No matter whether you walk in to a classroom Asia, North America or Europe you will almost certainly see teachers and students building their understanding of the world through a dedicated daily reading session.
Books allow students an opportunity to be informed, entertained or escape as they comprehend fiction and non-fiction texts against their understanding of the world, their personal insights, opinions and finally comparing those texts to others.
Whilst you may have a wealth of books in your school library it can often be tough to come up with fresh and engaging ways to study literature. So today we are going to explore 25 proven activities that can be applied to any book and at any age level.
These activities are easy to follow an suitable for most age groups within an elementary / junior high school level.
A Lifetime Tale in Pictures
Draw the main character from a book you have recently read. Show them as a baby, middle aged and as an older person.
Underneath each picture write what you think they might be doing at that point of their life, and explain why they may be doing so.
For example if you drew Harry Potter as a baby, he might be casting spells on his mum to feed him lots of yummy food.
This activity is very easy for all age groups to adapt their skill level and text style.
TEXT TO SELF
Based upon a book you have just read, share a story about yourself that is related to an event or character that was in the book.
It is probably best done in the form of a written recount. Link your experience to no more than four situations that occurred within the text.
Text to self is a great opportunity for students to become introspective about the content they read and make comparisons to their own experiences in life.
This activity is appealing to teenagers more so than juniors
IT'S IN THE INSTRUCTIONS
From a book you have just read, select either an important object or creature and create a user manual or a guide explaining how to care for it.
Ensure you use any important information learnt from the book as well as any other information you consider to be important.
If you are writing a user manual for an object remember to focus on how to use the object correctly and how to take care of it.
If you are writing a user guide for an animal or creature focus on keeping it alive and healthy as well as information that explains how to keep it happy and under control if necessary.
Place yourself in the shoes of one of the characters you have just read about and write a diary entry of a key moment from the story.
Try to choose a moment in the story in which the character has plenty of interaction and emotion to share in a diary entry.
Your diary entry should be around a page in length and contain information you learnt from the book when the character was in that specific place and time.
Remember when you are writing a diary entry you are writing it from first person perspective. It is usually but not always written in present tense.
Diary writing has been a very popular actiivty thorughout time but social media tools such as Facebook and blogging has in some ways changed this.
Mapping it all out
Have a go at drawing a map of one of the places from the text you have just read. See how much detail you can include and be sure to discuss your map with another reader so you can compare and add more if necessary.
Take some time and effort to ensure your map is appealing to the same audience that the book is aimed at.
All good maps should contain the following BOLTS elements.
B - Bolts
O - Orientation
L - Legend
S - Scale
Using an iPad or a digital camera make faces of the emotions the main characters would have gone through in your book and take photos of them.
Put them together in a document on your computer or device and explain the emotion below the image and when the character would have felt this way.
This is an excellent opportunity to use some creative direction for this task.
Be sure to play around with the images, filters and graphical styling available to you.
Think of yourselves as a group of travel assistants whose job it is to promote a city of your choice from the text you have been reading.
As a group, you need to come up with a concept map of all of the exciting things that happen in your city and then present it to the class.
Don’t forget all of the exciting things such as theaters, restaurants, sports, adventure activities, entertainment and much more…
If yo are a little short on details of the location of your story do some research if it was a real location or just get creative andmake up some locations and tourist attractions based upon what you read.
Select a character from a book and consider what might be a good job for them. You can choose something completely suitable such as a security guard job for Superman or a more oddball approach such as a pastry chef.
Either way, you will have to write a letter from the perspective of this character and apply for a position.
Be sure to explain why your character would be great employee and what special skills they would possess to make them ideal for the role. Really sell you character explaining all the great attributes they possess.
What's the Status?
Create a Facebook page for your character with some status updates about what they have been up to.
Include some pictures and make sure your status updates are relevant to the character and the story.
Around 3 - 4 status updates with mages should give an overall picture of the character.
Use your status updates to explore what your character does for a job, leisure time, places they might go on vacation and the like.
Bubbles and Clouds
Using speech bubbles and pictures of the characters, draw a conversation between two characters from the story you have been reading.
Remember a thought is drawn as a cloud and a spoken statement is drawn as a bubble.
Be sure to take a look at some comics or graphic novels for some inspiration and insights.
This activity is usually best done on pen and paper but there are numerous digital apps and tools whcih will allow you make this a reality thorugh technoilogy.
An artifact is an object that has some significance or meaning behind it. In some cases, an artefact might even have a very important story behind it. I am sure you have got a favorite toy, or your parents have a special item in the house that they would consider an important artifact.
For today’s task you are going to select five artifacts from the text you have been reading and explain what makes them significant or important.
They don’t all have to be super important to the story but I am sure that at least a couple of them played a major role.
Be sure to draw a picture of the artifact and if necessary label it.
Choose 3 important events from the text and explain how you would have handled them differently to the characters in the story.
Explain how it may have changed the outcome of the story in either a small or major way.
Be insightful here and think of the cause and effect. Sometimes your smallest action can have have a major impact on others.
Popplet Mind Mapping Task
Popplet is a mind mapping tool that allows you connect ideas together using images, text and drawings.
From a text you have recently read create a family tree or network diagram that explains the relationship the characters have to each other.
Some may be father and son, husband and wife or even arch enemies.
Try and lay it out so it is easy to follow.
You Have Three Wishes
A genie lands in the midpoint of the story you have just read and grants the two main characters three wishes.
What do they wish for and why?
Finally, would their wishes have changed anything about the story? How so?
Again think about the cause and effect relationship and how this may have altered the path of the book you have been reading.