Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blog Post #13 What Did I Leave Out?

Picture from the film Dead Poet's SocietyI chose a couple of fun reading instruction activities that I found to be very helpful in the classroom. Second and third grade is a very crucial time in a student's education when they begin to learn sentence structure and read fluently. A lot of work with reading instruction is very repetitive because students have to memorize the sounds of letters and how those sounds create a word. As a teacher, it's not hard to be creative when it comes to reading instruction. You may think, "How? The student just needs to repeat the words over and over again and read a lot of books!" Reading is a creative process on its own. Children will read books and stories all day long because they have to for school. The key to helping your students WANT to read is finding what reading material may interest them. Now, back to the creative part!

In high school, my eleventh grade English teacher had us do a very surprising and fun activity that seemed a little out of the ordinary at the time. Little did I know, I would remember this activity six years later! She asked us all to take out our journals and write one sentence to begin an epic story. It could be about anything (appropriate) our minds could quickly dream up! After we wrote exactly one sentence, we had to pass our journals to the classmate behind us. Soon we were all having a blast while we added pages upon pages of our work onto our friend's stories. The lesson was for all of us to notice our creative ability.

This lesson can easily translate into an activity for a second or third grade classroom. I found a good example from Story Jar Activity, although the concept is basic, I thought I could add onto the activity. The teacher could form the class into groups of four and each group would take a piece of paper with a single sentence on it from a jar. As a group, the students would have to write one more sentence and then the pieces of paper would rotate around the room so everyone could add onto each story. This helps with sequencing skills, so each group understands that the sentence they add on will have to make sense with the previous one.

These lessons can be incorporated into a blog assignment where the students need to find well thought-out, creative, and skill-promoting activities on Activities that go with the grade level they wish to teach.


  1. Very good idea! It is also a good "parlor game" activity with adults!

  2. After reading your post, I plan on using these reading instruction activities in the classroom, considering studying history requires a lot of reading.