Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's the Idea?

What's the Idea? cover
Texts that are difficult to understand can turn off students to reading and analyzing the fictional and non-fictional pieces that they study in school. They need to push aside their comprehension fear factors and turn their, "I don't understand this; it's too hard," frowns into, "Wow! Now I get it," smiles. 

They can accomplish this by practicing to deconstruct complicated texts so that they can understand them, and, subsequently, the whole piece. In this free activity, students will select a passage that they find difficult to understand.

Teachers will divide the students into groups of four; each person will share his/her confusing passage with the other three group members. The students will read and revise their group members' passages for clarity.

When their original papers are returned, they will choose the revision that they feel best clarifies the passage, and will discuss, in writing, how/why the revision accomplishes this. Finally they will analyze the meaning of the original passage and explain its importance to the whole piece.

Teachers can use this activity again and again to check the development of their students’ comprehension as well as how they utilize their higher level thinking skills orally and in writing.
“What’s the Idea?” reduces students’ fear factor when they read challenging fiction and non-fiction. This Freebie is aligned with Common Core Standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy, and includes a detailed “Teachers’ Notes” page.

Download this free activity from and say, "Good bye," to reluctant readers. Your students will be fist pumping to, "I read it, I thought about it, I wrote about it and now I get it! YES!"

Happy Teaching,

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