We spent a few days before state testing doing some quick review activities for answering fiction comprehension questions. We had spent A LOT of time on nonfiction over the past several months, but I wanted to be sure we were still sharp on our fiction comprehension skills and answering comprehension questions.
I began the review by creating this anchor chart with my students. I knew the 8 “types” of questions I wanted them to come up with, but I did guide them through making the chart. We talk so much about literal vs. inferential questions, but I also wanted to remind them of the specific types of questions they might come upon.
We talked about first deciding whether the question was literal or inferential, and then considering if it fit into one of these categories of questions. I emphasized that there are MANY MORE types of comprehension questions, but these were very common and showed up in a lot of test questions.
When we finished brainstorming, we made a comprehension foldable for review. To be honest, there wasn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to what we wrote inside. As a class, we brainstormed all of the thoughts and reminders we had about each type of question and each reading skill we had worked on. It's basically a collection of notes about each one, totally tailored to my class!
You can download the template for the foldable for free HERE. Thanks to Erin at Lovin' Lit for the template!
Then, in small groups and centers, we worked on my fiction comprehension task cards. In small groups, they glued one onto a piece of paper, we underlined specific evidence in the text for each question, and wrote answers in complete sentences. The kids liked the short, manageable paragraphs, and the 4 open-ended questions for each one. We talked about what type of question each one was, and they wrote I or L next to it to denote whether it was literal or inferential.
After we had done one or two cards together, they worked on several of the cards on their own. If I had noticed they were having trouble when we worked on them together, I gave them more black and white copies to glue onto their paper so that they could still underline their evidence. Otherwise, they got a laminated copy and wrote their answers on a piece of paper.
|Fiction Comprehension Task Cards|
The next day, we used some more of the task cards as a warm up. Then, we went out into the hall to do some quick comprehension review! My kids LOVED this activity!
That morning, I gathered 8 books that had intriguing first pages. I did that so that I could ask several inferential questions. I asked our librarian if it was legal to copy only the first page of the book, and to copy it only once, and she assured me that under fair use laws for teachers it was okay! So, I copied the first page of each book and wrote 3-5 comprehension questions (both literal and inferential) about the first page. I taped them up all over the hall, and the kids walked around with clip boards answering the questions.
They couldn't get enough of this. There was something so intriguing to them about reading only the first page! I made sure to keep the books checked out and on display so that they could read the rest of the book in their down time. This took me very little time to prep, and it was a GREAT way to review comprehension questions.
Each one took the kids about 5 minutes to complete, so we got in a lot of comprehension practice (using authentic texts) in a short amount of time. PERFECT test prep for us.
Update: Several people asked for the books and questions I used. Here they are, along with the questions I had on the papers so that you can use the questions if you have access to the books! They are all excellent books in whole, and you could even use just one or two of them to accomplish the same thing!
(Click each title to be taken to an Amazon Affiliate link)
**Amazon Affiliate links may be used in this post, at no cost to you. I may receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from these links.