The Story behind Graded Readers
by Zainab Al Bulushy
• Use the cover to guess the title
In this activity, the teacher shows the students the cover of the story and asks them to think of as much vocabulary as they can. Students should use the list of vocabulary to try and guess the story. They can do this in a shape of written paragraphs of their imagined events.
• cluttered chapter titles
The teacher here provides students with the chapter titles only and assigns students in groups to put them in the right order. They also try to guess the ending of the story. At the end a comparison could be generated between the students groups as to who were the closest in their guessing.
• Search for the author
Probably in a computer class, the teacher could assign students the task to gather information about the author after eliciting the questions they would like to get answers for about the author.
• Use the images
You can use the images of the characters as to show them to students and ask them to imagine their names and personalities and different roles in the story. Let students then read the introduction or the summary to check whether their guesses were correct.
• Writing comedian strips
To create a fun atmosphere in the classroom, the teacher could choose a suitable chapter and break it into parts where students can try to fill the bubbles with what they think each character says. Then show them some examples of language that can be used in such cases. They find it very funny and creative.
• Producing radio plays
Students are given the chance to decide on a section of the story to act in a radio activity that would be recorded and then replayed. They choose which character to play and should be encouraged to act it well.
• Writing news editorials
Students take the role of journalists and reflect on their preferred sections of the story. They decide on the part they want to write about and imagine that they are writing an editorial for a newspaper or a magazine.
• Using videos
If the story is accompanied by a film edition, you can use it to find the differences in the scheme between the book and the film. It is better however to let students begin with the reading of the book to give them an opportunity to imagine the events and relate to them.
• Using horoscopes
Students can be given the opportunity to guess the future of the character before reaching the end of the story. Then they can compare their predictions to the real events as they continue reading
• Being the character
Students love to role-play and they have fun doing it. Let them act an interview with the hero of the story for example and ask them to write questions for the actors. The assigned characters should answer the rest of the students' questions as if they were the real people in the story.
• Writing book reviews
Show the students some examples of book reviews and then ask them to do the same for their stories rating them and deciding on how effective they are. This will give them a sense of achievement and a high self esteem.
A competition between students' groups could take part as to check which group has more information about the events of the story. The students can help preparing the questions and designing the competition.
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