Reader’s Response

Reader’s Response, literature circles, literacy, year 5, English

Have you ever asked your students to write a chapter summary or maybe who their favourite character was in a text? The question we should be asking is whether these questions challenge students to be critical thinkers or simply recall facts.

If you have students in your class who are developing their writing skills, a Reader’s Response question might be an optional activity. Higher-order questions challenge students to do more than recall information from a text, instead, students must think beyond literal questions.

I created this resource during distance learning to encourage students to think a little deeper about the books they were reading. Reader’s Response is more than questions about a character or a scene and goes beyond writing a chapter summary.

What Did My Students Think?

Firstly, something that is bright and colourful will always be appealing to read! I encouraged my students to use this resource like they would play Bingo.

The tasks and questions ask students to sketch, draw, create, analyse, infer and make connections with the text. One student in particular was excited to sketch and draw illustrations, mind maps and be creative, as well as writing.

If you would like a copy, click here.

How Can I Extend This Task?

As this task was not for all students in the class, those that opted to get involved were able to set up a time to share their responses and creative pieces with each other.

I encouraged this to run a little like a Literature Circle/Book Club. Students took it in turns to share, ask questions and give feedback to each other and some students even walked away with book recommendations. Not every student shared a question response each week but that did not exclude them from participating which was very appealing.

In distance learning, we set this up on a Friday morning and have continued with the meeting once a fortnight as the busy days back at school have meant less time to work on this type of writing. I felt it was important to continue to provide this time and involved the students in the decision to run the meeting once a fortnight.

Thank you so much for reading this post. If you decide to use this in your classroom, please feel free to come back and leave some feedback, share your ideas or other Reader’s Response activities completed by your students.


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