Monday, December 12, 2016

How Do The Characters Respond?

If you have a reading which has a lot of dialogue in it, here is a post-reading activity which can be used. I have no idea from whom I got this idea (or if I even got this idea from someone), but it is definitely a good quick activity which can be used to reinforce the reading. Plus, it does involve a degree of higher-order thinking.

Currently, Bob Patrick and I are reading Brando Brown Canem Vult in our classes. As it is the first time going through this novel, I have been going rather slow (maybe too slow), taking my time to preview vocabulary through various means. When we began Chapter 2, as the chapter is a dialogue between Brandon and his mother, we started with an 8-sentence dictation. From there, we did a number of different activities based on that dictation dialogue. 

One of the activities which we did was "How Do the Characters Respond?" where I started with Brandon's first statement and then gave students a choice of responses from the dictation dialogue. Here is what I did:

  1. We did this activity two days after the dictation. This was the 5th time in which students had reviewed this story (but 5th different way). By this point, students were very familiar with the dialogue and what each sentence was communicating. Students told me that it was not very difficult to pick the correct response.
  2. Even if students did not remember how each character exactly responded, many students told me that they were able to pick the correct answer based on context and what "made sense."
  3. This was another quick way for students to receive understandable messages and repetitions in a meaningful context. Students were also getting a review of all of the sentences from the dialogue.
  4. It is important to go over a reading multiple times in multiple ways, as students need to receive these messages in different ways (think differentiated learning). As Carol Gaab says, "The brain craves novelty."

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