Forty Best-practices Instructional Activities
Choose five to ten key words, phrases, or quotes from a reading selection
to help students predict what the text will reveal. Invite students to
think about the clues to make predictions and ask questions that set a
purpose for reading. Elicit students’ personal knowledge and experiences
as they think about the clues. Include topic-related vocabulary to the
clue words and phrases. Encourage students to pair or group clues together.
Ask them to share how the clue words could be connected or related. Invite
students to write statements that use the clues. Assist students through
demonstrations and think alouds to understand the process of looking for
relationships. Assess students’ level of understanding prior to
reading the selection. Read to confirm or adjust predictions about the
relationships and presence of their predicted words. Review the clues
after reading to see if the text’s information leads to new fact
Examples: Clue Words: wings, talons,
beak, respected, good eyesight, bald, prey. Students share a sentence
that conveys how the words go together: Eagles use their talons to capture
their prey. Wings, talons, and beak are all body parts of an eagle. Questions:
What do you think the reading selection will be about? What other words
do you think might be included in the text on this topic?
1. Include the title and subtitle with the clue words.
2. Place the clues on individual index cards to engage kinesthetic learners.
3. Reveal the clue phrases one at a time as riddle-type mysteries for
students to solve. (Reveal general words initially, followed by more specific
4. Place students in small groups to read, discuss, sort, and write about
the clue phrases.
Make Predictions, Ask Questions, Activate Prior Knowledge, Set Purposes
for Reading, Build Vocabulary, and Make Connections