Reading Skills Teacher Resources
Find Reading Skills educational ideas and activities
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Mapping an Empire
Students compare a map of the Roman Empire in 44 BC with one of the Roman Empire in 116 AD. Using these two maps as a reference, students use critical reading skills to explore the expansion of the Roman Empire during that time period.
Observing the Pumpkin Cycle
Students observe and listen to nonfiction books about the life cycle of pumpkins. They practice early reading skills in a shared reading related to pumpkins. They observe the life cycle of a pumpkin including growth and decay.
Building Reading Skills: Fluency
Students practice their fluency skills. In this fluency lesson, students read aloud stories to their peers and they help to coach one another on their fluency, pronunciation, phrasing, and inflection. They discuss what makes a good reader enjoyable to listen to and easy to understand.
Close Read: Communication and Conflict Resolution Strategies
Fourth graders practice their close reading skills with a short text on conflict resolution. Working in pairs, learners read and reread the article Smart Speak by Marilyn Cram Donahue as they identify the main idea and use context clues to understand challenging vocabulary. The class uses the text to begin making a list of rules to improve their school community, as they work toward the long term goal of writing a school constitution. Consider having students create skits to act out the conflict resolution strategies from the article as an extension activity. This is a great resource for teaching how to read closely, and can very easily be adapted to any piece of writing.
Practicing Critical Reading Skills
In this reading skills worksheet, students read about skills to use while reading and then fill out a Venn Diagram. Students choose which items to go into their Venn Diagram.
Map Reading Skills
Sixth graders discuss situations where map reading skills are useful/necessary. They review vocabulary terms and locate on a map Italy along with her major cities, major rivers, ocean, and capital.
Action Research for Students
Students conduct an Action Research project of their own to help them become better readers of informational text, study about the regions of the United States and analyze reading skills by utilizing spreadsheets.
Cultivate Active Reading Skills
Have class members try out these strategies to improve comprehension and engagement.
Engaging the Reader: Close Reading Part 1 of "Shrouded in Myth"
Cynthia O’Brien’s two-page article, “The (Really) Great Law of Peace,” launches a unit study of Iroquois, the Iroquois Confederacy, and the Iroquois Constitution. The first lesson in the series scaffolds for and sets the protocols for the rest of the unit. To build their close reading skills, learners practice a “I Notice/I Wonder” routine, recording observations and questions about the article and a short video on the included graphic organizer. The richly detailed plan also includes step-by-step directions for the suggested activities, starter sentences for a think-pair-share activity that asks readers to provide details and examples from the article, and an image of the Iroquois flag. Although access to O’Brien’s article is limited, the lesson and the unit are worth the effort.
Critical Reading Skills
In this reading skills worksheet, students fill in a graphic organizer, writing an article name, prediction, vocabulary words, main idea, values and a reflection.
Anne Bancroft Dies
High schoolers get together in groups to read and learn about the life of film actress Anne Bancroft. After a teacher-led presentation on her life, each of the groups must complete tasks described by the worksheets embedded in the plan. For any high school film studies class, this would be an ideal lesson. The format could be used for any film star, but would require a new set of worksheets.
Words in the News
Here's an "old-school" lesson plan on an event in US history. High schoolers look into the massive layoffs that occurred in New Orleans in 2005. Discussion and debate take place, and groups of learners must cut and paste a series of events that took place with their result. The worksheets you need to implement the lesson are embedded in the plan. This resource should serve to enlighten your charges as to how unfairly people can be treated.
U.S. Agricultural Subsidies and Nutrition
Most young people don't spend a lot of time thinking about why some foods cost less than others. This resource uses clips from the documentary, Food, Inc. to explore the impact of agricultural subsidies on nutrition, health, and the economy. The topic is introduced by asking class members what determines the food they typically eat in their homes; for example, taste, cost, nutrition, etc. Next, learners record information on a viewing guide as they watch the clips. There is ample discussion, supplementary graphs, and extra readings to help ensure a thorough understanding of the topic. Numerous extensions and adaptations provide easy ways to further develop this plan.
Words In The News
A complete resource from BBC World Service provides informational text for English or ESL classes to teach vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills. Learners participate in small group work, whole class discussions, and role-plays to explore the universal topics presented in a current news article. Although the plan is thorough and easy to follow, the link to the referenced article is broken.
"Take my Advice": Poems with a Voice
Discuss the meaning of the phrase tone of voice with the class. They respond to a variety of scenarios where a particular tone would be prevalent. They then read "Mother to Son" without knowing the title and answer some questions about the poem's tone and voice. In the end, they write a poem of their own where they are giving advice to someone.
Recognizing and Combating Segregation in U.S. Schools Today
Students explore the prevalence of racism and statistical segregation in America's schools. They design a project to investigate how the racial makeup of their school compares to other schools. In addition, they evaluate their design and the validity of collected data.
Rhythm and Improv, Jazz and Poetry
Connect the ideas of jazz improvisation and art to writing poetry. Learners collaborate and write different lines of poetry, imitating the jazz styles of improvisation and freewriting. Take a close look at the poems "Tenebrae" by Yusef Komunyakaa, "Tapping" by Sonia Sanchez, and "Dream Boogie" by Langston Hughes. The lesson includes questions and key ideas to direct your instruction. Finally, writers compose their own poems in the style of the authors they have studied.
Amazing Alphabet Lessons to Excite Your Little Learners
Wiggle, create, and recognize! Fun and engaging activities to reinforce phonemic awareness and pre-reading skills.
Understanding Tenement Life
Students look at life for immigrants in the 19th century. In this immigrant lesson, students discuss how the poor German, Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants lived in tenement housing. They research the reasons they came to America and the freedoms they received. Students will watch a video, compare modern apartments with tenements, visit WNET's website Museum, and build a tenement house model. This lesson includes resources and 2 learning extension activities.
Learners use Xpedition Hall's interactive feature Paris Scope to research the history of Paris by visiting sites at Metro stops. They practice map-reading skills by tracing the route to take on the Paris Metro to get from one site to another.