Comprehension is an important part in learning different subjects or enjoying reading books. Reciprocal Reading is a strategy to make comprehension in class simpler and more engaging. It is divided into four parts – Prediction, Questioning, Character mapping and summarizing.
Grouping of students
First, group students such that each team has four students of different levels of learning. Assign the roles as ‘Predictor’, ‘Questioner’, ‘Character mapper and ‘summarizer’.
Before the start of the chapter, the students predict using the following diagram. This is to develop interest among students about the upcoming lesson.
All the students in the group read the title and 1st paragraph. They discuss about clues from these on what the chapter might be.
They look at all the pictures used in chapter and again think of new clues to add to the prediction.
The predictor notes down these words/ phrases in the balloons.
Then combining all the things together, the group decides what the story will be about and fills in the box.
This is done after the completion of the chapter/parts of a story. Ideal chapter would be 2-3 pages long. A higher order student can be chosen for this role initially.
The students discuss in group the answer for the boxes given.
Who – All the character names
When – The time when the story takes place. If not provided explicitly, the students guesses.
Where – Place
What happened – Students can note down 3 major events
Why – Students reason why the events took place
The questioner notes down the answers discussed.
3. Character mapping
This helps the students to understand the character in-depth. Any 2 major characters can be chosen for this exercise.
Traits – Physical traits refer to anything described (written or picture) in the book which helps students make a mental image of how the character looks.
Personality traits describe the person’s behaviour or thoughts.
Teacher can give list of traits and keep adding to the vocabulary.
Students gather the main events and classify them into beginning, middle and end.
Main idea is recollecting and summarising the story in 3-5 lines. Summarising might be a difficult skill for many students initially, might need demo. The summariser notes down this information.
Teachers can add moral of the story too to this.
5. Web a word
Each student from the team of four selects 2 difficult/new words. The team brainstorms on all the words they have. A rule can also be made to have 8 different words per team. This activity requires a lot of student ownership and independent work. The teacher can guide the students with the process by choosing 8 words for the whole class and helping students get familiar with filling the Graphic organizer.
Each student writes a new word. Two of this will be present with each student.
First word from the team is chosen. This process is broken down into two steps
The students discuss if they remember something when they read/hear the word. They write the similar sounding words in the box.
In the next box they think of how it is used in a sentence. Can it be a noun, a verb? Can we understand the meaning of the sentence without this word?
Combining the previous two things, students guess what the word might mean in the box.
This process takes them through the various thinking steps that readers use for learning new words.
b. Sentence forming
After guessing what the word means, the students use dictionary to find the meaning of the word. If this is difficult, teacher can assist with meanings of words. They understand the word and form one sentence using the word. This way, they will remember through application of their knowledge.