Did you know August 26th is National Dog Day? In my classroom, I always try to center my activities and plans around holidays or seasons. It just makes it more fun and engaging. One of the easiest ways to connect holidays and seasons into my plans is by using themed reading comprehension passages with questions students can use to show understanding.
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What’s so great about reading comprehension passages with questions?
As a previous resource teacher, I had students in fourth or fifth grade that struggled with going back into the text to find an answer, so I made it my mission when I started teaching first grade that I was going to start teaching my students how to go back into the text to find their answer and show text evidence – even if it’s just underlining the answer. I want to set my students up with reading comprehension strategies (and test-taking strategies) from an early age.
What does this have to do with National Dog Day?
Remember when I said I like to center my plans around holidays and seasons? Well, when I found out National Dog Day was August 26th (right around back-to-school time), I thought, what better holiday to kick off my small reading groups with than reading comprehension passages with questions about dogs?
So I created a National Dog Day reading comprehension passage, but I couldn’t stop there because I needed to differentiate it since my small groups have different abilities. Some need multiple-choice options, while others can write a response. Those that can write a response even have different abilities. Some can write in an empty box, while some need lines to write on.
So I created three different versions of the same passage. That way, all of my groups are accessing the same material, but the way they respond is differentiated based on their abilities.
When I plan for my small group instruction time, I have to plan for what my students are doing when they aren’t with me. Most times, they get their time in on Lexia or work on AR. However, I wanted to give them more opportunities to enhance their understanding of the comprehension passage we read in my small group.
In college, you probably heard about Bloom’s Taxonomy. In essence, it’s a pyramid of understanding. Reading and answering comprehension passages with questions is at the bottom. In order to enhance student understanding, they need to be engaged in higher-order thinking activities. That’s why I decided to add additional extension activities to my National Dog Day Reading Comprehension Passage.
I decided to add writing prompts plus two project options. For the projects, students can choose to create a brochure about National Dog Day, or they can create a poster and then write a rationale for why they designed the poster the way they did. These extension activities will keep students focused and engaged while I work with another small reading group at my table.
The Best Part?
Did I forget to say that I made this resource FREE in my teachers pay teachers store?? That’s right! You can get your own copy of the reading comprehension passage with questions and extension activities, all for the low low cost of FREE! How exciting??
I’m a sucker for thematic learning…
Since I love theming my lesson plans around holidays and seasons, I decided to run with the National Dog Day idea and create enough reading comprehension passages with questions to last me over 2 weeks! You can check those out here.
If you haven’t learned by now, I have a hard time stopping when I have an idea. So, I created a whole dog thematic unit to cover the 5 Essential Skills you should be teaching daily in your small reading groups. The bundle has dog-themed reading comprehension passages with questions and extension activities, vocabulary (with lots of fun extras like BINGO, word searches, and crossword puzzles), orthographic mapping mats for phonics instruction, dog breed-themed poems for fluency, and a bonus only found in the bundle: nonsense word practice.
What are you waiting for?
Even if you’re not ready for all the dog-themed reading comprehension passages with questions, don’t forget to grab your FREE copy of the National Dog Day reading comprehension passage with questions and extension activities!