Saturday, November 21, 2015

Seek and Find: A Reading Activity

Recently we were working on a passage from Caesar in my class, and I felt that the students really did not have the section we were reading down and needed both more vocabulary review and more reading review of the section. Miriam and I brainstormed and created this really simple review that involved a huge number of repetitions and a little bit of tactile experience with the language.

For this particular text, which included a lot of complex and compound sentences, I took the passage and sectioned it out into clauses (you can see it here if you like). On the day I used it, I handed out a copy to each student and had them cut the sections out with a time limit of 5 minutes (otherwise they find ways to make cutting out rectangles take an entire period).

Starting with vocabulary I knew students were having trouble with, I called out the words in English and had them point to the correct Latin word in the text. We repeated the ones they were getting wrong until everyone was getting all of the words when they were called out. Then I said sentences in English and students had to hold the correct Latin sentences up. I also drew pictures for each clause and students had to find the sentence that matched the image I projected. Lastly I had them arrange the clauses back into the story.

Miriam did a variation where instead of the pictures, she described things in Latin and students had to hold up sentences that contained the thing described.

The idea is not super complex or original per se, but it created great buy in by the students, it was a great break from the regular activities we had been doing, created repetitions without being repetitive, and students came out of the activity with thorough comprehension of a section of Latin that they had been struggling with significantly before then.

Simple and effective, with minor preparation needed. Seek and find is now definitely a permanent addition to my reading toolbox.