The Disappearing Text - No Prep ESL Activity


This is one of my favorite post-reading activities & students of all ages enjoy it too. The best part is it engages your students for 20+ minutes & it's No Prep! Try it with your students next week & let me know how it went! =)

Skills Engaged: Reading, Pronunciation, Memory, Writing, Grammar, & Spelling.
Materials: whiteboard, marker, & eraser

Step by step:

  1. After reading a passage, elicit the sequence of events into a summary of about 5-10 sentences written on the whiteboard.
  2. Read the summary chorally.
  3. Randomly erase 4-8 words (depending on the length of your summary) & underline the blank where the words used to be.
  4. Read the summary again & see if students can still remember the words that were erased.
  5. Ask for volunteers & allow each to erase 2 words & underline the blanks until another 4-8 words have been erased.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until there are enough blanks to challenge your students but not too much to discourage them. You will know this when the pauses during choral reading get longer & longer.
  7. Have students write down in their notebooks what they can remember. The teacher can do so too & have the students check your work.
  8. In pairs, students to check each other work & maybe even your work.
  9. Finally, fill in the blanks on the whiteboard together as a class & have students write the complete summary down in their books.

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