I recently wrote a post on 10 useful pre-reading activities, so I thought I would follow this up with a blog post about activities to do after reading. What are the post-reading activities? Post-reading activities are activities done after the student has finished reading a text. These are usually done in order to help the learner more deeply understand what they have read. This is usually done by encouraging the learner to critically analyze the text. Here are 10 interesting and enjoyable ways of doing this.
- Using pictures
Select seven or eight pictures. Some of these should relate to the topic of the text the students have read. Ask the students to make small groups and give each group a copy of the pictures. The learners should work together to decide which pictures best associate with the reading. Encourage them to provide reasons for a picture being associated or not. After they have finished doing this, each group can take it in turns presenting their ideas.
- Speed chatting
Prepare three or four simple questions related to the content of the reading. Ask the class to make two rows facing each other. Then, encourage them to ask each other the questions, but warn them that they only have 60 seconds to do so. Once the 60 seconds are up, one of the rows rotates so each learner has a new partner. Repeat the process several times.
- Making statements
After the students have finished reading the text, put them into small groups. Ask each group to make two or three statements about the text. Give them examples of the kinds of statements they can make (this will depend on their level). After each group has made their statements, pass them round to other groups. They then read each other’s statements
- Summary writing
Ask the students to work together with a partner. First, ask them to work together to identify the main points of the reading. Once they have successfully done this, the students can work individually to put these into sentences. Depending on the level of the class, you might need to teach them how to paraphrase or how to write in their own words.
- Making videos
These days many students have access to video cameras on their phones. In this activity, students get together in a group and make a plan for a video relating to the text. This can be done in the form of a news report, and interview, or a role-play. They are only limited by their imagination. Once they have made their plan, the group decides what role each member will take. For example, who will star in the video, who will record the video etc.? The students then record a short video (I suggest just one or two minutes). The groups then mingle and share their videos with other groups.
- Making collages
This would require access to a computer. Ask the students to go online and find any media that they think is relevant to the text they have just read. They could find images, music, movies, poems, or other readings. The students should then get together in a small group and make a collage using the materials they have found. Tell them they will give a short presentation and they can do this any style they want.
- Using teamwork
After the students have read the text, ask them to make groups of five or six people. Set a time limit of five minutes and tell them they have to brainstorm as many facts about the text as they can in that time. The group that can recall the most is the winner.
- Using the vocabulary
Ask the students to choose 10 words from the text. Tell them that they should try to find a variety of different kinds of words (nouns / verbs / adjectives etc.). If you want, you can give them extra guidelines. For example, find at least one new word or the most difficult word. The students then use these words to produce their own text on a new topic. If you want, you can specify what kind of text you want them to produce. For example, a narrative, a poem, a summary, a report.
- Chain game
After the students have finished reading, tell them to go through the reading and try to remember some of the key points and details. If you are teaching a large class, split the students up into small groups of about five or six students. Ask the students to sit in a circle. Student 1 has to recall some information about the text. Student 2 then repeats that information and adds something new. Then student three repeats both pieces of information and adds their own. This process continues until the group runs out of ideas.
- Making their own test
Give the students a text with no comprehension questions. Ask them to read the text. When they have finished, tell them that you would like each student to prepare two comprehension quiz questions. Collect all these questions and compile them and distribute them to the class. They can then take their own test.
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