I was finding my students kind of grumbling when it came to discussion after reading a new book.  Normally this is an opportunity for me to check their reading and comprehension.  I decided I needed to make this time of the lesson a little more fun.

I decided to make my own Top Secret comprehension cards.  Really Good Stuff makes their own cards, but I wanted to customize my cards based on what we’re working on in the classroom.  I ended up with about 30 cards.  I tried this today with my 2nd and 3rd graders and they absolutely loved it.  I started out by telling them to read their story carefully because I would be giving them an ultra-top secret mission after they finished reading.  Students began to giggle, but they were all very curious what this secret mission was.  They read and as they were reading I went through my cards and picked out the card I felt was most appropriate for each student.   On little envelopes I wrote TOP SECRET and slid the mission cards into an envelope for each student.

As they finished reading and were waiting for their card I totally played it up.  I made them promise they would keep it completely top secret–that they would show no one their card.  It was for their eyes only!  Each student had a ginormous grin.  Who doesn’t love a good secret??  Some students were so into the secret that they went and go dividers for their desk so no one could see what they were writing.  It was so cute to see students carefully slide their card out of their envelopes just far enough to read it and then push it back into the envelope until they needed to check it again to make sure they had written down the correct information.

From there students wrote their answers either in a journal or on a post it note.  We did end up sharing our secret notes at the very end, but it was really cool to see students looking back in the book for information, taking their time, and really thinking about the story.  They were all so bummed when group was over and secret mission time was over.  I promised them these cards would be back.  I’m super excited to see how these cards will continue to help students read more carefully, comprehend more information, and take their reading to the next level.

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