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Functional Reading Lesson Ideas

  • Take attendance by holding up a card with the student’s name on it. Ask them to raise their hand or say “here” when they see their name.
  • Talk to students about the controls on appliances and how they work. Talk through preheating the oven or lowering the temperature of the fridge.
  • Make a cooking video. Have students explain to the audience how they are using the appliances and tools.
  • Make flashcards with clothing labels on them. Play Go Fish, Concentration or BINGO.
  • Teach the students to find ON/OFF switches and volume controls on toys.
  • Teach students how to use the controls on a VCR, DVD player, CD player, etc. Using colour coded stickers can help.
  • Use fans, heating pads, thermostats, etc. to allow students to explore the controls on the device. Ask which setting they think is the lowest/highest – try and see if they are right.
  • Take a walk through the community and talk about the different signs you see. Take repeated walks and challenge students to tell you what the sings mean.
  • Bring in different sized clothing – help students find the clothing labels that indicate size. Help them use these labels to choose clothing that is the appropriate size for them. Have them try on the clothing to see how they did.
  • Help students read food packages to find the serving size. Demonstrate what the appropriate serving size would be.
  • Take a trip to the grocery store – help students find price tags or labels.
  • Find doors with PUSH or PULL directions. Ask students to read the word and check to see if they read correctly by performing the action.
  • Play matching games with pictures of the student’s family members and flashcards with their names written.
  • Make flashcards of items around the classroom. Post them beside the corresponding objects, Ask students to match a second set of flashcards to the ones already posted.
  • Take pictures of simple structures built out of lego or other toys. Ask students to copy the structure. Try this with step by step pictures too.
  • Look through the local paper for garage sale ads. Use highlighters to mark important information.
  • Ask local restaurants for extra menus for students to explore.
  • Go to a local mall and explore the map of the mall.
  • Use a supermarket guide to figure out what aisles the items on the grocery list will be found in.
  • Teach students where to find the due date in their library books and return their books on time.