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Reading Activities

Here is a great selection of reading activities for students that will reinforce skills while giving students the chance to have fun with literature.  Some of these activities will require a text (or texts) of your choosing, others require prior knowledge with specific reading skills, and some of these activities require nothing more than creativity and a few sheets of blank paper.

Mini-Reading Projects

In this series of mini-projects (called “mini” because my students complete them in 24 hours), students are given a series of reading activities based on stories that you have studied.  They consider the jobs that would be necessary to turn these stories into movies, and then they record their thoughts.  This is an excellent project series to get students to think deeper about the stories that you are studying.  Also, these projects are great for differentiating your classroom activities.


Casting Roles | Characterization Mini-Project – In this task, students choose ten characters from stories that you have been reading in class and identify character traits and motivations.  Then they select actors, actresses, or people from real life to play those roles in a hypothetical film version of those stories and explain their choices.
Casting Roles | Characterization Mini-Project RTF
Casting Roles | Characterization Mini-Project PDF
Preview Casting Roles | Characterization Mini-Project in Your Browser

Students Involved in Reading Activities

The best reading activities are student centered.

Create Music Scores | Mood Project – In this activity students summarize and analyze scenes from stories that you have read recently, and they select songs that would appropriately match the mood of each scene, explaining and defending their selections.  This is a great way to get students thinking about mood.
Create Music Scores | Mood Project RTF
Create Music Scores | Mood Project PDF
Preview Create Music Scores | Mood Project in Your Web Browser

Director | Summary and Setting Mini-Project – In this project students summarize and describe settings and scenes, list what props would be necessary to recreate these scenes, and then explain how the props connect to the story.
Director | Summary and Setting Mini-Project RTF
Director | Summary and Setting Mini-Project PDF
Preview the Director | Summary and Setting Mini-Project in Your Web Browser 

Screen Writer | Plot and Author’s Purpose Mini-Project – Students select scenes from stories that they are reading and rewrite them with a different outcome.  First, however, students consider why the author wrote the scene in the way the he or she did.  Lastly, students explain their changes.
Screen Writer | Plot and Author’s Purpose Mini-Project RTF
Screen Writer | Plot and Author’s Purpose Mini-Project PDF
Preview Screen Writer | Plot and Author’s Purpose Mini-Project in Your Web Browser

Differentiated Reading Activities

Here are some activities to help your differentiate reading instruction with large groups of students. The activities would also be useful as a sequence with a small group or individual. Go here for a the complete sequence of differentiated instruction worksheets.

Climax, Story Structure, and Elements of a Story Worksheet – As with all of these worksheets, this can be applied to most stories. It asks students to identify the setting, main characters, conflict, and the narrative structure of the story (rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution); however, make sure that the story follows this typical pattern before you assign students a task that they cannot complete.
Climax, Story Structure, and Elements of a Story Worksheet RTF
Climax, Story Structure, and Elements of a Story Worksheet PDF
Preview Climax, Story Structure, and Elements of a Story Worksheet in Your Browser

Identifying Facts and Opinions Worksheet – In this worksheet, students identify statements of fact and opinion from the text.  Then they create statements of fact and opinion about the text.
Identifying Facts and Opinions Worksheet RTF
Identifying Facts and Opinions Worksheet PDF
Preview Identifying Facts and Opinions Worksheet in Your Web Browser

Summarizing and Recognizing Narrative Sequence Worksheet – With this activity, students not only provide a summary of important events in the story, but they also explain why they think each event is important.  Additionally, they order the events at the bottom of the sheet using a graphic organizer.  This one can be used with any story.
Summarizing and Recognizing Narrative Sequence Worksheet RTF
Summarizing and Recognizing Narrative Sequence Worksheet PDF
Preview Summarizing and Recognizing Narrative Sequence Worksheet in Your Web Browser

Skill Focused Reading Activities

Here is a selection of some of my favorite skill focused reading activities that I’ve used in the past with my classrooms. I’ve had some great successes with these activities and I hope that you do too.

