Wednesday, November 7, 2012

2012 United States Election Results Map Activity and Worksheet

Students are often required to read and interpret charts and graphs on standardized tests; therefore, it is important that you offer your students some practice using this skill. In the following activity, students will look at a large table of data. The table consists of the following columns: state names, the number of electoral votes, and the percentage of votes going to either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Along with this table is a map of all fifty states (they'll have to pencil in D.C. themselves). Students are to complete each of the following tasks:

  1. Write the name of each state
  2. Write how many electorates each state currently has
  3. Color each state one color if Romney won and a different color if Obama won
Students might have some problems with those tiny little colonies on the East coast, as most map makers do, but by drawing lines and creatively allotting space, they should be able to complete the activity. Check it out: 2012 Election Results by State Map Worksheet and Activity The activity is also available in RTF format, if you'd like to edit it yourself, on this page: reading comprehension worksheets.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Author's Purpose

Author's purpose is a really simple concept that is often evaluated on state reading tests. Though there are many reasons that people really write in real life: to make money, for therapeutic reason, to impress a man or woman- the standardized tests that I've been privileged to view tend to consistently recognize the following three purposes: entertaining, informing, and persuading. Basically every text can fall into one of these three purposes. Let's have a look at each:

Entertain: pretty much every fictional text falls into this category. Whether it be a story, poem, or play, if it is a product of the imagination, then it was probably written to entertain. Of course, this category could also include texts like television scripts, books full of knock-knock jokes, and comic books.

Inform: texts that provide information about a topic were written to inform. Some examples include encyclopedia entries, newspapers, recipes, instructions, biographies, and the nutrition facts on the back of food products.

Persuade: if the speaker is attempting to influence or convince the reader of some idea, then the text was probably written to persuade. Some examples of persuasive texts include campaign speeches, advertisements, and persuasive essays.

That's author's purpose in a nutshell. Are you ready for some practice? Click the interactive author's purpose activity below:

reading worksheets