One of the most important parts of the any lesson is the how it ends. Teachers need to have some type of closure activity at the end of each lesson if they are truly interested in improving comprehension amongst their students.
Improving comprehension with closure activities doesn't have to be difficult. Closure activities can be any short and simple activity that reinforces the lesson's objective(s).
For example, in a lesson on the “causes of World War II", I may simply have the students create 1 test question and 1 test answer for each of the causes learned from that day's lesson. If there is time, I even have the students exchange their questions with each other.
This simple closure activity took very little time, gave the students a chance reinforce the objectives of that day's lesson, and gave the teacher an opportunity to see if those objectives were met.
Here are five more simple closure activities that help in improving comprehension:
1. Have students keep a learning log. At the end of class have them write something that they learned (or found interesting) from class that day.
2. When running short on time simply have students pair and share the answer to a couple of questions based on the lesson's objective.
3. Have the students draw a picture that somehow shows that the lesson's objective was met.
4. Write a letter. As a social studies teacher this is one of my favorites. I often have students write a short letter to the person we were studying.
5. Write a journal entry. Similar to having to students write a letter, this closure activity also allows the students to be creative and add their own flare to the assignment.
Each of the above closure activities are quite simple and each can be adjusted depending on the time remaining at the end of the class. It is very easy for teachers to skip this part of the lesson, especially when they always feel so pressed for time. However, if teachers are truly interested in improving comprehension they will not skip this all-important piece of the lesson.
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