Reading Comprehension Activity for the End of the School Year: Guided Strategy Practice
Your students have spent all year reading books and learning comprehension strategies. The end of the year is the perfect time for them to reinforce those skills by revisiting a favorite book from the year. Try this lesson, adapted from the Making Meaning Teacher's Manual for grade 3.
In this lesson, each student recommends a book to the class for summer reading. Prior to the lesson, have each student select a favorite book to recommend. Also choose a book for modeling making a book recommendation yourself. The book you choose for modeling could be a book that the students liked when you read it earlier this year or a book they have not heard before.
Note that the students talk in pairs during the lesson. You may want to assign partners before the lesson or simply have the students turn to someone sitting nearby when you ask partners to talk.
1. Get Ready to Work Together
Have the students gather as a class. Explain that today they will think about how they have grown as readers and share their favorite books from the year.
Confirm that each student has selected a book to recommend to others for summer reading. Explain that today they will discuss how to make summer reading book recommendations to their classmates. They will use the books they chose and will find an interesting short passage to read to the class. Tell the students you will use one of your favorite books to model ways to share a book with others.
2. Model Making a Book Recommendation
Model recommending a book to the class by briefly summarizing the book, saying what you liked about it, and reading a short passage aloud. Show the cover and read the title, author, and illustrator. (For example, you might say, “The book I want to recommend for your summer reading is Stuart Little, written by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams. It’s a story about a mouse named Stuart who leaves home to find his best friend, Margalo, a bird who has mysteriously disappeared from her nest. Stuart has many exciting and humorous adventures as he looks for Margalo. I would recommend the book because Stuart is a funny character, and he goes from one wild adventure to another.”)
3. Discuss What to Share in a Book Recommendation
Explain that the students will have some time now to plan what they want to say to their classmates about the books they chose. They will also choose a short passage from the book to read aloud.
- What information might be important to share when you recommend your book? Why?
- What might be important to include when you tell what your book is about?
- What might you want to look for in a passage to read aloud to the class?
Students might say:
- “It is important to share what the book is about.”
- “It is important to include the important ideas, but you don’t want to tell the whole story.”
- “I want to read an exciting or interesting part. This way people might want to read the book.”
4. Prepare to Share a Book Recommendation
Distribute the books that the students selected prior to this lesson. Have the students use their books to plan what they will say about them and to identify the passage they will read aloud. If it will be helpful, have the students quietly practice reading their passages aloud before sharing as a class.
As the students prepare their book recommendations, circulate among them. Encourage them in their preparations by asking questions such as:
- What passage are you planning to read? Why did you choose that passage?
- How are you going to summarize the book?
- What did you especially like about this book?
5. Discuss Book Recommendations in Pairs
Have each student turn to a partner. Have pairs share their book recommendations and passages with each other and discuss the following questions. Write the questions where everyone can see them:
- Does the recommendation summarize the book?
- Does the recommendation give just enough information?
- Does the recommendation make you want to read the book?
- Does the passage intrigue you and spark your interest?
If you wish, set up a time in the coming days for the students to share their book recommendations with the whole class.