A Quick, Easy and Effective Reading Activity for Science Classes

I thought I had blogged about my favourite “quick and easy reading activity for science classes” before, but it seems I haven’t! So here is a quick and easy blog about it.

Cooperative Paired Reading Activity Emphasising ‘Questioning the Text’ and Summarising

(It needs a catchier name!)

Two effective evidence-based strategies for improving reading comprehension are ‘questioning the text’ and summarising. This activity lets students practise these strategies aloud in pairs. I like cooperative strategies for reading, because it makes the invisible (silent reading) visible (or is that audible?)


  1. Take a text you want your students to learn from. After using the activity a few times, the text can be more challenging, but start simple.
  2. Put students into pairs (3s if necessary).
  3. Partner A (with the longest hair) reads the first paragraph (including titles etc) aloud. Partner B (shorter hair) listens and then says one of three things:
    • “I wonder…..” Partner B then asks a question about what she has just heard.
    • ” In other words….” Partner B then paraphrases what she has just heard.
    • “Could you read that again please?” If partner B needs to hear it again, she asks.
  4. They swap roles after each paragraph.

That’s it. The teacher can assess by listening in. Students can record the “I wonder…” and “In other words…” if it’s useful. Interesting “I wonder…”s can be selected for class discussion. Your choice.


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