April 14, 2004
I use an activity called 'Four Square' to target students' comprehension skills. Students keep a spiral notebook with each page divided into four equal parts. The top left box is labeled 'Questions I Have'. In this section, students write questions that pop into their heads as I read aloud. The top right box is labeled 'Answers I Found'. Students write any answers they hear to the questions they listed. The bottom left square is labeled 'Mental Picture'. Students draw a picture of what they are visualizing after I read a specific passage, which could be a paragraph or an entire chapter. If there is a vivid description in a chapter, I will reread a section and ask students to draw a picture representing that section. The bottom right square is reserved for 'Written Response'. Here students respond to a question I pose. The questions can be predictions, comprehension, sequencing or whatever skill the students need to practice. This activity keeps kids connected to my reading and serves as a great alternative to assessments as well!