Help Students Get Better at “Getting It”

Comprehension is that magic moment when your student assimilates information and suddenly “gets it.” That aha moment feels so good! Because comprehension requires a higher level of reasoning ability, once students master this skill, they will be able to tackle new challenges with the ability to think them through and discover solutions.

We’ve put together the following activities that will helps students progressively improve their abstract thinking skills and their ability to “get it.” 
Where are we going? 
This activity will have students reading simple symbols in a key and answering questions about a map. You can get lots of questions out of this one map that will improve comprehension skills. Simply display the map on your whiteboard or print it out so each student gets his or her own map. Then ask students to use the symbols to answer the questions below.


Help Students Get Better at “Getting It” | Improve Comprehension Skills | Remedia Publications
Click here to download the map.
  • What kind of trees are near the cabin?
  • Where does the hiking trail from the cabin lead?
  • Does the highway go through the camp?
  • What leads from the highway to the lake?
  • Where does the dirt road from the cabin lead?

Help students get better at “getting it” (aka comprehension skills) w/these activities from @remediapub #edchat
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Get the Picture? 

We often talk about using words to make pictures. With this activity, students will do just that. Have students take turns coming up to the board following each of the following directions:
  1. Write the word boy big and in lowercase letters.
  2. Draw a rounded line from the top right line of y to the top of the b.
  3. Draw another rounded line from the bottom of the b to the tail of the y.
  4. Make a small circle just below and between the b and the o.
  5. Make a half circle under this small circle.
  6. Make a dot in the center of the b.
  7. Make a dot in the center of the o.
  8. Draw a rounded line from the top of the left line of the y to the top of the b.

What’s the picture of? It’s a boy’s face!

Click here to download this free worksheet to hand out to each student if you’d rather them do this activity on their own. 

Tip: Challenge students to work backwards and make their own instructions for a word picture to share with a friend. 

What’s the question? 
Do this activity as a whole class. Tell your students, “This is going to be easy! I’m going to give you the answers! …All I need from you are the questions.” Students can either take turns sharing a question, or have students write their questions down and then share them with the class. Here are some sample answers that you can read aloud or display on the board: 
  • I will start at three o’clock.
  • I bought it at the hobby store.
  • My mom taught me how.
  • I stayed up late watching a movie.
  • We’re going to name him Fluffy.
  • She is very nice to everyone.

Tip: This could be a fun partner activity. Have students come up with their own answers. Then challenge their partner to come up with unique questions.

Critical Thinking Skills: Comprehension Activity Book | from Remedia Publications

Want More Practice?
The above activities were modified from our Critical Thinking Skills: Comprehension activity book. Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, our Critical Thinking Skills, 16 book series guides students from simple concrete activities to more abstract levels of thinking. Each book teaches an essential component of the thinking process broken down into easy-to-use steps.

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