How To ESL Reading Activity

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Try the How to ESL Reading Activity to improve students’ reading skills through interaction with classmates. The activity utilizes wikiHow website content, graphics, and textual descriptions.

Student Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Age Group: Kids, Adults

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How To ESL Reading Activity

How To ESL Activity Preparation:

To prepare for the activity, go to the wikiHow website and find a “How to” article that corresponds with your students’ level of proficiency. Use more than one article if you have a lot of class time.

Download all of the graphics and paste the textual descriptions into a separate Word Doc or Google Doc.

In this example, we will use a simple “How to” wikiHow article that explains how to get in shape.

Print out the textual descriptions and prepare a link to the graphics that the students will have access to in class.

Cut out the textual descriptions into separate sections. Each section should have a corresponding picture from the wikiHow content. Make enough copies for the number of students in your class.

How To ESL Activity Guidelines:

To start, demonstrate how to do the activity using another article from the wikiHow website.

Tell the class that you are going to read a short description from a “how to” article. After reading a paragraph section from the other article, ask them to match the picture from the website that best matches the description that you read.

They can discuss for a minute with their group to agree on the best matching picture. Lead feedback and read another paragraph from the article. Get them to match the description with another picture. Do a few more examples if they need further clarification.

In the next stage, tell the students that they will perform the same task using another article.

Separate the students into pairs (or small groups) and hand out the text descriptions to one student in the group. They will be in charge of reading while the other student(s) must guess the correct picture to match the text.

Give the students the website link to the pictures that you prepared before class.

As the other students read the descriptions, the students can scroll through the pictures on their smartphone (or computer) and try to match the pictures to what they hear from their classmates’ descriptions.

The groups can alternate roles halfway through the exercise to test their reading/listening skills.

If time permits, try doing another article that you have prepared.

Remember to lead feedback and correct any mistakes with the picture matching.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

You may have time at the end of class to review key vocabulary from the “how to” article. Try playing the I Spy game with younger learners or check out the No Harm No Vowel game if you have older students.

More ESL Reading Activities for Kids and Adults:

View the ESL reading activities archive.

View more ESL activities.

Related ESL Resources Online: