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Gist Activities to Improve Comprehension

Getting the gist of a text is an essential reading skill, and teaching students how to get the gist of a text is always a long-term goal. Also, as students move up levels or read across genres, getting the gist may get harder and harder. Therefore, as teachers, we need to consistently reinforce this skill by using various gist activities and trying different ideas.

This post is more of a summary or guide of all the gist-related posts I posted before. Here, you will find some FREE ideas, worksheets, or activities that will help students learn about the gist or main idea.

Gist Activities & Freebies

free gist lesson

This is a simple but effective gist mini-lesson that explicitly introduces and models using a “3W Chart” to find the gist of a text. Use it for your mini-lesson.

As for students’ independent practice after your mini-lesson, you may use the gist graphic organizers if your school curriculum provides a text for them to work on. Otherwise, check the free and differentiated gist worksheets.

Click here to learn more & get the freebie.

gist graphic organizers three in square
These three worksheets help students at different levels or reading different genres find the gist of a text.

1. Use the drawing one for short texts with lower text complexity, and for students who love drawing.
2. The “3W” Chart asks students to find the “who”, “did what”, and “why” in a story. Use it with any fiction or non-fiction text.
3. The “5 W” Chart works well with more complex text, whether fiction or nonfiction.

Click here to learn more & get the freebie.

gist task cards ins
There are 3 types of task cards (48 cards in total; 16 for each type) in this product. The 3 types are:

1. Non-fiction cards
2. Fiction cards
3. Pictures cards.

There are many ways to use them, with different groups. Click here to see differentiation ideas.

Moreoever, it also comes with 3 recording sheets and 3 pages of matching cards/answer keys. So it’s ready-to-use. 

Click here to learn more.
gist differentiated worksheets

These worksheets have differentiated questions based on one text.

In addition, the complexity of the text is suitable for 2nd to 5th graders, depending on each individual’s reading level. 

There are 2 versions of questions for practice. Specifically, the 1st version is easier as it provides more support, whereas the 2nd version is more challenging as students need to think and write more. Please click here to learn more.

Click here to learn more & get the freebie.

In conclusion, these gist-related posts above provide free ideas, worksheets, or activities you may use to teach gist or main idea to your elementary students, especially 3rd to 5th graders. For other grades, simply proofread or adapt them to suit your class before your lesson. 

Gist Products

If you find some of them are helpful and want more, you may check and purchase the corresponding product in my store (just click the pictures below).

This is exactly the SAME as the freebie you will get from this blog post.
This product has 25 ready-to-teach PPT slides (the freebie is not included).
There are 48 differentiated task cards in this product.
There are 34 differentiated worksheets in this product (the freebie is not included)

To save your prep time and money at the same time, check out this bundle! It includes ready-to-teach PPT/Google Slides, differentiated worksheets, graphic organizers, and task cards.

gist bundle activity free worksheets post

However, if you want to save, I promise more posts of ideas and freebies are coming your way! Just sign up for our newsletter below, so you won’t miss any new updates or freebies!