e-article . . .
Five Levels of Cooperative Learning
Activities for Adult Learners
In Level D activities, members of a group need to be at approximately the
same level and working on the same material, whether it is a math
assignment or a reading selection. The group only meets for one-two
sessions. The teacher plans and implements the lesson. Four activities
that lend themselves well to students working together and going beyond
reading a selection and answering the questions are Story Impressions
(Denner & McGinley, 1986), the DR-TA (Stauffer, 1976), ReQuest (Manzo,
1985), and the Bio-Poem (Gere, 1985), a form of structured writing.
- Story Impressions: With Story Impressions, the teacher gives the
group a set of key
phrases from a story or article and has the group write its own story or
article using the given phrases in the given order. Then they read the
authored version and discuss how their version is the same and different.
The same general format can also be used as an after-reading
- DR-TA: The three questions that form the basis of the Directed
Reading-Thinking Activity are: 1) What do you think is going to happen
next?, 2) Why do you think so? and 3) Were
you right? The teacher selects several stopping points during the story
and at each point asks the readers to predict what will happen next and
provide support from the text or their general knowledge about the
situation as proof of their prediction being a logical one. Then they
read to find out if they predicted what actually happened.
- ReQuest: In ReQuest, the readers determine how far in an article they
can read before they need to stop and discuss. The discussion begins with
the learners asking questions of the teacher. When the group members can
think of no more questions to ask, the teacher asks them
questions, careful to model good questions, and simply going on to the
next section if the students adequately covered the important ideas
through the questions they asked.
- Structured Writing: Bio-Poem and other formats: In a small group
activity, students create a bio-poem to demonstrate their understanding
of a character from a story, an historical figure, or even a social
studies or science concept. Line 1 of the Bio-Poem is the person's first
name, line 2 contains four adjectives describing the person, the second
to the last line notes a location (Resident of ____ and the last line
contains the person's last name. Lines in the middle begin with such
stems as "Who likes....," "Who wants...," "Who works for...," "Who dreams
about...," etc. Another kind of structured writing is simply to have
learners personalize their reading by creating a second verse for a
previously read song or poem.
click here to see two sample poems.