JUDGING BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS
Language: Any language
Proficiency Level: Intermediate
Brief description of the activity: Learners will make predictions about the content of an article before reading it in order to focus their learning. Then they will summarize the content in their own words.
- Students will be able to predict content from a variety of clues to aid reading comprehension of an article.
- Students will be able to use cues to make predictions and activate background knowledge.
- Students will learn about a topic in the foreign language.
Language focus: Reading Comprehension
Materials:Several articles with titles and pictures that suggest the content.
- Introduce the content
Show learners prediction cues such as the title and picture of an article that they have read previously. Have them describe the cues a class discussion. Then model the activity by making a few predictions based on the cover. Since predictions are not always right, you may want to predict some things that will not occur in the text. As a class, compare your predictions with the actual story.
Explain that most of the time students can tell a lot about a story, or article they are going to read by looking at the pictures, covers, drawings, graphs, or other visual elements before they begin reading.
Hand out a new article and ask learners to make predictions about the article based on the titles and any pictures or illustrations. As they read the article, encourage them to check whether their predictions were right. Although it does not matter whether or not all of the predictions were accurate, it is important that learners check their predictions after reading. Ask them if making predictions helped their comprehension.
In pairs, have learners draw a simple image of what they read and use it to help them retell the story or article in their own words.
- Have readers find another target language article on the same topic on the Internet.
- Have learners brainstorm a variety of reading situations such as a novel for pleasure, a social studies chapter, a science experiment, an article from their favorite magazine etc. Tell them that making predications can make reading easier and more enjoyable in all of these situations.
- Review this strategy with another reading assignment and then try it with a listening exercise.
Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
Take your class to the library for this activity if the number of books in the classroom is limited. Or use online news sites in the target language, such as: