Blog, Close Reading, Text Analysis

Text Analysis Carousel Activity

The Winter Olympics are here again and my kiddos and I have been enjoying not only reading, but watching the Olympics and gearing up for our own version of 6th Grade Winter Olympic Games in a few weeks!

As well as reading and writing and reading and writing and reading and writing like the gold medalist scholars that they are, we have been competing in some fun and interactive activities with some Olympic flair.


I use carousel activities in my class all of the time in many different ways. The kids love them because they are up and moving, and I love them because they are using text based evidence to support the answer they are trying to prove. Also, it’s a great way to capture a quick, and effective formative assessment for small groups.

I wanted my students to participate in an “Opening Ceremonies” of sorts by collecting all of the 5 Olympic rings as well as the Olympic Torch by analyzing a series of questions related to a text we had close read over the course of a class period.

I wanted to focus on 6 major text analysis skills with this lesson:

  • Central Idea
  • Mood & Tone
  • Inferences
  • Author’s Perspective
  • Author’s Purpose
  • Text Structure

Since state testing is just a few short weeks away, I knew this carousel activity would be perfect.

The article I used was from Achieve 3000 (which is a phenomenal program our district purchased for us this year). However, you can use a number of Olympic themed texts.

Then, I generated questions focused on these 6 focus skills.

image 1

I hung each of the 6 signs around the room in visible locations. Then, I gave students an Olympic Analysis sheet which was copied front to back.

To make this activity more challenging, they were to not only analyze the text, but they were to analyze the question on each of the posters so that they would be able to identify the skill they were even looking to answer in the question.

answer sheet cluster

As the students moved around the room (they could start at any location; no more than 4 students at a sign at a time), they were to first anaylze the question for the skill, then anaylze their text for the answer to the question.

The students wrote down their answers in the correct space (I copied the questions onto correlating colored paper so they knew which blank to write in. The white paper with black text represented the black ring).

carousel activity 4

To correctly participate in this activity, students needed their article, the graphic organizer, and a pencil.

carousel activity 1

Depending on some questions, the students could ask a partner for assistance if they needed help, but otherwise, this is a completely independent activity.

carousel activity 3

I gave the students about 25 minutes to complete this portion of the lesson. Some students were able to finish, but others weren’t, and that was totally fine.

carousel activity 2

As the students went back their seats, I instructed the students to collect six crayons, markers, or colored pencils that represented the rings and the torch (red, black, blue, green, orange, and yellow).

Together, as a class, we went over the answers to the text. If they got the skill and the answer correct, then they “collected” the ring/torch and colored in that particular symbol.

This was a quick way to collect data as a I walked around the room to see which questions and/or skills the majority of the students were still struggling with.

answer 1

And if you’re interested, I’d love to share this Olympic Analysis activity as a FREEBIE for you! You can customize this activity in any way that works best for your students! Simply, click the image below:

cluster image

I’d LOVE to see how you used this activity in your classroom. Please tag me on Instagram @ohheyela so I can better connect with you!

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