Hop, Skip…Read?? Adding movement to your reading lessons

by Rachel Stepp

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Are you looking for ways to incorporate action into your reading lessons? Sometimes reading and grammar can be dull subjects for students…especially when we ask them to sit and listen to us talk. Here’s an idea to mix it up a bit!

A Book

Recently, I did an activity with a book called Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins. This clever book is about a hen that outsmarts a fox by trickily walking around her farm. The book is filled with prepositions and scenarios that are hidden in the pictures. Your students will enjoy acting out the scenes and looking closely at the pictures to find out how the hen is tricking the fox. The book is fun all by its lonesome, but want to know what’s even more fun? Acting it out!

An Activity

To act out the book, you are going to need to set up your classroom so that students have room to move around. Here is a list of some of the prepositions in the book and a couple of ideas for how students could demonstrate them:

Across

Put a tape line down on the floor and ask your students to “walk across the tape.”

Give a student a pencil and ask her to “pass the pencil across your desk” to another student.

Have your students “walk across the sidewalk” on the way to the playground.

Put a book on the floor and “walk across” the book.

Around

Now, scatter books around on your floor and ask your students to “walk around the books.”

Ask half of your class to pick places on the floor to sit, and then ask the other half of your class to “walk around your classmates.”

Over

Once again, place something on the floor such as a textbook and ask your students to “step over the textbooks.”

Create several parallel tape lines on the floor and ask your students to “hop over the lines.”

Past

Expand student learning even ask you travel around the school building by asking your students to “form a line past the cafeteria” on their way to lunch.

Before your students can start playing at recess, ask them to “walk past the swings” before they start talking or running.

Through

Invite your students to use their brains and ask them things that they can “walk through.” They should come up with ideas such as walking through the door to get into the classroom.

Under

The students will really enjoy “under” if you allow them to “crawl under their desks/tables.” This is something that we usually discourage students from doing, but they will be able to remember prepositions if they are able to act them out!

Your classroom might end up looking like an obstacle course and your students might feel like they are in P.E., but they will really enjoy being active during reading and grammar! And, they’ll be prepared to outsmart a fox…lest they ever meet one.

For more help teaching prepositions, check out these charts and games from The School Box.

Rachel Stepp is a graduate student at The University of Georgia.

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4 Comments

Filed under Academic Success, comprehension, Games, Language Arts, Reading

4 responses to “Hop, Skip…Read?? Adding movement to your reading lessons

  1. peggy

    I love this book. Thanks for the great idea. The teacher across the hall did a research project that involved her children doing warm-up exercises before reading to see if it would increase achievement. It did for her class. Students need to move. They sit too much during the day. Thanks for this activity!!

  2. Susan

    We try to do this with every book we read. It is a great project to do with different age groups. The older children always like to show the younger children how to do something. Susan

  3. Kay Wallin

    It is difficult for anyone to sit still for long periods of time, but it is especially difficult for children. Working with 5th graders, any time we can do something that has them moving around (in a controlled way) is always good. With social studies, we let the kids do a lot of skits, and they love this. They pay much more attention than if they are just sitting in their seats listening to a lecture.

  4. Polly Williamson

    Working with K-1 students in a multi-age classroom taught me that it is important to work movement into the day wherever possible. Sit a little..move alot!! Acting out stories was a favorite activity with older and younger students working together to retell the stories. All of the students loved acting out folk tales.