Developing interpretative reading activities involves more than identifying a text that is “at the right level” and writing a set of comprehension questions for students to answer. A fully-developed interpretative reading activity supports students as readers through pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading activities.
Here are some guidelines and suggestion to keep in mind when creating an interpretive reading activity for students.
- Keep in mind that complete recall of all the information in a text is not the goal. The goal is to comprehend the text and learn from the content.
- Construct the reading activity around a purpose that has significance for the students. The goal is not simply to read and understand, but to take the knowledge gained and do something with it.
- Define the activity’s instructional goal and the appropriate type of response. What will students do with the content that they take away from the text?
- Check the level of the text. Is it accessible given the proficiency level of the students?
- Use pre-reading activities to prepare students for the content.
- Assess students’ background knowledge of the topic and linguistic content of the text.
- Give students the background knowledge necessary for comprehension of the text, or activate the existing knowledge that the students possess.
- Clarify any cultural information that may be necessary to comprehend the text.
- Make students aware of the type of text they will be reading and the purpose(s) for reading. Interpretive reading activities should have a clear goal and information gained from reading should be used for a follow-up activity.
- Provide opportunities for group or collaborative work and for class discussion activities.
Keep these tips and suggestions in mind and when putting together an interpretive reading activity. They will help to keep the goal of reading and using the content learned in the text.