Reading Teacher Resources

Find Reading educational ideas and activities

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Close reading is key to the analysis and interpretation of literature. A close reading of the title and the epigraph of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” offers readers an opportunity to examine how even single words or names can contribute to the development of a motif or theme. To begin the examination, individuals respond to several questions that ask them to consider Prufrock’s name. After sharing their responses, groups use the provided questions and focus on the poem’s epigraph. The resource contains everything you need to promote close reading and deserves a place in your curriculum library.
Here are a few practical tips and sound strategies you can use in writing effective reading lessons for your pupil with dyslexia. The resource provides simple guidelines and accommodations that can be incorporated into any lesson that stresses reading fluency or comprehension.
Reading comprehension is key to success in nearly every subject in school, but how do you improve comprehension in a pupil with dyslexia? Here are several tips that define ways in which educators can provide strategies to improve overall comprehension. An instructor can introduce these tips, or older learners can seek them out and do their own research.
I can read and understand fiction and nonfiction texts! Here is a great checklist that highlights 19 first grade Common Core reading standards. The resource is three pages long. Pages one and two focus on comprehension for fiction and informational texts and page three focuses on phonemic awareness standards. 
  • Each standard provides a check box which can be used to guide learners as they read, as well as guide you while you construct a standards-based unit
  • Send home at the beginning of the year to help parents understand Common Core standards 
Gentle sleep eludes poor King Henry IV. Uneasy under the weight of his responsibilities, Henry contemplates the darkness of the night and in his soul. To develop their skill reading difficult text, class members engage in a close reading of King Henry's soliloquy from Act III, scene i of King Henry IV, Part II.  Groups examine how Shakespeare's syntax and diction choices develop the tone and meaning of King Henry's soliloquy. The carefully crafted resource packet, a must for your curriculum library, includes explicit instructions, links to all necessary materials, and assessments.
The second instructional activity of a pair about Paul Laurence Dunbar, this plan focuses in particular on his poem, "We Wear the Masks." After a short historical introduction, class members conduct a series or readings, marking up the text and discussing literary elements such as imagery, tone, and personification. The final evaluation combines what pupils have learned about this poem, as well as the poem they studied in the previous instructional activity.
Whether or not Zora Neale Hurston's classic novel is a part of your course, this packet deserves a place in your curriculum library. Designed as a close reading exercise, the series of activities begins with the instructor modeling, with a chunk of text, how to highlight imagery and figurative language, and how to use in-text citations to answer guiding questions. For guided practice, groups repeat the process with a second chunk of text. Individuals then tackle another passage for independent practice. Everything you need, text passages, worksheets, and answer keys are included in the richly detailed packet.
Fourth graders practice their close reading skills with a short text on conflict resolution. Working in pairs, learners read and reread the article Smart Speak by Marilyn Cram Donahue as they identify the main idea and use context clues to understand challenging vocabulary. The class uses the text to begin making a list of rules to improve their school community, as they work toward the long term goal of writing a school constitution. Consider having students create skits to act out the conflict resolution strategies from the article as an extension activity. This is a great resource for teaching how to read closely, and can very easily be adapted to any piece of writing.
Read and reread. That is the message when approaching a difficult text. As part of their examination of The Great Law of Peace, class members reread the introduction and section one of the document, answer questions, citing specifics from the text, and move on to another section. A worksheet that asks readers to record specific details from the text and the excerpts from the Great Law of Peace are included in the detailed plan. Although a part of an entire unit plan, the reading approach can be used with any text.  
The third lesson in a unit study of the Iroquois focuses on developing reading skills. Pupils brainstorm the actions of close readers and record these behaviors on an anchor chart entitled, “Close Readers Do These Things.” Guided by the list, the class begins a close reading of Section 1 of the Great Law of Peace (The Iroquois Constitution). As a unifying activity, learners also add to their anchor chart, “Things to Tell Tim,” started in lesson two. Although part of a complete unit, the close reading approach could be used with any informational text.
Third graders develop their reading superpowers in a lesson on fluency. After first listening to an audio recording or teacher read aloud, the class works together identifying criteria for fluent reading, focusing on phrasing, rate, punctuation, and expression. Children then participate in a whole-class choral reading of a familiar text before pairing up for further practice with fluent reading. Though the lesson is part of a third grade unit and cites specific texts, it can easily be adapted to other ages and pieces of literature. An excellent resource for developing this fundamental skill in young readers.
Young readers continue to strengthen their fluency skills with a text of their choosing. The teacher first engages the class with an audio recording or read-aloud of a short poem, modeling for children how to read fluently. Next it's game time, as the class plays charades or taboo in order to reinforce the fluency vocabulary phrasingratepunctuation, and expression. Learners then choose a text and read it independently, making notes to assist them when reading the text aloud. Finally, learners pair up and practice their fluent reading, providing each other with constructive feedback. Adaptable to a wide range of ages, this is a great resource for developing the reading skills of your class.
Third graders continue to develop their reading fluency in preparation for their assessment in the tenth lesson of this unit. Young readers are provided with a short passage on Helen Keller, which they use while working in pairs reading and providing feedback on each other's fluency. During this practice time, the teacher selects kids to read the passage aloud in order to make audio recordings for their fluency assessment. A great opportunity is provided for documenting your class's growth as readers. If using this resource with upper graders, be sure to supplement a passage more appropriate to their reading level.
Here are some exciting ideas to get your students motivated to read independently.
Online technologies can foster increased reading comprehension and motivate learning.
Take Part in National Turn Off the TV and Read Month while engaging your class in authentic reading and writing.
Utilize the jigsaw reading strategy to keep pupils accountable and encourage cooperative learning.
Learning how to deliver good literacy instruction is key to becoming a successful teacher. This resource isn't so much a lesson as it is a guide to leading children in an interactive read-aloud session to increase fluency, comprehension, and critical thinking. Dialogue, guiding questions, and teaching how-to's are clearly outlined throughout the resource. If you are subbing or just entering the classroom, the lesson ideas provided here will be a big help. Note: Many of the ideas link to Ellis Island and immigration, so these ideas are also cross-curricular. 
Second graders define fluency and apply it in a reading drill. They discuss ways to read more fluently, observe a demonstration of the teacher reading in a rough and smooth manner, and in pairs demonstrate reading using the fluency strategies.
Students find ways to share their favorite books. In this reading strategies lesson, students advertise books, create a top ten countdown, give a video book talk, simmer story stew, make book medals, play name that book, design a character t-shirt, or string together a book chain.