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4.6: Thirty Writing and Reading Activities

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    Teachers may assign these activities FOLLOWING any sort of reading that was required for the course.

    OPTION 1: Flickr/Pixlr Image Creation

    Idea: This activity visualizes the reading. You will find an image that connects to the quote/statement you find most interesting in the chapter you just read. Using the Creative Commons area of or Unsplash, you’ll save the image and add text (or a quote) by using From there, you could upload the image to an LMS or insert it into a document to be handed in. Or, hell, maybe you’ll just email it to whoever needs to see it.

    OPTION 2: Facebook Status(es)

    Idea: You will create a Facebook status of the topic or person in the reading. Perhaps there will be comments to that status by other people in the reading.  

    OPTION 3: Top Ten 

    Idea: You would rank something in the reading for class. If the chapter is about blogs, maybe you would rank the top ten blogs you might read.

    OPTION 4: Twitter Sitter

    Idea: In 280 characters or less, you will sum up what you read. 

    OPTION 5: Text Type-Up

    Idea: You might learn the best through repetition, and yet don’t want to mark up your paper textbooks. So, this activity asks you to type (or write) up a piece of the reading you’d like to respond to. After typing or writing up the piece, you can then circle things you don’t understand or really find interesting.

    OPTION 6: Animoto Video Trailer

    Idea: Just like how movies have previews, maybe discussions should too? This activity asks you to create a trailer or preview of the upcoming discussion by reading and then putting related images and text into Their 30-second videos are free and easy to use. From there, you could upload the URL to an LMS to be viewed in class. {}

    OPTION 7: Prezi/PPT

    Idea: In order for you to prep for the upcoming discussion of the reading, you should create parts of the possible discussion by putting together a piece such as a PowerPoint slide (or slides) or Prezi presentation. You could then upload those Prezis/PPTs to a specific area in the LMS in order for the instructor to pop them up on the big screen in class.

    OPTION 8: Visual Definition

    Idea: Many of us naturally increase our vocabulary by reading, so this activity asks you to pick a specific number of words from the chapter to create visual definitions of. Each slide = new word made visual with images, stories, quotes from the reading, definitions, etc. 

    OPTION 9: Create a Quiz

    Idea: In order to create a quality quiz, you need to know the material. So, you should create quizzes from everything you read (if you have time); the quiz or quizzes could contain multiple-choice questions, T/F, and even short answer questions. The quizzes, then, could be exchanged with classmates?

    OPTION 10: The Crossword Puzzle

    Idea: You would use an online crossword puzzle-making site to create a crossword related to the reading material. {\(^{96}\) or some other web site?}

    OPTION 11: (Fake) Interview

    Idea: You could either interview someone about what you’ve just read, or you could create a document which shows a fake interview with the author about the piece. Sometimes, creating fake content is just as difficult as “real” content.

    OPTION 12: Survey the Masses

    Idea: After you read, you could conduct a survey of those around you (f2f or email or Facebook) about the topic(s) covered in the piece. 

    OPTION 13: Weird Poetry

    Idea: After reading, you could reconstruct parts of the text into chunks. Slices of the text, fragments, put into poetic bite size bits. 

    OPTION 14: Dear Author

    Idea: You could write an actual letter to the author of the piece.

    OPTION 15: Jeopardy

    Idea: While reading, create Jeopardy questions or maybe a whole game with points assigned (200 level questions versus 400 level questions). You could play the game with classmate in or out of class together.

    OPTION 16: Do you know your ABCs?

    Idea: Use all 26 letters to find things in the reading that pertain to each letter. (There may be an example of this at the end of this section?)

    OPTION 17: The 5x5

    Idea: Whatever you are reading, find 5 quotes and then 5 terms and create a story out of them.

    OPTION 18: Mad Libs

    Idea: You could create a mad lib, or a few, (Google that term if you’ve never used a Mad Lib before) based on the reading. 

    OPTION 19: The Kevin Bacon-ator

    Idea: Connect two unlike things (genres, chapters, topics, authors, etc.) with the 6 (or is it 7) Steps to Kevin Bacon idea.

    OPTION 20: Fake Book Citations

    Idea: While reading, you could create fake book citations for books that would relate to the material in a serious or fun way.

    OPTION 21: Factoid/Something Cool

    Idea: Search the text for someone or something. From there, you could find something cool or some factoid about that topic. Ex: If you are reading about World War II, you could look online for something interesting about the fashions of the time or what people drove (if you are into fashion/cars, for example).

    OPTION 22: Artistic Summary/Pictionary

    Idea: Draw out what happened in the reading. It could lead into a game of Pictionary with classmates.

    OPTION 23: Multi-Genre

    Idea: Find multiple genres that connect to the topic(s)/theme(s) in the reading or chapter. Ex: Finding a cartoon and poem and meme about BLOGS.

