Easy Ways to Make Non-Fiction Text Comprehension Activities Fun
Its 3:00 pm on Friday. Lesson plans are due and here you sit staring at the blinking cursor trying to figure out what you can do next week that will help your students really understand non-fiction texts. Non-fiction text comprehension activities can be dry and hard for students to make connections. Planning lessons that are engaging and fun can be so difficult. Well, I got you covered!
Text feature Scavenger hunt
Students work in groups of 4 to locate text feature in non-fiction works. It is best to give students a variety or texts – books, magazines, newspapers, etc. If they can cut them out it works even better. As students locate the features, they will notate the page and draw the example or cut it out and glue on their paper. They will then explain how the text feature helps the reader. You can get a copy of this resource in my FREE Resource library. Not a member yet? Click here to sign up.
Extension: Once students have completed the hunt, have them write riddles for each of the text features to share with the class. Example: I am a list found at the beginning of a book. I usually give you a chapter or section title and the page that section begins on. What am I?
Why not bring a little social media strategy into the classroom? Have students read a selection or a section of a non-fiction text. After they finish reading, have them summarize the text in 144 characters or less (think Twitter). Then, have them create a hashtag that describes what the passage or section was about.
Example: The Hubble telescope has been taking pictures in space for over 20 years. Its ability was improved in 2009. It will be replaced in 2018. #spacephotographer
Non-fiction Tic Tac Toe
After reading a selection, students will answer questions on the tic-tac-toe board. Students will need to make a tic-tac-toe either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. You can get a copy of this resource in my FREE Resource library too!
Three Facts and a Lie
After students have read the selection have them select 3 facts from the passage. Then have them make up a “lie” that relates to the passage but is not there. Students will then share their three facts and a lie with the class. Students will determine which one is the lie. Have students try to select the lie before looking back at the passage. Then, have them prove their answer by finding the other 3 facts in the passage.
Feel like you could up your questioning game? Check out my non-fiction question stems in my TpT store. These are color-coded by skill and aligned to match the level of rigor you need for state testing!
Who Doesn’t Love Free?
Every teacher loves getting something for free. Money is tight and finding a quality free counting worksheet can be difficult. We want to help – not just with counting but all sort of needs in the classroom! We will not only offer freebies in our Teachers Pay teachers store but also have created a free resource library you can join. Freebies in our store and in the library will vary in the subject area and level but will always be something you can use right away!
This blog’s feature…Pumpkin Counting! This free counting worksheet allows your students to practice counting and writing numbers to 10. It also reinforces patterning concepts. Download it now at our TPT store!
Pumpkin Counting Worksheet
While you are there, check out our Pumpkin Preposition Worksheet for upper elementary. This worksheet helps students identify common prepositions and allows them an opportunity to use them in a sentence. Make your grammar lesson a little more fun for October!
Subscribe to our blog and FREE resource library today so you won’t miss out on any of the freebies being offered!
Flocabulary Lessons that Rock!
I work in a school with a high ESL population. When I moved to 4th grade I realized that my ESL students struggled with their vocabulary. When writing a composition, it was hard for them to describe what they were writing about with anything other than basic English words. So, I began my quest to find a solution that would meet their needs. As I searched the web, I stumbled upon Flocabulary.com. This site immediately got my attention. Flocabulary is educational Hip-Hop. While they have songs for all subjects, I was mostly interested in the elementary Flocabulary lessons. The songs are great. A lot of elementary educational songs are a little too “baby” for my kids. However, these are not. They sound like rap songs off the radio! I even had a parent ask if the words were appropriate because it sounded so “authentic”.
How does it work? Each week, students are introduced to 10 new words. The words and their definitions are embedded in the rap song of the week. As the kids learn the songs, they learn the definitions and how to use the word properly. Each song comes with activities to help build the students’ knowledge of each word. At the end of the week, students can be assessed with the unit test provided.
From the moment I started using it, I noticed a difference. First off, my students literally beg to hear the song each day. When it is time to do Flocabulary lessons, they cheer. It is, by far, their favorite part of the day. Plus, they are so excited about the songs and the vocabulary that they immediately begin trying to use the words in their speaking and in their written compositions. Word such as “good”, “big” and “sad” have been replaced with “extraordinary”, “vast” and “tragic”. It has been exactly the tool I needed to get my kids’ to the next level.
Check out one of their songs here:
Get Kids Excited to Summarize!
One thing I love about my job is getting kids excited about 4th grade reading. Some kids are natural readers and love diving into a good book. Others, it takes some coaxing. One thing I have found is that changing up an end product can do wonders to get a kid excited. I try to do books reports with my kids every 9 weeks. This allows them the chance to pick a chapter book of their choice to read. I like to give them a week or so to read their book. Then, we spend a day in class writing a book report. To go along with our Texas Unit, I designed a “Wanted” poster for good books. The kids had a great time filling out the poster on their book and sharing with the class. The posters were a great addition to the rest of our Texas themed projects. If you would like to download a free copy of this worksheet, please visit my teachers pay teacher store. Happy Teaching!