Engaging Activities to Improve Reading Comprehension

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TFLTA 2008 Annual Conference Franklin, TN. Engaging Activities to Improve Reading Comprehension. Alejandra Lejwa Roc o Rodrguez del Ro Hutchison School Memphis, TN This presentation is available at: https://lejwa.wikispaces.com/. Suggestions. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Engaging Activities to Improve Reading Comprehension Alejandra LejwaRoco Rodrguez del RoHutchison SchoolMemphis, TN

    This presentation is available at: https://lejwa.wikispaces.com/TFLTA 2008 Annual ConferenceFranklin, TN.

  • SuggestionsStart working on reading skills at beginning levels.Approach reading as a communicative activity.Provide activities for different learning styles.Be creative and meaningful!

  • The Place for ReadingIn programs focused on oral proficiency, there is little space for working on reading skillsStudents at intermediate or advanced levels of oral proficiency will need reading skills to continue their study of the foreign languageIn those instances in which reading is taught there is a tendency to frame reading activities in passive or individual contexts

  • Challenges for the StudentsTime to work on readingInsufficient vocabulary or poor dictionary skillsTendency to translate the whole textDifficulty reading beyond the textDifficulty retainingDifficulty connectingwith other workLack of knowledge of world history

  • Understanding the Act of ReadingBolero de Ravel

  • Understanding the Act of ReadingPre-reading preparation guides

  • ReadingMaking it



    frustration loss of confidence in language skills

  • Pleasure Reading

    Finding a reading partnerSmall group readingWhole class readingCommunity reading

    Creating a reading space Corner or center of the classroom Going outside Beach chairs, pillows, and bean bags Lie down on the grass or floor Change sitting arrangements Bringing food

    Other- Reading out loud- Acting out scenes- Becoming a character

  • Pre-reading and Post-reading Activities

  • Selecting GoalsUnderstand vocabularyStimulate background knowledgeIncrease cultural and historical knowledgePromote understandingMake connectionsReflect on concepts, ideas, images, etc.Retain and use newly acquired vocabulary

  • VideosCultural content and history


    Los SanferminesLa TomatinaCuba Alhambra

  • VideosConnections to movies for deeper understanding

    - Comparing charactersLa viuda de Montiel short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The Official Story (movie by Luis Puenzo and Ada Bortnik)

    - Comparing themesEl laberinto del Fauno (movie by Guillermo del Toro) and poem El beso de los dragones by Wilfredo Machado.

  • ComicsAnticipation / reflection to promote understanding

    Quino and Un seor muy viejo con unas alas enormes by Gabriel Garca Mrquez

  • ComicsAnticipation / reflection to promote understanding

    Quino and Cartas de amor traicionado by Isabel Allende

  • PicturesConnection with characters

    Pictures of Quijote by different artists at different times

  • PicturesConnection with places

    Pictures of different environmentsHoracio Quiroga and pictures of rain forestIsabel Allende and pictures of the dessert

  • VideosConnections to commercials Focus on meaningExample:

    El arbol de oro,short story by Ana Maria Matute, and Aerolneas Argentinas commercial

  • PaintingsComparing conceptsUnderstanding charactersUnderstanding historical background Understanding literary movementsExamples:Comparing the art of Botero with Picasso, Goya, El Greco, Orozco, Rivera, etc.

    Las meninas de Velazquez and the BaroqueEl nacimiento de Venus by Botticelli and the Renaissance Poetry

  • PicturesHistoric and cultural background

    Mir los muros de la patria ma

  • PicturesHistoric and cultural background

    - Romances

  • Art - ScrapbookingSummarizing storiesRetaining characters descriptionsExamples:Creating a scrapbook about all stories read throughout the semester / year.

    Designing a poster for each story.

  • Art Drawing / CraftsEmotional connections with charactersUnderstanding characters and their situationsGeneral understanding Examples:Making the stick doll (La rama seca by A. M. Matute)Drawing Pipa and the pretty doll (La rama seca by A. M. Matute)Drawing a modern Chac Mool after reading the short story Chac Mool by Carlos Fuentes.Making paper flowers and papel picado for Day of the Dead

  • Songs Anticipation / Reflection to promote understanding

    El hijo del capitn trueno by Miguel Bose and El difcil arte de ser macho by Pedro Juan Gutirrez

  • SongsMaking connections with other contexts Retaining vocabularyExample:Carta de amor by Juan Luis Guerra and Cartas de amor traicionado by Isabel Allende.

  • Songs Historic and cultural background information

    Literary Movements Surrealism Eungenio Salvador Dal by Mecano

    Story Los mejores calzados by Luisa Valenzuela and song Solo le pido a Dios by Leon Gieco

  • Creative WritingComparative learningApplied knowledge of cultural and historical informationEmotional connection with textVocabulary retention and useExamples:Letter to author, character, or artist.Comparing stories by same author. La rama seca El arbol de oro (Ana Mara Matute)Comparing stories with same or opposite topic / characters / ambience. El avin de la Bella Durmiente El dcimoLas medias rojas Dos palabras La tomatina Oda al tomate

    Creating poems and songs.

  • Other TextsComparative learning and discussionApplied knowledge of cultural and historical informationExamples:Newspaper articles (Botero)Other stories by same author La rama seca El arbol de oro (Ana Mara Matute)Other stories with same or opposite topic / characters / ambience El avin de la Bella Durmiente El dcimoEl rbol de oro La rama seca La luz es como el aguaLas medias rojas Dos palabrasLa tomatina Oda al tomate (poem by Pablo Neruda_

  • Reading

  • Guided Reading

    Breaking text into sectionsActivating background knowledge to understand vocabularyAnswer comprehension questions on the goCommunity readingDrawing characters and placesDraw according to descriptionsCreating sceneMake a collage or act out a partPicturing the environmentLook at art or pictures to identify described environment

  • Questions and Collaboration

    This presentation is available at:


  • PresentersAlejandra Lejwa, MAUpper School Spanish InstructorWorld Language Department ChairHutchison Schoolalejwa@hutchisonschool.org

    Rocio Rodriguez del Rio. Ph.D.Upper School Spanish InstructorHutchison Schoolrrodriguezdelrio@hutchisonschool.org


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