulces," "girafas," "padres," "chiles," "sapo," "gallo," "nubes," "piñata," "araña," etc. The student picks a card from the article pile, and a card from the noun pile, and reads both of them to the class. The class then discusses whether the article is correct for the noun. For example, if "el gata" or "la mariposa" are picked, the children decide whether the articles and nouns are correctly paired. The discussion should focus on why the pairs are correct or incorrect, and exceptions to the general rules (e.g., "la mano").

Notes: This activity is only appropriate for children who have developed some reading skills.

Reader Type: Emergent readers and developing readers

Language: Spanish

SOURCE: Carmen Rodríguez


Displaying 125 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: Thunbs Up Thumbs DownCOGNITIVE ELEMENT: Syntax

ACTIVITY: Talk to your students about sentence structure, and provide examples of complete and incomplete sentences. Paste a large picture on the board and have students describe in complete sentences what they see (e.g. There is a train. There is a bridge.). Next, have the students create more complex sentences (e.g. There is a train, and there is a bridge. Or, better still, There is a train crossing over a bridge.). Have the other students in the class indicate if their classmate used a complete sentence or not by using "thumbs up or down."

Notes: It is also important to talk to children about formal versus informal syntax. The way we speak to our friends is not the way we speak in class. Encourage them to compare and contrast the way they would describe the picture formally with how they would describe it informally.

Developing syntax knowledge can take a long time, so it is appropriate to do this sort of activity with children of all ages.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Fredericksburg Elementary — Fredericksburg, TX


Displaying 126 of 126
ACTIVITY TITLE: What Do You Hear?COGNITIVE ELEMENT: Syntax

ACTIVITY:

Invite the class to sit outside in a circle on the grass. Ask them to close their eyes and listen. Remain silent. After a few seconds, ask students what they heard. The activity may need to be repeated several times for children to become comfortable with the activity.

Initially, ask students to tell you what they heard in complete sentences.

Example: "I heard a bird." "I hear a dog barking."

Later, ask students to describe what they heard in more complex syntax ("First I heard a bird, then I heard a dog barking, and the whole time, I could hear the wind blowing.").

Notes: Developing syntax knowledge can take a long time, so it is appropriate to do this sort of activity with children of all ages.

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

Language: English

SOURCE: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

End of search results.
Displayed 126 instructional activities.

Copyright ©2017 SEDL
About SEDL | Contact SEDL | Terms of Use