Reading Response: A Focus on Vocabulary

Want to help your children or students build their vocabulary? Try this exercise.

Prepare to Read

First, either instruct your children or students to read for a set amount of time. When I was a classroom teacher my standard “student choice” reading homework assignment was to read for 10 minutes, 3-5 nights a week.

You might do the same with your children or students, or you might read aloud for a set time period or length of pages. Be sure, if you are a parent, your child is sitting beside you so he or she can see the text as your read. If you are a teacher, be sure you are reading from a text that all the students can have a copy of, so they can follow along.

Print the following statements onto a note card, project them on your Smartboard, or write them on your whiteboard:

  • A word I did not know or was not certain of the meaning of was…
  • I found it in this sentence…
  • I think it means…
  • I looked it up in the dictionary and it means…

As you or they read, tell your students to be on the lookout for a word for the exercise.

Read

Instruct your child or student to begin reading, or you begin reading. It is best if you do this in a quiet room without a lot of distractions. Tell him or her to write down the word and page number when they spot it and then continue reading for the allotted time.

Respond

When done, instruct your students or child go back to the page they noted and copy down the sentence in which he or she found the word. Instruct them to fill in the remaining statements or, if your group is small enough, discuss the remaining statements together.

Closure

Challenge your students or child to look for ways to use their new word for the next few days.

Your Turn

How do you like to help your children or students to expand their vocabulary?

Reading Response Exercise #79: What Would You Want to Happen Next? Extend and Connect

Read:

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect:

Think about what you have read. What would you be hoping to have happen next if you were the main character in this story?

Share:

Write about or discuss: your responses with your reading partners.

Preschool Literacy

Read:

a picture book with your preschooler. Stop about two thirds-three quarters of the way through the book.

Ask:

What would you be hoping to have happen next if you were the main character in this story?

Discuss:

Your preschooler and your own ideas then finish reading the book. Discuss how each of your ideas resembled the actual ending of the story.

Nickname/Characterization: Reading Response Exercise #72

Read: for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect: Think about what you have read. Choose a character from your reading and make up an appropriate nickname for the character.

Write/Discuss the name you chose. Explain why it is a suitable name for the character who inspired it.

Preschool Literacy:

Read a picture book with your preschooler.

Ask your preschooler to pick a character, other than the main character, that he or she enjoyed. Ask him or her to make up a nickname for the character. (Be prepared to explain what a nickname is in case your preschooler does not understand the term.)

Discuss the name your preschooler makes up. Ask what made him or her decide that would be a good name.

Reading Response Exercise #70: Getting Moody

Read

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect & Write

Think about what you have read.

  • Does the story arouse any particular feelings in you?
  • Does the story make you think about what its like to feel that way?
  • How did the author do this?
  • What elements of the setting contribute to this feeling?
  • What aspects of the characters and their experiences contribute to this feeling?
  • What other characteristics of the writing contribute to this feeling?

Write/Discuss: your responses with your reading partners.

Preschool Literacy:

Read: a picture book with your preschooler.

Ask: When you are done, ask your child, “How did this make you feel?”

Discuss: Follow up by discussing what it was in the story that made him or her feel this way.

Reading Response Exercise #69: Theme and Symbols

Read

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect & Write

Think about what you have read so far in your book as well as what you read today. Are there any objects the author keeps working into the story or ideas she seems to be exploring? What are they? How might they relate to one another? What might the objects be symbolic of? Do you think the author has made up his mind about how he thinks and feels about these things?

Write/Discuss your responses with your reading partners.

Fiction Reading Response Exercise #67: Character “To Do” List

Alas, I am off to a slow start for 2012. After traveling and then getting sick, my “To Do” list is near overwhelming. Hence, the tardiness of this post. My apologies.

Read

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect

Think about what you have read. Who is the main character or are the main characters in today’s reading? Choose one, if your reading provided options, otherwise consider your main character. What was the most important item on your character’s “to do” list in the passage you read. Did she accomplish what she set out to do? If so, how, and if not, why not? What does he need to do next in the story?

Write/Discuss: Write out your responses then share them with your reading partners.

Preschool Literacy:

Read: a picture book with your preschooler.

Discuss: Who is the main character?

Ask and Discuss: What was the most important thin the me main character needed to accomplish in the story? Did she get it done? If so, how, and if not, why not?

Characters New Year’s Resolutions: Fiction Reading Response Exercise #66

Happy new year and welcome back for another year of literate living!

Read

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

Reflect

Think about what you have read.

Write/Discuss

Choose a character from your reading. What would be a good new year’s resolution for this character? Explain why you think this. When you are done, share your responses with your reading partners.