Developing reading abilities in children and young adults involves students learning the various components of text. Educators can use a variety of methods to foster reading improvement in students. Activities that teach students predicting and skimming techniques are particularly useful for reading comprehension. Being able to order the events in a story and fill in missing information are also important in showing student understanding.
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Prediction activities can be used for guided reading, group reading and independent reading. They can involve a teacher choosing and reading a book to the class--often a book that offers a suspenseful ending. While the teacher is reading the book, she can pause to ask questions about what might happen next. Students guess the future events in the story, demonstrating their understanding of what they've heard.
With guided reading, students can take turns reading to each other in small groups. Before the new student reads, the group can predict plausible future events in the story. This prediction process can be repeated several times during a reading to enhance comprehension.
Skimming and scanning activities can develop skills that enhance phonological awareness. Students will begin to recognise letter blends and sounds more quickly, enhancing their language processing abilities.
Teachers should focus on using a variety of text types (narratives, information, recounts, etc.) and use coloured highlighters and pencils to showcase a particular aspect of the text, such as letter blends. Before having children skim the text, the teacher can read the text to the students to ensure that everyone understands the content so they can focus on skimming and scanning.
A cloze activity is the same as a fill in the blank, in which necessary information has been omitted from a text. Cloze activities test the reading comprehension abilities of students and demonstrate understanding of language and vocabulary.
Cloze activities can be used in a variety of ways: Single letters, letter combinations, vocabulary words or phrases can be omitted from the text to improve a specific field of reading. Depending on the reading level and language focus, teachers can adjust cloze activities to fit into most reading lessons.
Sequencing activities can be used to indicate the order of events in a story or writing text. These activities can have students match a beginning event in one list of choices with the end of that event in another list. Teachers can also cut up the events in a text that has been read previously, then have the students physically reorder the text in the correct sequence. This activity fosters reading comprehension by having students demonstrate their knowledge of the events in the text.
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