7 Reading Strategies and Activities for Elementary Students

Effective Strategies, Tips, and Activities for the Classroom

It is a teacher's job not only to help every student learn to read but also to show them how to enjoy it. Discover 10 effective reading strategies and activities for your elementary classroom that will engage your students and add variety to your daily routines. From book activities to read-alouds, there is something that every reader will love.

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Children's Book Week Activities

Teacher reading a book to class
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National Children's Book Week has been dedicated to encouraging young readers to enjoy books since 1919. During this week at the beginning of November, schools and libraries across the nation celebrate reading in a variety of ways. Take advantage of this time-honored tradition by getting your students involved in fun and educational reading activities. Try some of these activities from educational resource Waterford.org to help your students visualize and appreciate what they are reading as well as learn all that goes into writing a book.

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Teaching the Analytic Method of Phonics

Teachers are always looking for new ideas on how to teach phonics to their elementary students. The analytic method is a simple approach to teaching phonics that has been around for nearly one hundred years. This resource shows you what this method is all about and how to effectively teach it. Try some of these great phonics websites for additional practice during centers or as homework.

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Reading Motivation Strategies and Activities

Think your students could use a little motivation to read? Try to focus on activities that spark their interest and increase their confidence. Research shows that a child's motivation is a key factor in successful reading and struggling readers will probably not be as enthusiastic about reading as students for whom reading is a breeze. Teach students to choose texts that are appropriate for their skill level and find topics that interest them in every genre. These five ideas and activities will increase your students' motivation and help them get into reading.

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Reading Strategies for Elementary Students

Children should be practicing reading every day in and out of the classroom to develop their comprehension, accuracy, fluency, and self-directing abilities—but that is a lot to expect students to be able to do! Teaching young readers strategies that they can use to sort out problems for themselves is a great way to foster independence and give them space to grow on their own. For example, if they get stuck on a word when reading, there might be a better method of decoding than sounding it out.

Equip students with a toolkit of strategies like these that they can always fall back on so that they can move past challenges. Be sure to also try out different reading structures such as repeated reading and dyad reading so that your students are not just reading on their own all the time.

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Book Activities for Grades 3-5

It's time to be innovative and try new reading activities that your students will enjoy. Meaningful reading activities will reinforce and enhance what your students are learning while also making them more excited to read. Talk with your class about which activities they'd like to try—you might even find that some of them become a part of your routine. These 20 classroom activities designed for 3rd through 5th graders are targeted toward the genres they are studying, so you don't have to worry about getting off track.

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Read-Alouds

A good interactive read-aloud engages its listeners' attention and provides a representation of expert reading. Reading aloud to your students is usually a favorite activity because it allows them to access intriguing material that they are not yet able to read on their own. Read-alouds also model strategies for comprehension and questioning that students should strive to adopt and makes them a part of conversations about books that they would otherwise probably not have. Try reading some of these books during your next group reading session.

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Help Parents Raise Readers

Enlist the help of student families to work with you in teaching your young readers. Many parents and guardians will ask you how they can help with their child's education and Raising Readers is an excellent resource that they can use to learn how to promote early literacy development. Children will only become the best readers they can be if books and literacy are prominent parts of their life. The Raising Readers site offers lists of the best books out there and tips for how to support children along every step of their reading journey.