I get lots of great language teaching information and ideas from the National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC). I find their information on creating reading activities particularly useful. Here is a summary of the guidelines. You can find more detailed information on the NCLRC website.
“Developing reading activities involves more than identifying a text that is “at the right level,” writing a set of comprehension questions for students to answer after reading, handing out the assignment and sending students away to do it. A fully-developed reading activity supports students as readers through pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading activities.”
- Keep in mind that complete recall of all the information in a text is an unrealistic expectation.
- Construct the reading activity around a purpose that has significance for the students
- Define the activity’s instructional goal and the appropriate type of response
- Check the level of difficulty of the text
- Use pre-reading activities to prepare students for reading
- 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, which may be necessary to comprehend the passage
- Make students aware of the type of text they will be reading and the purpose(s) for reading
- Provide opportunities for group or collaborative work and for class discussion activities
- Match while-reading activities to the purpose for reading