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Activities for Extensive Reading

Some teachers want their learners to just read. There are others who want to use the opportunity to conduct activities of different kinds.  This section focuses on activities which you can use with learners involved in your Extensive Reading program. But read this book first.

Before starting the Extensive Reading program:

bulletGive learners a questionnaire about their reading history and preferences (even in their mother tongue).
bulletDiscuss the best ways to learn a foreign language. Ask them what they need to do to read well in English.
bulletDiscuss genres of writing, such as drama, thriller, detective, etc. Explain the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

Familiarize learners with the library

bulletAsk learners to sort the books into categories. For example, those that look interesting and those that don’t; those that look difficult or easy, and so on.
bulletAsk learners to read a page from different books and then sort them into levels by approximate difficulty. This familiarizes them with their task for selecting appropriate books.
bulletAsk them to help label the books and put on the book codes, make the book boxes and help with photocopying record sheets.
bulletWith younger students you can have a ‘treasure hunt’ where they look for books with certain titles or covers, or character’s names in books, etc.
bulletAsk them to help build a book display stand, book posters and wall charts – all in English.

Before-reading activities

1. Vocabulary activities

Before-reading activities help the students to become familiar with the vocabulary they will meet in the reader. This can be done as a class or by asking students to familiarize themselves with this vocabulary before they read the book. Here is an example of activities from

2. Prediction activities

Prediction activities help build and reinforce background knowledge which is a vital part of the comprehension of a text. Students can predict what’s going to happen in the story using some simple activities.

bulletUse the book title or cover to guess about the story.
bulletUse the short summary on the back of a reader to guess what the story is about.
bulletAsk learners to make a list of vocabulary they expect in that story. If they find them they check them off.
bulletTeacher puts key words on the board and learners try and guess what the story is about.
bulletAsk them to predict the story from the chapter headings (if there are any).
bulletLearners make true/false predictions about the story. The students then read and check.

Activities for Extensive Reading

Some teachers want their learners to just read. There are others who want to use the opportunity to conduct activities of different kinds.  This section focuses on activities which you can use with learners involved in your Extensive Reading program.

Before starting the Extensive Reading program:

bulletGive learners a questionnaire about their reading history and preferences (even in their mother tongue).
bulletDiscuss the best ways to learn a foreign language. Ask them what they need to do to read well in English.
bulletDiscuss genres of writing, such as drama, thriller, detective, etc. Explain the difference between fiction and non-fiction.

Familiarize learners with the library

bulletAsk learners to sort the books into categories. For example, those that look interesting and those that don’t; those that look difficult or easy, and so on.
bulletAsk learners to read a page from different books and then sort them into levels by approximate difficulty. This familiarizes them with their task for selecting appropriate books.
bulletAsk them to help label the books and put on the book codes, make the book boxes and help with photocopying record sheets.
bulletWith younger students you can have a ‘treasure hunt’ where they look for books with certain titles or covers, or character’s names in books, etc.
bulletAsk them to help build a book display stand, book posters and wall charts – all in English.

Before-reading activities

1. Vocabulary activities

Before-reading activities help the students to become familiar with the vocabulary they will meet in the reader. This can be done as a class or by asking students to familiarize themselves with this vocabulary before they read the book. Here is an example of activities from

2. Prediction activities

Prediction activities help build and reinforce background knowledge which is a vital part of the comprehension of a text. Students can predict what’s going to happen in the story using some simple activities.

bulletUse the book title or cover to guess about the story.
bulletUse the short summary on the back of a reader to guess what the story is about.
bulletAsk learners to make a list of vocabulary they expect in that story. If they find them they check them off.
bulletTeacher puts key words on the board and learners try and guess what the story is about.
bulletAsk them to predict the story from the chapter headings (if there are any).
bulletLearners make true/false predictions about the story. The students then read and check.

While-reading activities

While-reading activities take place at any stage where the learner is still reading the book. These activities may be continuous activities, such as keeping a reading journal or predicting what comes in the next section of the reader.

  1. Story web

Students keep a log of the main characters and their relationships in a visual ‘web’ diagram starting with the story title in the middle. As they read, they add the add descriptions of the characters, settings and events. Below is an example.

  1. Chain story

Two students each have a different story book, of approximately the same level. After reading the first chapter of their book, they relate the events to their partner. They then exchange books and the read the second chapter of their partner’s book. They then relate the events in Chapter Two and exchange and repeat with Chapter Three and so on.

  3.  Plot log

Learners keep a log of the plot as they are reading, for example, by summarizing each chapter in a single sentence after they read it, or keeping a note of the key events as they happen. However, because not all stories are linear (with flashbacks, and two or more things happening at the same time) this task can be challenging for lower level learners.

   4  Vocabulary log

Learners record new words (or idioms and other expressions) they meet when reading (or after reading). The teacher can set them a goal (for example, 10 words or expressions per book) or let them decide as they read. However, just writing words down doesn’t mean they have been learnt. Learners need to review them. Here is an example of how a learner might record a word and related information.

Name ________________   Book ________________________

 

  1. Word/expression _____________________________________________________ Page _____

Definition ___________________  Example sentence ___________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

  1. Word/expression _____________________________________________________ Page _____

Definition ___________________  Example sentence ___________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

 

After reading

 

  1. Re-visiting the book

Learners re-read the book, then listen to it (or watch the video), or vice versa. Here are some suggestions for some activities.

bulletRe-read the book looking for things such as ‘cultural information’; ‘good ideas’; ‘examples of being a good person’, and others.
bulletRe-read the book to look for specific language, such as emotions, nouns, verbs, and so on.
bulletBuild reading speed by re-reading a section of the book, then re-reading it again 2-3 times.
bulletwrite a short dialog or perform a skit or role-play based on one section of the book. They could also write a radio drama based on the story.

 

  1. Book reports

Book reports should be short. This booklet contains two examples. The book report form on page ?? is for lower level learners. The one on page ?? is for learners at a higher level. Learners can also record their book reports and thoughts in a reading journal.

Here are some other ideas on how learners can report on a book they have read.

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Spoken reports. Learners can take turns giving a spoken report to the class. Beginners can first write a short report and read it aloud. If learners need structure in their spoken reports, they can use the photocopiable Book Discussion Sheet on page

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4-3-2 reports. Students prepare a four minute report on a book for homework and give the report in class to a partner. The student then gives the same report in three minutes to a different student, and then in two minutes to a third student.

bullet

 ‘The book and me’ reports. Learners write how a book is relevant to their lives, how they identify with the characters, and whether the book taught them anything.

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Poster reports. Learners create posters about a book, which are displayed on the walls around the classroom for others to see and ask questions about.