Having students sit and read is easy, and it’s great for so many reasons. It develops their reading skills, which in turn improves vocabulary, general knowledge, understanding of texts, concentration, emotional intelligence (the list goes on).
But, how can you be sure they’re actually doing it? Not looking out of the window or day dreaming? How can you push each of the students not just to read but to think about and question their reading?
PAWS for reading!
This is something I’ve been trialling with groups of KS3 students after in-class reading, or with my form group. It’s a way of not just developing their reading – but their thought about reading.
It’s based on a stepped process I commonly follow to develop reading skills in lessons and with small groups (the post for which is here). This is simplified to make it a quick pre-reading and post-reading activity.
How it works:
Prediction – fill this in before you start reading. If it’s a book they’re reading they should be able to have a good guess about what’s coming up in the next chapter. If it’s a text you’ve chosen show the title, the first line, or a picture linked to it.
Again – read the text, then read through it again (if it’s a whole chapter ask students to note things down as they’re reading). Then discuss – is there anything you’re not sure about? Is there anything you need clarifying (words or phrases you don’t understand)?
Wonder – what do you wonder about the text? Are there any questions you have about what is going to happen? Why did this happen? (it’s okay if there’s some overlap with the “again” section).
Summary – This is difficult, if students can do it effectively then they’re doing well. Can you summarise the text you’ve just read? Have you missed any parts?
How could you use this with your students? Do you have any similar ideas you use?