    OPTION 24: The Comic Strip

    Idea: Using\(^{97}\) (or paper & pen), you could create a comic strip based on a theme or some dialogue that occurs in the reading. This will add a bit of humor to any subject.

    OPTION 25: Dear Abby Advice

    Idea: Mimic a “Dear Abby” column that is related to the piece that you just read.

    OPTION 26: Translation Nation

    Idea: Take a paragraph from the reading. Translate it into how a politician would say it. THEN translate it into how a child or elderly person would say it.

    OPTION 27: Teeny Tiny Talk

    Idea: Find an image on of two or more people. Add bubbles for conversation using Connect what you read for class to the conversation. There is a low-tech sample image below. If you can draw, recreate this on paper with pen/pencil.

    Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 4.06.25 PM.png

    OPTION 28: Activity Exchange

    Idea: Create your own post-reading activity. Exchange it with a classmate and complete theirs.

    OPTION 29: Fake Ad

    Idea: Create an ad for something sold in the chapter or reading.

    OPTION 30: Timeline

    Idea: Create a timeline of the reading.

    Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 4.07.23 PM.png

    OPTION 16 Example:

    What if, as humans, we are the things being “read.” What nuggets would a person take away from reading me (Sybil/creator of this book)?

    “Sybil: An Alphabetical Journey to the Person I Have Become.”

    A = Aquarius. “While Aquarians are generally sympathetic and compassionate, they like it when things go their own quirky way. Some might call their behavior eccentric (and they would be right), but when you consider that the Aquarian's heart is truly in the right place, a few oddities should be overlooked.” []

    B = Beck. Blasphemy. Bicycles.

    C = Classes Taught. Classes taught: (middle-school) student-taught 8th grade English at the West Fargo Middle School; (high school) taught Freshmen English, Junior English, Senior English, and Publications (yearbook/newspaper) at Battle Lake High School; (university) taught College Composition I: English 110 & College Composition II: English 120 at NDSU; (community colleges) taught Professional Communications and Fundamentals of English at Aakers Business College; taught College Composition I: English 110 at Northwest Tech in Detroit Lakes; (currently) Technical Communications: English 105, College Composition I: English 110, College Composition II: English 120, World Masterpieces: English 240, and Intro to Creative Writing: English 211.

    D = Drafting and Design. “D’oh!” – Homer Simpson.

    E = Ellen DeGeneres. “Today I’d like to talk about librarians. I don’t know how many of them watch my show. If they do, they probably watch my show while reading or working on the Dewey Decimal System. They probably don’t watch much TV at all. They just wait for the transcripts. If they do watch the show, they probably keep the sound turned down and put their fingers up to their mouths and say, “Shhhhhhhh” every time the audience laughs.”

    F = Fahrenheit 451. The f-bomb.

    G = “Growth-seeking individual.”\(^{98}\)

    H = Hell. I joke about probably ending up in hell. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill said that.

    I = Intolerant of lactose.

    J = Joyce. It’s the best “old lady name” ever. My sister and I use it as an expletive. Jeep.

    K = Karma. “The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.” []

    L = Lexicography. Lady Gaga.

    M = Mark, my dad. Magazines. Marathons.

    N = Numbers. 7. 3. 33. 47. First off, when I go places, and a tip is needed to be figured in, I like to round up to odd numbers. I love spending $17, for example. I feel like it’s good luck. Fourteen dollars? Na. 

    O = I am an optimist, and I am the oldest of four.

    P = Priebe. Project Runway. Paddleboarding. Parks & Rec.

    Q = Quit. Quit worrying about my weight. Quit this. Quit that. 

    R = Raining days are the best. I love clouds and not having to squint. Plus, the smell is a bonus.

    S = Shopping, Sex & The City, Sarah Jessica Parker, Shoes. Sushi. Sadie.

    T = I used to be a tomboy, and I loved the sport of tennis.

    U = Ungrading. 

    V = Volleyball. And Volkswagen.

    W = Weblog. "Be the Blog: Myself as a Test Subject." Since throwing myself into the "blogosphere" in 2002, I've been blogging privately and publicly as well as used class blogs in my Composition/Literature courses. I've researched the pros and cons of blogging; dissecting student blogging has become my odd passion. I've happily annoyed other academics (and, yes, even non-academics) with my blogging knowledge/experience for quite some time, so why stop now? As an eternal optimist, I have a few recommendations for why students and teachers should jump on the blogging wagon.

    X = Check mark. I like to make lists and check items off one at a time.

    Y = Yoda.

    Z = Zephyr, which is the western wind. I’ve been fascinated by meteorology for a long time. Looking at doppler radars and figuring out what will come to us from the west, from the Rockies.


    \(^{96}\)In existence as of November 2021.

    \(^{97}\)In existence as of November 2021.

    \(^{98}\)The best compliment Sybil’s received from a colleague.

    This page titled 4.6: Thirty Writing and Reading Activities is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.