Reading Terms Stamp Collection Activity – students create “stamps” (small illustrations with abridged definitions for select reading terms) and put them into their reading terms stamp booklets. Feel free to use the RTF version of this activity and substitute or enrich as needed.
Reading Terms Stamp Collection Activity RTF
Reading Terms Stamp Collection Activity PDF
Preview Reading Terms Stamp Collection Activity in Your Web Browser

Irony Detectives Activity– students read the crime-themed passages and, based on the clues, determine which type of irony is used (verbal, situational, or dramatic).  Then, they use evidence from the text to make their case.
Irony Detectives Activity RTF
Irony Detectives Activity PDF
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Answers

Create A Genre Crossword Puzzle – students create a crossword puzzle with clues for twenty genre related terms. These files include the directions, rubric, crossword grid and clue sheet. Download the RTF file and edit the directions to have students create crossword puzzles on any vocabulary terms you would like. My students love this activity.
Create A Genre Crossword Puzzle RTF
Create A Genre Crossword Puzzle PDF
Preview Create A Genre Crossword Puzzle in Your Web Browser

Point of View Comic Strip Activity – students create four comic strips, each demonstrating a different mode of narration.  This activity sheet contains examples as well as a scoring rubric.
Point of View Comic Strip Project RTF
Point of View Comic Strip Project PDF
Preview Point of View Comic Strip Project in Your Web Browser

Listening and Speaking Projects

This is a fun project series to develop listening and speaking skills, as well as critical thinking abilities. Basically, students are charged with the task of creating a better world. This begins with an idea. Students complete a series of activities that will scaffold them into giving a presentation on their project where they will share their idea. We had a lot of fun doing this one and I hope that you do too.

Better World Activity 1 | Thinking of a Topic – In this activity students think of problems that people have and ways that these problems could be addressed. The goal of this is to get students to generate an initial idea that they will develop throughout the activity sequence.
Better World Activity 1 | Thinking of a Topic RTF
Better World Activity 1 | Thinking of a Topic PDF
Preview Better World Activity 1 | Thinking of a Topic in Your Web Browser

Better World Activity 1.5 | Research and Development – In this activity students peer conference with each other in regards to the problems and solutions brainstormed in the first activity.  The purpose of this activity is to give students an opportunity to get feedback and to revise and improve their ideas.
Better World Activity 1.5 | Research and Development RTF
Better World Activity 1.5 | Research and Development PDF
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Better World Activity 2 | Create a Plan – In this activity students consider critical questions before moving forward with their ideas.  Additionally, they consider a marketing budget and how ideas and information are communicated and disseminated to the mainstream population today.
Better World Activity 2 | Create a Plan RTF
Better World Activity 2 | Create a Plan PDF
Preview Better World Activity 2 | Create a Plan in Your Web Browser

Better World Activity 3 | Create Web Ads – students create banner advertisements for their product or organization in the four most popular sizes.  This is a great opportunity for students to apply their creative skills to practical ends.
Better World Activity 3 | Create Web Ads RTF
Better World Activity 3 | Create Web Ads PDF
Preview Better World Activity 3 | Create Web Ads in Your Web Browser

Better World Activity 4 | Create a Trifold Brochure – students demonstrate writing, thinking, and editing skills to deliver information about their product or idea to the audience.  This activity includes a rubric.
Better World Activity 4 | Create a Trifold Brochure RTF
Better World Activity 4 | Create a Trifold Brochure PDF
Preview Better World Activity 4 | Create a Trifold Brochure in Your Web Browser

Better World Activity 5 | Writing a Jingle – students create simple jingles for their products or ideas.  This is a great opportunity to review figurative language skills.  These files have two activities on each sheet to reduce paper consumption.
Better World Activity 5 | Writing a Jingle RTF
Better World Activity 5 | Writing a Jingle PDF
Preview Better World Activity 5 | Writing a Jingle in Your Web Browser

Better World Activity 6 | Investing in an Idea – This is basically a simple table with some directions.  Students use this table to record a summary of each idea and vote for their favorites.  The results are then ostensibly tabulated and class winners are decided.  This activity is a great way to provide accountability and ownership over the presentation portion of the better world activity sequence, which concludes with this assignment.
Better World Activity 6 | Investing in an Idea RTF
Better World Activity 6 | Investing in an Idea PDF
Preview Better World Activity 6 | Investing in an Idea in Your Web Browser

I hope that you find some interesting and exciting reading activities to help your students master those reading skills.  Any comments or additional suggestions for reading activities are appreciated.

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4 Comments

  1. cinthia acosta

     /  July 23, 2017

    This is a great source for teachers. Keep going. Thank you very much

    Reply
  2. Wenda

     /  January 10, 2013

    As a first-year teacher, I am finding this site invaluable. Thank you so so very much for this resource. What you have compiled is absolutely amazing, and I see myself using it for years.

    Reply
  3. Juliana

     /  January 2, 2013

    Wow, thank you soooo much for your work. This website is fabulous! I love it. It’s really so healpful!

    Reply
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