Each classroom brings students of multiple learning styles and backgrounds. It is our job to provide opportunities that reach all of the many different learning styles that come to us. For this reason, it is important that we continually switch up the types of reader response we offer to students. Below are engaging, hands-on, visual ways to reach students beyond providing reading comprehension questions:
1. STORY MAP STICK-IT!
Version 1 – Writing:Each story element is given a different color sticky note. While reading, students (independently, with a partner, or in small groups) stop to record details for a story element on the corresponding colored sticky notes. They can organize them while reading, or after reading onto their own story maps. Students can stick multiple on top of each other for each category (i.e. one sticky note for each character under “Characters”).
-Be sure to remind students not to write at the very top of sticky notes if they will be layering them or the top of their writing will be covered.
-If you do not want students layering their sticky notes into booklets, another option is to have them use a large piece paper instead of in their notebooks. They can spread out each sticky note under the appropriate story element.
Version 2 – Mark & Discuss:In this version, students use small colored tabs and place them onto the text where there is text evidence giving the reader insight to a particular story element. After reading, students discuss each tab that they used to mark the text with a partner. I have a poster I use to show each story element, but you can definitely keep it simple and just write the color to use for each story element on the board!
- Pink – Character (This text evidence gives information that gives you a deep look into a character.)
- Orange – Setting (This text evidence describes the setting.)
- Yellow – Plot/Key Event (This event is important to understanding the story.)
- Blue – Problem (This text evidence describes the problem.)
- Green – Solution (This text evidence shows steps towards the solution.)
2. FICTION GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS:Graphic organizers are so versatile and provide a great visual support for growing readers. They work for anything from analyzing character traits to breaking down a fiction summary. Be sure to snag 4 free graphic organizers from the fiction graphic organizers pack in my TpT shop. They include:
- Setting: Visualize It!
- Character Mind Takeover: “In_________’s Shoes”
- Analyze a Character: Traits, Actions, Motivations & Feelings
- Dialogue: Making Character Inferences
3. FICTION READING CRAFTS:
Graphic organizers are super helpful go-tos, but they don’t always continually engage hands on learners. Reading comprehension crafts are one interactive way students can visually see each fiction reading strategy and skill broken down. This, of course, will help students towards the ultimate goal of improving their reading comprehension of literature.
4. S.W.B.S.T. SUMMARY:
The S.W.B.S.T. summary provides students with a simple framework to guide their thinking when summarizing fiction texts. You can display an anchor chart that describes each part of the summary in student-friendly terms. Then. have students record their own summaries in either in a pre-made graphic organizer or their own organizers in their notebooks.
SOMEBODY: Be sure to let students know that this could be more than one character.
WANTED: What the character’s motivation?
BUT: What is the conflict, or problem, that the character(s) face
SO: How did they solve this problem?
THEN: How did the story end?
5. FICTION BOOKMARKS:
Fiction bookmarks are such a helpful reference tool that also helps students to set a purpose for their reading. They encourage students to really focus and master one fiction reading skill at a time (describing character traits, analyzing internal vs. external traits, making inferences, plot, point of view, etc.). These double-sided fiction bookmarks have a mini reference poster on the front side, and the back side provides space for students to either fill in information directly onto the bookmark or re-use with sticky notes.