Procedural Reading Lesson: The Reading Trick



After focusing on procedural texts for the week, give your students this lesson which is a trick in which you hand out the activity sheet and ask them to follow the directions carefully. In most cases your students will follow each of the steps and do all of the ridiculous things that are required of them. This gives you a good starting point into discussions about how we generally don’t read instructions carefully.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Select, navigate and read texts for a range of purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies and interpreting structural features, for example table of contents, glossary, chapters, headings and subheadings (ACELY1712)
  • Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts (ACELT1613)
  1. Set up the class for test conditions (however that may be for you)
  2. Introduce the task by saying, “I have a procedural text which you are required to complete, you will have 8 minutes to complete the task, Make sure you read all the instructions.” -Leave it at that.
  1. Tell students to begin completing the task.
  2. Almost immediately some students  will begin completing the tasks and hence majority of the class will follow suit.
  3. Hopefully one or two in the class read ALL of the instructions and sit there quietly while at the same time others who have completed all the ridiculous tasks will read the last instruction and will groan at their silly mistake.
  4. This triggers a great prompt into a discussion about how we don’t read procedures correctly. Students can make real life links to reading procedural texts and what are the consequences if don’t follow them e.g baking a cake, making a billycart etc.


  1. Students now understand the importance of comprehending all the texts prior to completing the tasks.



  • Work Sample- If they give you back an unharmed sheet, then they have been successful.
  • Anecdotal Notes- Recording any details you gather from the discussions on the floor.


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