Activities That Level-Up the Reading Experience
There are a lot of activities that can be done before, during, and after a reading session to help kids process and understand the information that they just took in. Below are some suggestions with a few descriptions. Please note that some of these can be used at any point during the reading process.
· Monologue – students will take an excerpt from the book. They will create a monologue playing one of the characters. The teacher can help young students by providing a copy of the monologue and assigning characters to each student. Older students may have the freedom to choose their own character.
· The Round Table – act out a round table discussion of talk show hosts. Each student will play a talk show host, and they will talk about the book, the characters, or any part of the story.
· What if We Were Friends? – each student will choose a character from a story. They will act out a monologue in which they imagine themselves being friends with the character. What will we do on a playdate? What type of food should we eat together?
· The Therapist’s Chair – in this partner activity, one student will play the role of therapist, while the other will be a character from a story. They will write a short dialogue between the two and predict how a therapy session will go between the two. What are the concerns of the character? What type of therapist is he or she consulting?
Art and Writing
· Business card – give each student a business card-sized sheet of paper. Have them write the story or a summary of it on the paper. Make sure that they do not go over one piece of paper. This will ideally encourage them to recall the salient points in the story and condense their thoughts so that they can tell the story without going beyond the limit.
· Artwork – make an ad, poster, or collage inspired by a chapter of the book.
· Summary and Review – have the students write a review and/or summary of the book or a chapter of it.
· Diary – the students will choose one of the characters from the book. They will write diary entries from the point of view of the character.
Working with Concepts
· Concept maps and mind maps – have the students pick out the concepts they learned. Write it out on a piece of paper. Circle each word or term and connect each one using lines. In between each concept, have students write a few words or phrases that explain the relationship between concepts.
· Timelines – create a timeline of the events of the story. This can be a group or individual activity.
Film and Photography
· Trailer – create a movie trailer for the movie adaptation of the book being read. Using the main themes of the story, create a movie. It can be an adaptation of one that is inspired by the story.
· The Perfect Pitch – pitch the concept of the movie to a group of producers, played by classmates.
· Reader-response – have the students take any concept, idea, or theme from the book and write a commentary on it.
The activities above are just suggestions. You may come up with others on your own as you see fit for your class. The main goal is to create interactive activities that can enhance the reading experience for children. These are recommended for students of all ages.