Oral Activities to promote Reading Comprehension

How can we promote Reading Comprehension?

Can Oral Activities help?

Can Cartoons stimulate discussion leading to deeper comprehension?

Oral Activities and Cartoons can be very useful in the class situation. Reading Comprehension should not be taught by giving hundreds of texts for students to read and answer questions at home or in class. If students learn to read the lines of the text and understand what lies between and beyond the lines, if they learn to analyze a text, they will be able to acquire the skills needed to answer questions in a very short time. After they have acquired and developed advanced reading skills, they may proceed to the stage of practice: Read texts and answer questions.

Let's not bore our students with more and more texts followed by the same kind of questions. Let's try to be creative and turn a Reading Comprehension lesson into an interesting experience.

How can we do it?

In this post and in the posts to come I will try to share with you ideas and texts that you are welcome to use in class.

The subject today is VIOLENCE.

Instead of a text, I will present a big poster or power point presentation (or hand out pages – the old way – ) including three provocative statements. The objective is to provoke a discussion that may lead to a deeper understanding of the statements.

Violence is a law of nature. Men and animals follow the rules of the jungle. It is "Kill or be killed," and there is nothing much we can do about it.

Violence is an instinct, and a necessary one. If man had no violent and aggressive urges, he would lack much of what he needs to survive: courage, energy and determination.

Violence is something we learn, just as we learn to walk and talk. We learn to be aggressive and violent because we live in an aggressive and violent world.


Read and explain each statement.

What is the difference between the statements?

What statement do you identify with? Why?

What statement would you reject? Why?

Give examples of violence in our daily life (at home, in class, in the street, on the bus, on the road, in politics, etc.).


Now look at the following cartoon:

Click on one of the cartoons to get a better view.


You may decide to turn this activity into a group activity.

Divide the class into groups of 4-6 students.   

Give them four pages – 1 cartoon in each page. They have to rearrange the cartoons in the right order (sequence of the plot) and discuss the story.

There are four scenes in this story. Describe them.

Why are the characters small or big?

What do the pictures suggest?

Give a title to each cartoon.

Discuss the message behind the cartoons.


Homework assignments:

Describe a violent incident you were involved in as a victim.

Describe a violent incident in which you tried to interfere.

Describer a situation in which you almost reacted violently. What made you resist the urge to react violently?


And that's all for today. More ideas and tests in my next post.

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