There are several reasons paraphrasing is a good skill for students. It enhances vocabulary. It forces students to change ideas into their own words, which confirms understanding. It builds a stronger memory when words have been changed into your own personal version.
To practice paraphrasing, we use a game that is like a written version of the old telephone game where you whisper a phrase from one person to the next. Students start with a sentence on the first row of the chart. They rewrite the sentence, fold the top row over, and pass to the next student. After filling in all rows, we open the papers to reveal all of the versions of the sentence and to see if the meaning stayed the same.
CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Paraphrasing Game Handout.