Activities to Teach Students to Read Realistic Fiction With Illustrations

Realistic fiction is a genre of literature that portrays characters and situations that mirror real-life experiences. Reading realistic fiction with illustrations is an excellent way to get students interested in a book. Illustrations may offer visual clues about the story’s setting, tone, or characters that help children understand the story. In this article, we’ll explore several activities that teachers can use to help students improve their reading comprehension skills while exploring the genre of realistic fiction.

Predicting What Will Happen

One of the critical skills in reading comprehension is predicting what will happen in the story. Teachers can show students one or two illustrations from the book and ask them to predict the plot. Ask them to explain why they drew their conclusions based on what they saw. This exercise will help students activate prior knowledge, make predictions, and look for clues in the text and illustrations. Giving small groups of students different illustrations to guess the story will add excitement and variety to this activity.

Drawing Conclusions

Reading realistic fiction with illustrations helps students draw conclusions about the characters’ feelings, the plot’s events, and the overall message of the story. As students read, stop the group and ask them to draw a conclusion based on the illustrations and text read so far. For instance, teachers may ask students to draw what they think the characters are feeling or thinking. The activity helps students rely on evidence to support their conclusions while developing their critical thinking skills.

Word-Symbol Match

Another activity to improve reading comprehension skills is the Word-Symbol Match. In this activity, teachers can give students a list of words and have them search for illustrations that match them in the book. This exercise not only helps students recognize and comprehend unfamiliar words but also helps them understand how individual words contribute to the story’s plot.

Role Play

Dramatizing scenes from a novel that depicts realistic fiction is an excellent way for students to engage in the text’s plot and characters. Teachers can assign different parts to students and ask them to act out the characters’ parts and scenes from the story. Additionally, students can create their illustrations or find online ones that reflect the scenes’ mood, tone, and actions. This activity will help students internalize the characters’ perspective, emotions, and experiences.


Summarizing the plot of a story is an essential reading comprehension skill. Teachers can stop the reading process and ask students to write or describe what they have learned so far. You can also use a graphic organizer to help students organize and synthesize their thoughts. For example, a Venn diagram to compare and contrast different characters will help students understand the story’s themes, dialogue, and symbols.

In conclusion, reading realistic fiction with illustrations is an effective way to spark students’ interest while developing their reading comprehension skills. The activities we have discussed are designed to help students activate their prior knowledge, make predictions, draw conclusions, match words with images, internalize characters’ perspectives, and synthesize information. Therefore, teachers should utilize these activities to make learning enjoyable while enhancing students’ understanding and appreciation for the genre of realistic fiction.

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