After-Reading Activities

After-reading activities continue to build students’ comprehension. They give students more chances to reflect on the text. They also help them develop a deeper understanding by revisiting the text from different perspectives and for different purposes.

Parapros can build after-reading activities in the form of “conferences” with students designed to help students take stock of what the text meant. In the conference, the student should point out things he or she noticed, found interesting, or had questions about, reading aloud where possible. Parapros can answer questions, provide feedback, go over materials, and help the student plan for further reading.

These after-reading activities also help teachers and parapros with assessment. They show how well the students understood what they’ve read and how well they can express their ideas in writing and speaking. Teachers can discover where students need more help or support. There are many good after-reading activities, and the following table lists some of them.

Scaffolds to Help Students Build Reading Strategies After Reading

Scaffolding Activity What It Does Examples
Do vocabulary activities Vocabulary study helps reinforce the meanings and uses of new words. It also helps teachers check if students have retained the meanings of new vocabulary words. Have students write a reflection on the story and use the new vocabulary words or have them write their own story using the new vocabulary words.
Assign a creative project This helps students review and think more deeply about what they read. It lets them extend their involvement with the text by using a form of expression they prefer. Have the students do one of the following: make a poster about the text; design a book cover; write a rap song that retells the story; make a video of the story; make a diorama, mobile, or other art form to evoke the text; or make up a dance based on the story.
Review a completed story map A story map helps students recall what they read and use what they learned. Review the story map to help retell the story, asking different students to talk about different parts of the story.
Create a study guide After reading, study guides can help students remember the most important things they learned. Study guides can also help them prepare for a test on what they read. Use study-guide questions that lead to deeper reflection. Ask students to read through their study guides as they prepare for a test.
Conduct close reading This helps students make inferences, understand text more deeply, and see new perspectives. And it helps students understand how authors crafted their writing and why they wrote it. “Reread your favorite part of the text. Write a paragraph telling why it’s your favorite.”

“Write a poem in the same style as the one you read. Use the same writing techniques the author used.”

Lead a discussion Students learn how to reflect on and analyze text. Literature circles and book groups allow students to take responsibility for their own learning. Involve students in a debate about an issue from the text. Give the students a chance to talk about the book in a literature circle, where the students take on different roles.
Hold a conference between the student and a teacher or parapro A conference lets students share their understandings and insights with an adult. It can be used to check understanding and spot where a student needs help. In a one-on-one discussion, ask the student’s opinion about a text and reasons for the opinion. Ask comprehension questions and questions for deeper thinking; or ask student to make connections to other texts, subjects, and real life.
Complete a KWL Chart you began before reading, letting students fill in the chart with what they’ve learned. Some teachers add a fourth “Q” part for “Questions I still have.” The parts of the KWL chart that students complete after reading help them process what they learned and extend their thinking beyond what they read. L: Ducks find food under water. Their feathers are waterproof.

Q: How long can they stay under water? Why are their bills flat?

Create a reading journal Journals help students reflect on what they read and how it fits with things they already know or have experienced. Students’ entries can help them develop a final project or study for a test. “Write your own version of the story, but tell the story from a different character’s point of view.”

“Reading about ducks helped you think about how animals adapt to their environment. Pick another type of animal and talk about how it seems to adapt to its environment.”