Updated: May 30, 2021
The challenge you may have when planning reading rotations is finding activities that will engage and educate students. I know I have spent hours trying to find ‘just the right’ literacy activity that will stimulate, challenge and work for various learners.
Some favourites that have captivated students involve technology, and over the years, we have accumulated go-to activities that classes love year in and year out. The bonus element of these tasks is that students further their literacy development and their digital technology skills.
The activities we mention in this blog post are suitable for students in Year 3 up to Year 6. If you teach in the early years, many of these activities are also applicable for Year 1 and Year 2.
Here are 5 activities that use technology and are ideal for reading rotations so that your students are immersed in learning and you can concentrate on your small reading group:
1. Spelling Poster
Using an app of your choice, we like PicCollage, ask students to practise typing their spelling words by creating a poster of their weekly spelling words / grapheme of the week etc. Students love this one since they get to be creative and don’t realise they are consolidating their spelling and phonic skills simultaneously.
2. Emoji Story Review
Often students needed further practise summarising and retelling a story. A fun way to do this is by having students create a review of the story only using emojis. They could break up the emoji review into sections such as the setting, character, problem, resolution and ending.
Extend the activity by getting students to share their emoji review with a partner or reading group. If the group has read the same book, compare and contrast emoji stories allowing for great discussion opportunity. This technique could also be used when reviewing a chapter in a novel study.
3. Audio recording
This activity can push some students out of their comfort zone, but it is excellent for oral language. Students choose a page or two to read, and they record themselves in the process. Aim for a 1 to 2-minute recording max. They can use the video function on their device or an app such as Seesaw.
The main purpose is to listen back to themselves reading and reflect on areas that require further practise, such as intonation, pace or pitch. During this task, get students to complete a reflection sheet to help them through the process.
4. Character Description
Expanding from the previous idea, students can use the app Chatterpix (it’s free) to draw a character and take a photo or use themselves to complete a character review. Once students have a photo of the character in Chatterpix, they simply draw a line that becomes an animated mouth, and they finish by recording themselves speaking. Upon completion, the image becomes an animated movie recording.
Students could use this app to retell a story or record interesting facts they learned reading a non-fiction text. For example, take a photo of a volcano and record themselves as a talking volcano.
5. Create a digital book
Perhaps you want to encourage creative writing, or students have been writing a narrative in class. The app Book Creator (also free) is an excellent way for students to express their learning. This task could be used over a series of reading rotations, where over 4 weeks, students are expected to present a completed book.
Alternatively, use... to retell a story, summarise a story, record a procedure, identify cause and effect, the list is endless. Like any new app being introduced in the class, make sure you dedicate a lesson for students to become familiar with the settings and expectations during reading rotations.
There you have it, 5 reading rotation activities using technology that won’t cost you a thing. We would love to hear if you try them and if they're a hit with your students @rainbowskycreations
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