“If we want our children to thrive, teaching them to read is not enough – they must learn to enjoy it.”
Reading is of such vital importance to young children. It forms the basis and foundations for some much higher order tasks. If a student is unable to read a text or a question, they are unable to access the curriculum and so are unable to fulfil their full potential. Many students feel anxious when presented with a text and an extended answer question, simply deciding to leave it blank. In Science, we have been modelling good reading and providing students with some strategies to answer these extended answer questions.
In year 7, we have been learning about cells. The students were presented with a piece of text and an extended answer question. They first skim-read the text, to gain a gist of the information. We then discussed any previous knowledge they may have, that would help then understand the text. The teacher then models good reading and reads the text to the class. Students can then re-read the text, highlighting any words they are unsure off. These are then discussed as a class in a no pressure setting, allowing every student a chance to ask for some clarity. Finally, we use a strategy to answer the extended answer question. We used CUBE to help us answer the question:
C – Circle any command words
U – underline any keywords
B – Box any tricky vocabulary or subject specific words
E – Eliminate the excess (words you don’t need to focus on).
By using this strategy, everyone was able to produce excellent answers, enjoying the task and no longer feeling as anxious when faced with big passages of text. Some examples are below. The girls did a really good job and this strategy can also be used in a variety of other subjects as well. Great job, girls!