Ontario ranks as one of the best in the world in education, yet some students struggle in reading, writing, or math. In fact, EQAO reports only 62% of primary students and just 50% of junior students were able to meet the provincial math standard in 2017. If your child is struggling, they are not alone.
Reading response activities allow the students to interact with the text and put it into their own words, so they understand the selection more fully. These activities also allow teachers to analyze each student's' comprehension, emotional and thought processes about the material being read, so they can implement appropriate literacy and learning strategies as needed.
Interacting with text in this way promotes each student's success in school, while also benefiting them with quality life skills, such as problem solving and expressing themselves in a positive manner. However, not all response activities are created equally. Here are some effective Ontario Curriculum reading response activities that will get students thinking and excited about the texts they are reading.
Written reading response activities are a traditional practice used in schools that encourages students to think about the text they’re reading. They also allow them to translate the text into their own words, allowing the teacher to better gauge their level of understanding and literacy level.
Social Media Reading Response Activities
To keep reading response activities engaging, there are some unique approaches you can take that relate to the modern day classrooms. You can involve social media by asking students to use their Chrome Book provided in some Ontario classrooms to express something about the book in less than 145 characters (the maximum length of a Tweet). Encourage them to create popular hashtags about their tweet and discuss what they've come up with.
Put the Students in the Author’s Chair
A great way to encourage your students to start thinking like an author is to ask them what they would change in the book. This allows them to create a story of their own, while also putting the original story into a new context. Prompt them with questions about how else the story ended or how different actions of a specific character could have changed the outcome.
Reading Response GamesA surefire way to get students interacting with the text they're reading is with fun, exciting, educational games. Design a Tic-Tac-Toe sheet or Bingo game that require students to complete the reading responses in order to claim a space. These types of activities make education fun for students and keeps them fully engaged as they’re eager to complete the reading responses to “win” the game.
A Letter to a Character
Attaching emotion to the text is a great way to get children interacting with their literacy materials. Ask the students to write a letter to one of the characters in the book about how the character or his/her actions made them feel. This allows them to put their thoughts and feeling onto paper, which is not only a vital education skill but also an imperative life skill. It also furthers their understanding of the text.
Character To-Do List
An excellent reading response activity for students is to have them create a To-Do list for a character who needs help. This To-Do list can be made up of short, consecutive sentences that tell about character, the problem to be solved, and the steps taken to a solution. Not only will this reading response activity help the students understand the book they’re reading, but it will also help them with their problem-solving skills.
Reading Response Activities presented in the Tree House Press Ontario Reading Series of Student Books
The goal of reading response activities is to get the children thinking, understanding, and expressing their ideas about the material being read. Tree House Press student books contain 96 full-colour pages of Ontario curriculum appropriate selections and activities for grades 3-6. Each unit in these student books includes short answers, longer answers, and multi-choice response activities that involve the students in the material they’re reading. The questions are formulated in a similar way to what the students will see on the EQAO assessments, preparing them for similar testing in the future.
Effective reading response activities engage students in the selection they’re reading while also allowing them to understand the text more thoroughly. The activities also provide teachers with the opportunity to gauge each student’s individual literacy skills, comprehension, and thought processes. Learn more about effective Ontario Curriculum reading response activities today at Tree House Press.
Edited by Patrick Lashmar