Use mind maps to brainstorm information before the reading activity or to help introduce cultural information. Then when students read ask them to complete the mind maps. It shows greater understanding of the text than comprehension question questions alone so moving from simple comprehension to gaining knowledge.
Who’s the author?
Put the some pictures of people on the whiteboard, ask the students to read the text and decide who wrote it . Get them to give reasons and discuss their answers. This is getting them to start to negotiate meaning in a text, to think of the author and their reasons for writing.
Isolate some key facts from the text. Get students to find the facts in the text and be able to talk about why they are important, in their own words. You can do this as a race to help motivate the students.
Understanding gapped text.
Give the students a text with gaps in it. Set a gist task, tell them to ignore the gaps. Students read and find the answer to the gist question. This shows them that they can cope with a text even if they do not understand every word. Explain that words they don't know are just like gaps.
Working out meaning from context
Ask students to work out what should go in the gaps. As I did reward points for closeness and good guesses. Remember that this is all about developing learning strategies and is not a test so keep it fun and take the pressure off.
Completing the sentences
Put 5 the same sentence on the board 5 times but at the end of the clause put a different conjunction. Ask the students to complete the sentences using information from the text but respecting the meaning of the conjunction.