In third grade, we learn about gist or main idea in almost every reading unit, just with different mentor texts from the school curriculum. However, one text or worksheet will never meet the needs of all my students. So I made some gist worksheets that are generic in content and differentiated in questions to use as a supplement. Besides, I also use these gist worksheets in my small guided reading groups, which also worked out very well.
Last year, I did several reading tests with one of my students, Nicole. She was at level M (Fountas & Pinnell), so I tried an N book with her. She read every word fluently with high accuracy. However, when I asked her “What happened in the story?” She got stuck. She stared at me for about five minutes and didn’t know what to say.
This is really sad. Everything else was perfect, but she didn’t get the gist of the text. What’s worse is that I have so many students like her in my class. Thus, I spent some time doing research and creating some resources to teach the gist reading skill.
In this post, I am going to share with you some gist worksheets and if you also find them helpful, you can get them for free by clicking below:
One Interesting & Suitable Text
These worksheets have differentiated questions based on one text. The complexity of the text is suitable for 2nd to 5th graders, depending on each individual’s reading level. In addition, I always write or use texts that are interesting and relatable to students’ life.
The text in these gist worksheets is called Pattaya, and it introduces some popular tourist sites in Pattaya, Thailand. To me, it’s fun and relaxing to read. Besides, I also numbered each paragraph, so it’s easier for students and teachers to close read the text.
There are two versions of questions for practice. Specifically, the first version is easier as it provides more support, whereas the second version is more challenging as students need to think and write more.
Two Types of Worksheets for Differentiation
1. Gist Worksheets for Students Who Need More Support
These worksheets require students to do read the text carefully and then answer some multiple-choice questions. I put the questions alongside the text, so it’s easier for students to reread and annotate. Apart from the multiple-choice questions, students also need to fill out a “5W” graphic organizer that can help them find the gist of the whole text. To provide more support and scaffolding, the graphic organizer in this version is half-filled.
2. Gist Worksheets for Students Who Need More Challenges
Same as the easier version, these worksheets also need students to do read a text closely and find the gist of every paragraph. The difference is they have short-response questions. Students can answer a short-response question after reading each paragraph. The two-column layout really makes it easier for students to reread and answer questions.
Multiple Uses of the Gist Worksheets
As I mentioned before, you may use these worksheets as a supplement to the worksheets provided by your school curriculum. You can also use these worksheets for your guided reading groups when you teach the reading strategy. Use the easier version for students with lower reading levels, and the harder one for students with higher reading levels.
What’s more, you may use these worksheets as an assessment to know how much your students have mastered this reading skill and their needs. Another way is to send these home as homework or give them to early finishers when you teach a gist lesson.
Want to know more gist-related resources to save your planning time? Check out these posts below and get these for free.
If you have used these worksheets in your classroom, let me know on Ins (@eurekasheets) how it went and how I can improve them. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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