The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

A Brain-Friendly Comprehension Strategy

A Brain Friendly Comprehension Strategy


Sometimes, you just can’t appreciate the potential of a brain-friendly strategy until you try it. Today, I tried the “Oprah Winfrey” interview to help students think more critically
about a story we read. I was honestly surprised at its effectiveness.


Setting Up


The Oprah Winfrey interview is used to increase comprehension and foster literate conversations. Its effectiveness is phenomenal. Today after
reading a story, I set several chairs in a row in front of the class.
“Oprah” sits in the first chair (that is the teacher initially). The
characters to be interviewed sit in the other chairs. Our story this
week was Dear Juno. Dear Juno is about a boy who gets a
letter from his grandmother in Korea. He figures out what the letter
says by looking for clues in pictures. For our interview, I needed a
Juno, a mother and father, and a grandmother. I asked for volunteers to
represent characters in the story, reminding them they’d need to be “in
character”.


The Interview


Once we were all settled, I began by asking several general questions. I asked my “Juno” how he knew the letter was to him, how he knew who the
letter was from, and how he felt when he saw it. Next, I asked the
“grandmother” and “parents” several questions, ending with questions
that required students to make inferences and draw conclusions.
Finally, I let the “audience” ask questions. They were remarkably well
thought out. It was clear comprehension was increasing as students who
had not been able to participate became fluent in the story. They were
highly engaged. The interview only lasted about five minutes. It was a
very effective five minutes.


Finally


This technique can be adjusted for any grade level. I highly recommend this brain-friendly strategy. I plan on using it regularly in my classroom.

Views: 48

Comment

You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

Comment by Eric Arbetter on December 3, 2010 at 8:31am
Great idea. I am always looking for strategies that teachers can use to actively engage students and at higher thinking levels. Thanks.
Comment by Irene Farmer on December 2, 2010 at 9:01pm
I LOVE this idea! I can't wait to try it out on my younger (first grade students) and see how it works! Thanks for sharing!

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Tammy Demps added a discussion to the group Awesome Administrators
Thumbnail

Skyward

Greetings,I am an Assistant Principal in a district that will use Skyward for the first time this year for scheduling to grading. I would like to hear from others that are using Skyward for scheduling. How has using it reduced the difficulty in building a master schedule and creating student schedules? I currently work at a high school grades 9-12 with 1600 students. The scheduling task shifted to me due to a resignation and I would like insight since only the departing administrator attended…See More
3 hours ago
Tammy Demps joined Bill Swartz's group
Thumbnail

Awesome Administrators

School administrators interested in building PLNs, using technology, networking, collaborating and sharing ideas
3 hours ago
Profile IconTammy Demps and LoyceFGarrett-Brown joined Shelly Terrell's group
Thumbnail

Edchat

Join this group to extend the discussion of edchat topics!
3 hours ago
David Chiles posted a status
"It's good Netiquette to sanitize mobile devices, smartphones & tablets. They carry a lot of germs. http://www.NetworkEtiquette.net"
23 hours ago
John Marsh shared their blog post on Twitter
yesterday
John Marsh shared their blog post on Twitter
yesterday
John Marsh posted blog posts
yesterday
Randee Davison's video was featured

Education Leadership: Will Richardson at TEDxMelbourne

Will Richardson has spent the past decade thinking and writing about how emerging web technologies can be best used in classrooms and schools. Called 'a tren...
yesterday

Awards And Nominations

© 2014   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service