If you are looking for more ways to use paired passages with your students, try out some of these new ideas!
We have a bunch of paired passages in the store on a whole slew of high-interest topics, but once you have them, what else can you do with them? That is exactly what we’re talking about today.
We aren’t just going to talk about paired passages or their benefits. We’re providing 5 NEW ways to use them with your students!
What are paired passages?
Paired passages are a set of 2 writing passages that are similar in topic or theme.
These passages can be used by teachers for a variety of purposes.
We here at The Sparkly Notebook have always encouraged the use of paired passages for reading comprehension practice. In fact, each of the paired passages in our store includes reading comprehension activities.
In this paired passage set about playing team sports, students are asked to use the passages to…
- Practice using context clues to define unknown words
- Answer evidence-based questions
- And write an argument based on the reading
These paired passages are specifically created to be no/low prep and easy for teachers to use.
Paired Passages for Test Prep
Before we get into 5 new ways to use paired passages, let’s talk about one tried and true way we use paired passages with students.
Paired passages often mimic the style and feel of a reading test passage. That makes them great for practicing test-like situations. They are not, however, as boring as some other test prep options. As you get into test prep season, don’t forget to pull out some high-interest paired passages (like the ones below) to use as practice.
5 New Ways to Use Paired Passages
Each of the ideas on this list serves a different purpose. Choose the option that serves your students where they’re at. A few of the ideas will require a little bit of prep, so don’t wait until the last minute to decide which paired passage to try!
#1 | Sentence Slips
Cut up the paired passages into sentences or paragraphs, and challenge students to put them back together. This activity gives students practice in thinking through how effective writing is organized. Note: This activity may require reformatting the passage or typing out the sentences line by line, but it won’t take too long.
Option: To make this activity a little harder, mix the sentences from both passages together. Students will have to sort them first, and then organize them.
#2 | Scavenger Hunt
Put together a list of ‘Examples to Find’ for your students. On your list, you’ll ask students to find specific examples in the paired passage texts.
Here are some examples of what you might put on their list.
- An example of a compound sentence.
- 3 examples of adverbs being used
- An example of a fact
- An example of an opinion
- 3 examples of figurative language
- Identify at least 2 different stakeholders for this issue
- The main idea of the passages
Your scavenger hunt list can be adapted to whatever your students have been working on recently, and you can use the same passages over and over again.
Pro Tip: If you want to save on printing, place the passages in sheet protectors and give students dry-erase markers to identify the items on the list.
#3 | Practice Citing
Challenge students to write an argument on this topic using these paired passages as two of their sources. If source information is not provided in the paired passage, make some up for the purpose of practicing this skill.
#4 | Facts First
Before presenting students with the paired passage activity, put the facts on index cards. Encourage students to sort the cards to try to figure out how the facts might be arranged into two passages. This activity encourages students to think about why choosing the RIGHT facts to support an argument is helpful. As they get older and write longer essays, being able to choose facts well will be very important.
Organizational Idea: Take the time to put the facts on cardstock and then laminate them. They will last for years.
#5 | Research Starters
Use the paragraphs of the paired passages to assign research topics to students.
Cut out the paragraphs and hand them out. Encourage students to read the passage, and then research their particular part of the argument in more detail.
When they are done, students will bring at least 3 facts back to the group that supports the point made in the paragraph they were assigned.
Paired passages are super powerful in the classroom, and hopefully, when you add in a few of these new ways for using paired passages, they’ll be even more beneficial.
If you are excited to try out some of these new ideas, simply grab one of the paired passage resources below, and get started!
High-Interest Paired Passages
Try out some of the ideas in this post on one of the high-interest, engaging paired passage sets below.
- Live Social Media (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Video Games (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Making the Team (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- TV Risk (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Football Safety (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Fidget Toys (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Playing School Sports (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Youtube Famous (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Important Sleep (Available for 4th/5th grade, 6th/7th grade, and 8th/9th grade)
- Check out the store because we have so many more!!!
Now, pick one and go!