This post originally appeared on SSSTeaching.
April Fool’s Day …not normally a rigorous action packed day, unless you’re using THE April Fool’s Day Reading Passage. Personally I love a good April Fool’s day prank, my favorite being the “voice activated copier” that I have done at just about every school. The results are priceless.
I love the lighthearted nature of this day and wanted to bring that into my classroom. I knew the easiest way would be through reading. April Fool’s content was not always classroom friendly so I searched and created an April Fool’s Reading passage for upper elementary!
One of my absolute core beliefs about teaching is that if the teacher is happy the class is happy. I love jokes and good-natured humor and so do my students so any chance to bring them into the classroom is a win-win.
Reading Passages CAN integrate multiple subjects
Reading passages (like this FREE one!) can integrate and generate deeper and richer discussion around topics that may not have been brought to light before.
For example, this reading passage for 4th grade (or so…) can be used to connect with:
- History: the dates can be used to sequence events and put into context why that particular joke may have been more funny
- Science: (Instant Color TV….) understanding how color TV works and the science behind it, is a great point of discussion.
- Math: graphs are an easy addition with sequencing of pranks from the reading passage.
After reading, we synthesized further with comparing the pranks for similarities in order to come up with what made a believable but harmless joke that got the attention of millions!
How to dig deep with comprehension in reading passages
Focusing on fun topics, not only engages students who, believe me, find it FASCINATING, but YOU as well! This also helps focus on actually pranks of the past, and less on the classic – shoe is untied…that you might end up hearing all day long.
Close reading of reading passages is an important skills especially with text of complexity. With this particular April Fool’s Day Reading Passage I like to have students:
- read individually first, marking text for understanding and questioning when they need to
- read text in groups filling in pieces of comprehension they may have missed before and answering questions they had
- Answering comprehension questions (either individually or in small groups)
This reading of complex texts gives students more exposure and chances to glean all important (and sometimes small details!) before moving on!
***BONUS*** QR codes are included for some fun video links of pranks done that are teacher approved. This helps really bring these historical jokes to life!
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