Students maintain their classrooms clean. They pick up wastes and put it in the dustbin. If they come across wrappers of any products, they keep it safe in the cupboard. These wrappers are used as ZERO INVESTMENT TLMs to enhance their comprehension skill. The teacher facilitates the students to read the information given on the wrappers. Allow students to discuss among themselves. Then students are asked to present the various information they gathered from the wrappers. Then the information is sorted under different headings. At the end of the activity, students comprehend the entire information and draw correct inferences - whether the product is good or bad, expired or not, healthy, or unhealthy, cheap, or costly etc.
This classroom activity develops many skills: 1. Reading with understanding 2. Self-questioning 3. Drawing inferences. 4. Finding out whether good or bad, the difference between reality and advertisement etc. Students apply this comprehension skill into their day-to-day life and of course, achieve the real meaning of education.
Enhancing Comprehension Skills for Day-to-day Life
As a part of language teaching, I had planned to enhance my student’s comprehension skills using wrappers of the products used by them in their day-to-day life. English Language Learners (ELLs) often have problems mastering Science, Math or Social Studies concepts because they cannot comprehend the textbook for these subjects. Comprehension is the ability to read, understand, process and recall what was just read. A picture is worth a thousand words and I have used colourful waste wrappers to develop comprehension skills for my students.
To make students:
- Read with understanding
- Practice self-questioning
- Draw inferences
- Distinguish between facts and opinions
- Take a wise decision or make a conclusion
What I Did?
I have asked my children to bring wrappers of used snack items, soaps, beverages etc. in the previous day. I had them sit in two groups. Then I asked them what are the points we take into consideration before we buy things from the shop. Students came with swift answers but not much about the products. So, I have shown a wrapper of a beverage to my students and asked questions such as:
- What is this?
- What is the cost?
- Date of manufacture?
- Date of expiry?
- Manufacturer of product?
- Ingredients? Etc.
I wrote those questions on the board. Interested students found the answers from the wrappers, thus motivating other students.
Activity by Students:
Students were asked to sit with their wrappers in 2 groups, then asked to go through the information given in the wrappers for 5 minutes. They were next allowed to discuss with their friends. Then they discuss how, when, where, why, who aspects of the wrappers.
Student made inferences quickly thus strengthening their reading comprehension skills.
Then they wrote down the answers to all the questions on the blackboard. They stuck the wrappers on one side of their project note and wrote the answers on the other side.
When I started the activity, students gave very little information about the products and wrappers. But gradually, students learnt to read, understand and comprehend the main information printed on the wrappers. They also self-questioned: whether the product is good or bad, safe to consume or not, whether the money spent on the product is correct, etc. At the end of this activity, students learnt to comprehend and apply to their day-to-day life situations.
Arul Mozhi, T.G.T
Term: Term 3