So let’s face it. Teaching in whole group is inevitable and it’s important! Students receive many benefits from whole group teaching. But that doesn’t mean it has to be mundane and boring! There are lots of ways to ensure your class is all engaged, focused, and participating in the activity. I have three unique reading comprehension activities for whole group that I think you’ll enjoy!
The great thing about these reading comprehension activities is that they ensure that 100% of your class is participating and engaging in the actual content of the lesson. These activities promote critical thinking, get students up and moving, and encourage discussion as well. Let’s jump right in! (And after you read these ideas, make sure to check out more engagement strategies that work!)
Reading Comprehension Activity #1: The Great Sticky Note Challenge
- Before playing, write out 6-8 comprehension questions about a given text/story on large chart paper. Write one question per piece of paper.
- Next, give each student the same number of sticky notes that you have questions (7 questions, 7 sticky notes per student)
- Have the students write their names on each individual sticky note (very important!)
- One question at a time, ask the question to the students and allow them time to answer on a sticky note. When done, have the students bring their sticky note up and place it on the chart paper with the corresponding question.
- Repeat this process with all the questions
- Once all questions have been answered and all sticky notes are placed, split the class into groups (# of groups = # of questions)
- Each group is given one of the chart papers with the sticky notes on it. They are each in charge of their paper and deciding which sticky notes are correct and incorrect
- Have students take off the incorrect answers and place them in a pile and leave the correct sticky notes on the paper.
- When done, have students raise their hands and give you (the teacher) the incorrect pile of notes for you to double-check.
- Once confirmed by the teacher, throw away the incorrect sticky notes. The correct notes that are left, have the group hand those back to the desks where those students sit (this is why they all need their names on them)
- When all groups are done, have them head back to their seat to see how many sticky notes they got back. The student(s) with the most sticky notes returned, win!
Reading Comprehension Activity #2: Picture Perfect
- Before playing, think of 10-16 (an even number) of comprehension multiple-choice questions about a text/story. Type up one question per page and hang them around the room. Make sure the questions are numbered.
- Also, make sure each answer choice is assigned a color.
- Also before playing, create/draw a grid of squares with the same number of squares as the same number of questions.
- Number each of the squares in the grid.
- Create an answer key by coloring in each of the squares the correct color and placing it somewhere in the room where students can access but cannot see.
- Print off a copy of the grid for each student and have them get out their crayons or colored pencils.
- When ready, allow students to walk around and read/answer each of the questions. To answer, they will color in the grid square that matches the question they are answering with the color choice next to the answer they choose.
- When they are finished answering all the questions, their entire grid should be colored. Have the student then head to the answer key grid to compare his/her answers with the correct.
- Circle or star any answers that are incorrect – that do not match the same color as the answer key grid.
- (Optional) Have the students who have incorrect answers make a note of which color is correct and head back to that/those question(s). Have the students now, write out an explanation of why that answer is correct and the other one is wrong.
Reading Comprehension Activity #3: You Be The Judge
- Before playing, draw out and laminate 5-6 placemat consensus diagrams. You will also need dry erase markers.
- Split the class into groups of 4. You will also need to pull out 1-4 students as ‘judges’.
- Have the judges sit in the front of the room and place the groups of 4 around the room. Give each group a placemat and a dry erase marker.
- When ready, ask the first question. Each student has his/her own section on the placemat. Allow time for all students to answer independently in their own section.
- When time is up, give groups time to collaborate and combine all 4 answers into one ‘power answer’.
- When time is up, have each group present their answer to the judges. The judges then must pick which group had the best answer.
- Before moving onto the next question, have groups/students rotate so the judges (or some of them) are now with a placemat group and there are new judges.
- Repeat asking questions and rotating groups until the time is up or all students have had the chance of being a judge.
I hope you found some new and fun reading comprehension activities you can try to help engage your students during whole group! If you want to save these for later, make sure to use the pin image below!