Before You Read, While You Read, After You Read: Comprehension Activities

I know this may come as a shock to you–but we teachers are swamped.  I’m confident that 99% of us truly want to do a great job, but there is JUST. SO. MUCH.  One of my missions is to help teachers provide quality instruction that is engaging and effective.  One area where I think many schools struggle is finding meaningful comprehension activities that push student thinking, discourse, and writing.

This is why I work to dig into the novels and picture books that I read to find ways to make the texts not only ENGAGING for students, but super powerful as instructional tools.  My novel studies help teachers find those amazing teaching points and help make the books unfold seamlessly for all students.

Comprehension Activities for picture books

I have recently decided to expand this into creating some picture book resources that really help teachers do the same–to get the most out of these amazing texts without killing the “joy” of the story.  My new series is all set to help you get the most out of some amazing books…with LITERALLY no prep. What makes these guides SO different is that all you have to do is read the book, project the slides, discuss, teach, share, and write!  I guide you along from the cover to the end!

Comprehension activities?  What else?

These ready-to-use, no-prep reading and writing resources give you the following:

  • Teacher tips and suggestions
  • A slide show with all the discussion prompts needed to navigate this book including before you read, while you read, and after you read comprehension points.
  • One key “teaching point” to help build deep comprehension.
  • Two different writing prompts in multiple formats
  • Key vocabulary words and simple activities
  • Print and digital access

How do I use them?

  • Simply project these with your students as you read. Let the slides guide your discussions! Send all writing components digitally or print to use as well.
  • Each “Quick Win” guides you with deep comprehension work before you read, while you read, and after you read. Comprehension moves from a basic “in the text” level and extends beyond the text as well.  These slides gradually develop deep comprehension–far beyond those “right there” details!
  • Clear learning targets–in “student-friendly” language!
  • Each “Quick Win” also has a key comprehension strategy “teaching point”. These learning targets are all standards-based and push students toward that deeper comprehension.
  • Several important vocabulary words are highlighted and explicitly taught to build language experiences with students. Students self-assess their familiarity with the words, then learn what they mean and how they are used in the text. The option to have your students write sentences using the new words is available as well.
  • Want to get your students writing and talking about texts—and, specifically, citing text evidence to prove their ideas? I’ve got you covered!

Check it out!

How to teach with Enemy Pie

Enemy Pie Activities

Perfect for:

  • No-prep reading lessons
  • Easy-to-prepare sub plans
  • Getting students talking
  • Getting students writing
  • Simplifying your planning.

Just search for “Quick Wins” in my store to find books in the series. Get started with these!

Teaching Enemy Pie with comprehension activities
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes comprehension activities
The Most Magnificent Thing Activities


Want to check out a few more comprehension posts?  

How about this post with 8 Reasons to Read Fish in a Tree?


This post about using “I Survived” books with Reluctant Readers.

See what you think!