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Tuesday, January 24, 2023


How about some simple strategies to encourage children to focus on key ideas and details?  They can be adapted to any age level or content.

Magic Paintbrush
Give students a clean paintbrush and ask them to “paint” details in a book. “Who can paint the main character?” “Who can paint where the dog is hiding?” 

Books Up
Children will need multiple copies of a text for this activity. Ask questions and when children find the page with the answer they hold their book up in the air.

Musical Books
This activity is similar to musical chairs. Arrange chairs in a circle and place a book on each chair. Play some catchy music and invite the children to march around. When the music stops, each child finds a chair, picks up a book, and begins to look through the book. Give the children one or two minutes to scan through their books. The teacher randomly points to children and asks, “Can you tell me the setting of your book?” “Can you tell me a character in your book?” “What do you think your book will be about?”

Mystery Picture
Before reading a book, select a “mystery picture” page. Show it to the class and tell them to look closely at the picture and smile if they think they know what the book will be about. Begin reading the book. When you get to the “mystery picture” page encourage the children to discuss what they thought the book would be about. Were they right or wrong?

*Cut a hole in a sheet of paper and use it to focus on an important image in the book.

Listen, Predict, Draw
Fold a sheet of paper into fourths to make a book for each child and ask them to number each page. Begin reading a book. Stop after several pages and ask children to draw what they think will happen next. Continue reading. Stop after a few more pages and have children draw what they think will happen next. Do this two more times.