Reciprocal Teaching Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Reciprocal teaching can be a great way for students to take ownership over their own learning and thinking. This lesson offers some activities to help you incorporate reciprocal teaching into your practice.

Why Reciprocal Teaching?

Have you ever worried that your students are zoning out when they read? Maybe they are reading the words properly, but they do not seem to be making meaning from text. Or maybe they just are not thinking critically or actively. One way out of this is a strategy called reciprocal teaching. In reciprocal teaching, students learn how to work actively with questioning, clarifying, summarizing and predicting. Focusing on these four elements of reading encourages students to take a more active role in the learning process and access reading on a deeper level.

Reciprocal teaching is not something you can necessarily do all at once, so it is helpful to know a number of different activities that lend themselves to this method. The activities in this lesson are oriented toward helping you engage in reciprocal teaching with your students as they grow as readers.

Reciprocal Teaching Activities

Activities for Questioning

One of the key elements of reciprocal teaching is learning how to question. These activities have students take on the role of questioner.

  • Bottom of the Page

Break your students into small groups, and give each group a picture book or short story to work with. Instruct students to read the story aloud together, taking turns reading. However, students should hold themselves accountable for stopping at the bottom of every page. Each student should ask fellow group members one question about what happened on that page. This will get students accustomed to stopping to check their own comprehension.

  • Questioner, Questioner

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