Tag Archives: comprehension

One of These Words is Not Like the Others

Right now we are working towards increasing vocabulary and improving vocabulary comprehension. These activities are all variations of the same concept using different formats. Students must find similarities and differences between words in a list.

On the SMART Board
There are several tools you can use including:

Word Sort (with headings of Same and Different) This would require one page per set of words, but as a presenter once told me, “Pages are free” so it really doesn’t matter if you use 100 pages.

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The multiple choice activity works also. You can do up to 10 questions per page.

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The easiest? I just make lists/groups of words and cover them with the disappearing box. A student reveals a set and then they all use their dry erase boards to write their answers. I let them work in groups for this so they can have some discussion about the meaning of the words.

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  • “Clickers” – I wrote a grant for Senteo Interactive Response System a few years ago and using these hand-held devices is the closest I can get to BYOT in my Resource Room this year. The students love using clickers and I am collecting ideas on how to use them to share in a future post.

Old School Method

Using index cards, I made a set of cards for each of my round tables. Three cards were similar. One didn’t match up. Students rotated to each table in pairs and had to discuss and write down the words that did not belong. This activity keeps them moving and lets them interact and discuss ideas with classmates.

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One station in the rotation….I said the answer is “rat” because all the others have wings and feathers. Most of them said “eagle” because the others “walk around on the ground.” Who’s correct?

The title of this post made me think of Sesame Street and a popular segment. Who remembers this?

Ideas for Teaching Sequencing and Plot

Teaching plot with the plot diagram and sequencing events are two activities we’ve focused on a lot lately.

I was amazed how the activities surrounding one short story came together. We did these activities over the course of four days as part of our reading instruction for the week.

First we read “The Green Ribbon” in our literature book.

Then we watched the video:

As I was watching the video on my iPad I got the genius idea to do screen shots of different part of story for sequencing purposes. (I am becoming a huge fan of the iPhone/iPad screen shot and have probably a dozen ways it makes my life easier.)

I went into SMART Notebook and used the Hot Spots tool to create two different but related activities surrounding plot.

First, students had to place the labels for a plot diagram in the appropriate place.

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You can customize this tool by drawing your own graphics or pasting an image. I just drew this plot line with the line tool.

Next, students had to place the events of the story in the appropriate place on the plot diagram.

This activity was very effective for teaching exposition, climax, and resolution.

I also used SMART Notebook’s Image Arrange tool and the screen shot images of the video so students could sequence the major events.

You can paste any images into this tool. These are the screen captures from YouTube.

I wasn’t so sure about this last-but-not-least activity, but I am glad I gave it a try. It incorporated sequencing, summarizing, sentence writing, and speaking & listening.

To prepare, I had Tweedle Dee draw 8 different pictures in cells like a comic strip (in random order). I asked her to keep the drawings simple and to reflect the main events of the story. Since she loves to draw and most of my students hate it, this was a win-win situation.

In class, I gave a copy of the mixed-up comic strips to each student. They had to cut, sequence, and paste the cells in order. They then had to retell the story in their own words under each cell.

I encouraged them to use their books for vocabulary and spelling. I thought this might be too juvenile or easy for my students but it was definitely challenging. Everyone’s story was slightly different in terms of wording. In fact, they did a little 4-3-2-1 sharing right before our comprehension quiz.

Here is one of the finished comic strips from my class:

Providing the pictures was a huge relief to many students. If they had asked, I would have let them draw their own. But no one did.

This link highlights just 14 of the SMART Flash Activities in the Activity Toolkit. If you are new to SMART Notebook this is definitely worth checking out.

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