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Fun Reading Activities for Middle School

Fun Reading Activities for Middle School
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  • 0:03 Reading Skills
  • 0:38 Teaching Cause & Effect
  • 1:32 Teaching Inferences & POV
  • 2:54 Teaching Main Idea
  • 3:48 Teaching Foreshadowing
  • 4:37 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Barbara Fehr

Barbara has taught English and history and has a master's degree in special education.

In this lesson, you will be introduced to five fun reading activities that apply to middle school language arts skills. With these activities, you will be able to create an atmosphere that fosters the joy of reading and reading comprehension.

Reading Skills

Teaching specific reading skills to middle school students can sometimes mean using material that can be a bit dry, and you may find yourself reaching for worksheet after worksheet for students to do while they read. Teaching reading skills does not have to be boring. This lesson provides five fun activities to use while introducing important reading skills to your students. Many of these activities have your students getting out of their seats and collaborating with their peers, and each provides ways to show them that reading does not always have to be a quiet and solitary experience, but can be interactive and fun.

Teaching Cause & Effect

Have you ever been mesmerized by a long train of dominoes getting knocked over? This is the perfect illustration for cause and effect. When introducing cause and effect relationships to your students, recreate the visual of dominoes falling by lining up four to five students. Have them raise their arms in the air. When the person in front lowers their arms, they should knock down the arms of the student next to them. Each student's arms should 'fall' like dominoes. Explain to them that the reason 'why' student B's arms fell was 'because' student A's arms pushed them.

Now, break your students into groups of four or five. Have them read short fiction or nonfiction texts together and identify the cause and effect relationships in the text. They should write each part onto a card or piece of paper. When each group is finished, have them present to the class their cause and effect relationships as a set of 'dominoes.'

Teaching Inferences & POV

Making inferences is similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle is a clue to solving it. The puzzle solver looks at the clues provided and combines them with the information that he or she already knows about the larger picture. When teaching students how to make inferences, start with a graphic organizer showing four different puzzle pieces that fit together. Illustrate to your students that each piece of the puzzle represents either a clue the author has left for them or something they already know about the text.

Give your students each two to three pieces of a larger puzzle (the pieces can be large or small depending on your students' ability). Have them record their observations of the pieces matched with statements of what they already know. For example: 'This piece is blue and has squiggly lines. I already know that water is blue and sometimes waves are drawn as squiggly lines; therefore, I might infer that this puzzle shows something in the water.'

Each character in a text has his or her own feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Choose a text where there is a clear difference between the points of view of at least two characters. Have your students work in partners to determine the feelings, thoughts, and ideas of their assigned character. Once each pair has developed a point-of-view profile for their characters, have them come to the front of the room to debate with the opposing character. This requires some higher-level thinking, such as analyzing and applying their knowledge of the character.

Teaching Main Idea

Commonly, building blocks are among the first toys children play with. Building blocks can become anything, from a creative character to a towering building. Regardless of what is built, if it is going to stand, it must have a solid foundation. This is similar to the main idea of any text: In order for it to have any strength, it must have details to support it. Build a tower of four blocks in front of your students, with three small blocks holding up the main larger block. Explain to them that if these details are taken away, the tower is not as strong.

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