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Using Task Cards in reading comprehension

Task Cards
Task cards are teacher-defined activities or pieces of research work, presented in a written form and
assigned to individual students or groups. They are a method of directing student learning.
Teachers can devise task cards to direct activities on an aspect of a topic, eg in the Stage 3 unit ‘Study of
a Cultural Group: Bali’, Learning Sequence 2 has students examine Balinese culture using task cards.
These can also be used to direct jigsaw groups, thus providing an in-depth coverage of a broader topic or
issue.
Planning
1. Identify the topic or issue to be investigated.
2. Analyse this, breaking it down into discrete research tasks or activities.
3. Consider how the students will be grouped, with an individual or a group allocated to each task card.
4. Identify and locate resources for each task and set a time frame for completion.
5. Decide the sequence of the students’ presentations.
6. Select appropriate methods of recording and presenting information.
Managing
1. Explain the process to the students.
2. Assign students to a task, explaining that their purpose is to learn as much as possible about their
allocated task.
3. Students discuss what they already know about the task/topic, noting questions they have or areas
to be researched.
4. Explain what is required for each task, eg accessing information, summarising, working
cooperatively, presentation methods etc.
5. Students work individually or in groups (decide roles of scribe, illustrator etc) with teacher
monitoring progress.
6. Have students present their task work in the order pre-determined by the teacher.
7. Share and reflect on the students’ contributions. Question and summarise.
8. Evaluate the learning experience.


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