Looking for some ideas to engage your 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students as they respond to a fiction text they have read? One of the 11 reading response ideas below is sure to work for your upper elementary classroom.
You can get a no prep version of all of these activities (and more!) in this Fiction Reading Response Resource.
Reading Response and Comprehension Activities for Any Fiction Book
1. Find the Fib
Find the Fib, also known as Two Truths and a Lie, is a personal favorite of mine. It's a versatile activity that is always fun for students.
It's easy to have students use it as a response to reading a fiction text. Simply have students write two true statements about the text they read, and one fib. Then, have them see if a partner can figure out which statement is the fib!
You can set parameters if you want to focus on a specific skill. For example, have students write their statements about the main character, or the setting, or the problem of the story.
2. Reflect on a Quote
Have students choose a quote from the text and reflect on what it means to them. They could choose a quote that stuck out to them, or a quote that seems important, of a quote that they agree or disagree with. Have them write the quote down, and then explain why they choose it / why it was important to them.
3. Draw a Story Timeline
4. Before, During, and After Reading Questions
There is a reason teachers ask so many questions - because questions make students think. Use these before, during, and after reading example questions to help students think about the text they are reading.
This doesn't have to be a boring, students-raise-their-hand activity. There are several easy ways to spice up your question asking lessons.
1. Interview A Friend
2. Find Someone Who
This is a fun whole class activity that gets students up and moving. Students are given a page of questions, but they don't answer the questions - other students do. Students walk around the classroom trying to find a different student to answer each question.
Or, this Fiction Reading Response Resource includes 4 different Find Someone Who Activities that can be used with any fiction text.
3. Partner Up
5. Poetry Writing
This sounds intimidating, but it doesn't have to be! There are ways to scaffold poetry writing so that students can be successful, even if they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with poetry.
This Fiction Reading Response Resource includes activities to help students confidently write:
- a quatrain about a main character
- a quatrain with AABB rhyme scheme (2 couplets) about the problem and solution of the text
- an acrostic poem using an important word or theme from the text
- a haiku about a setting of the text
- a "Word Sonnet" (1 word for each of the 14 lines) giving a summary of the text
6. One Pager
A one pager is a reading response where students take the important parts from the text and share it on one sheet of paper. It can include quotes, illustrations, symbols, etc. Provide students with a framework for what should be included in their one pagers so they know what expected.
This Fiction Reading Response Resource includes 2 different fiction one pager activities.
7. Rewrite the Ending
This is another personal favorite of mine. Have students come up with a word related to the fiction text they read for each letter of the alphabet.
For example, for the book Charlotte's Web, students could use the word "runt" for the letter R, or "humble" for the letter H.
As an added extension activity, students can write a sentence using each word.
9. Character, Setting, Problem, and Solution
10. Students Compare and Contrast a Character to Themselves
This is pretty self-explanatory. Students choose one of the characters in the text, and compare and contrast themselves with that character.
Venn diagrams are a teacher's go to for comparing and contrasting, but there are a lot of other fun options. Check out these 9 different ways to compare and contrast.