Teaching Strategies of Reading for Relief Teachers

Teaching Strategies for ReadingTeaching strategies and reading used to be a match made in relief teaching heaven.

Kids would have their own text and the relief teacher used a variety of teaching strategies to help them unpack the meaning of the text.

Now it is a bit more complex - or is it?


Teaching Strategies and Reading


When I was a kid, I had a couple of books that I just loved. To this day, I remember vividly the reading I used to do with my favourite books. I might be flat-out remembering what I had for dinner last night but reading some school books was memorable (for me).

I am not sure the teaching strategies employed would stand up to today's scrutiny. But for me, the teaching strategies worked.

Reading is one of those core lessons that relief teachers can pull out at the drop of a hat. It has relevance to every school, every grade and every kid.

Go for it.

Teaching Strategies Ahoy!

The problem is the kids do not have their daily readers and most classes will have difficulty telling you WHAT they are reading.

You might find a novel on the teacher's desk which might be one of the a teaching strategies to settle them down more than anything.

It is great to have a couple of fall back relief teaching reading activities than you can seemingly pull out of nowhere at the drop of a hat. It is important that these are worthwhile and meaningful reading activities and are built around some good teaching strategies.

This one of those simple yet effective teaching strategies built around a pretty simple text.

The Emergency

This a short inferential reading activity. The teaching strategies involve introducing a small amount of text at one time and build student inferential skills around the text. It is perfect for most relief teaching gigs.

For kids to be effective readers they need to make educated guesses.

The teaching strategies you must employ are built around forcing them to make these "guesses" using the context of the passage.

They need to read, pre-read and post read to check their accuracy of their inferences.

This activity asks students to explore the context of the passage which build as your progress through it.

This is only a short passage and can be used as a

  • worksheet
  • pdf file
  • Powerpoint format
  • zipped file

I prefer the PowerPoint format for a few reasons.

  • There is minimum preparation.
  • You can control the pace of the lesson.
  • You can use the PowerPoint as focal point, pointing out reading elements.

What Teaching Strategies to Use.

The first sentence of the text is,  "Sally froze, her spoon halfway to her mouth, when she heard the crashing, tearing noise."

The types of questions you could ask to get the kids thinking include

  • What time of the day was it? (Because she is eating soup, it could not be breakfast. It could most probably be dinner)
  • What caused the crashing, tearing sound? (Trees falling, cars colliding, plane crash)
  • What was she expecting the hear? (An explosion, further crashing, screaming)
  • Was it very close to her? (Possibly not because she is not jumping up and running)

The teaching strategies you use must build student reading competence. That's why I prefer the PowerPoint because it is easier to interact with the text.

Instead of simply asking the question and getting kids to put the hands up (or not).

Ask the question but get the students to tell the answer to their buddy or buddies.

This is one of the teaching strategies aimed at getting all students involved and engaged in the activity.

Check this resource out if you would you like some more teaching strategies and reading to use at your relief teaching gigs.

teaching strategies list

Leave a Comment:

(12) comments


Thanks, Bob – another fabulous resource. I’ll let you know how I go with this one 🙂


    Thanks Jacqueline. When I used it the kids loved makin guesses but I kept on challenging them with WHY DID YOU THINK THAT. I would love to hear how you found this lesson.


This is quite a good way of doing reading comprehension. Doing it a little bit at a time really makes the kids think about what they have read. How often do you do this type of reading?


    Hi Mike,
    I use this reading strategy occasionally. It is good for small group work as well as whole class work. However, it should be one of many reading strategies you try.
    Good luck.


This is a great reading comprehension activity. Have you got more?


    Jan. More reading comprehension activities are on the way.


Bob, that little reading activity about groundhog day is a blast. I’ve used it twice. Once with a year 4 class and once with a year 6/7 class. I know there is more in this book, but that activity is good stuff.


You make an interesting argument about reading in sentences but where do you see reading of novels?


    Good question Carol. Reading in sentences is like the hammering skill of builders. Reading novels is like building a house. One develops the skill to do the other.


Thanks Bob. A great little resource this book. I particularly appreciate the activities that go with the groundhog story.


thanks Bob for another fruitful resource. Im definitely going to use the strategy in my class


Thanks Sayma. I am glad you enjoyed it.

Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment: