Bored of the Same Reading Quizzes? Try the SPUNKI!

Submitted by Analicia Buentello on

Reading quizzes account for 20% of the final grade in my ENH 254 ( Literature and Film) class. I decided last spring to change up my quizzes for each novel my students read in class. I subscribe to teaching ideas from ON COURSE, so it was a strange coincidence that I soon received an idea from them that I knew I had to try: The SPUNKI. The SPUNKI is a reading rubric that asks students to answer six questions, “What part or parts of the reading did you find Surprising?, Puzzling?, Useful?,  New?, Knew it already?,  Interesting?”  I've used the SPUNKI for two semesters now, and it's made a huge difference in how students approach the reading. Our class discussion usually center on their SPUNKI responses, so students know that they need to write thoughtfully and critically.

Frustrated with the responses your students are giving you on their quizzes? Are they bored or not actively engaged in the assigned reading(s)? Try the SPUNKI. Trust me, you won't regret it!

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
ENH 254
Attachment Size
spunki-shining-ch-1-19.doc 175 KB
Average: 5 (2 votes)


Peter Turner Mon, 03/18/2013 - 1:42pm

Great idea, Annie! I absolutely love the SPUNKI approach, and the matrix you use. While there is no doubt in my mind that your classes are more energized since using SPUNKI, do you have any data to show increased learning?

Erik Huntsinger Mon, 03/18/2013 - 5:18pm

In reply to by Peter Turner

That's sums up my reaction exactly.  This sounds like an engaging way to keep students accountable for their homework while promoting meaningful classroom conversation.  It does sound like an effective strategy. With that said, how would you know if students are actually "getting" more of it then they were before?

Bronwen Steele Tue, 03/19/2013 - 3:29am

To follow on Pete, this sounds so cool, just wondering if there scores for anything improved OR if you noticed more participation in class, more completion on assignments, etc? 

Gregg Malkoff Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:01am

This seems like an excellent assessment tool to help facilitate student engagement in a thorough but non-complicated way. I have printed out a copy and intend to utlize it in a new course I'm to teach next semester (Fall 2014). Thank you for the contribution.

Michelle Breaux Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:20pm

This seems like a great tool.  I'm going to use this for my reading assignments in my Math for Elementary School Teachers class!

Debra Lemenager Sat, 02/21/2015 - 11:08am

I think SPUNKI allows for a student's personal perspective and interpretation of the reading material.  Based upon personal interpretations, you could have a wonderful, interactive classroom discussion based on this tool.  It makes the reader think about several different aspects of the reading.  I am in the Nursing division and can see how I would utilize SPUNKI in several different learning oppertunities.  Great information and simple to use.