Reading Activities for Elementary Students and Grades

Elementary school students spend a lot of time reading books and articles, but these activities can help them think about the texts further to develop higher order thinking skills. Your child can complete free reading activities online or you can create your own using the following suggestions.

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Where Can I Find Reading Activities for Elementary Students?

The number of reading activities on the Internet for elementary students is limitless. Several teaching and education websites provide free interactive games, comprehension questions and reading worksheets for kids of all ages. You may select some of the free activities available online, or you can use them for inspiration when creating your own activities. Below are some examples you may also try.

Elementary Reading Activities by Grade Level

First Grade

Children in first grade should be able to differentiate between characters in a story. To test this skill, ask your child to select two characters from a recently completed text and draw pictures of each to represent their personalities and places within the text. After the pictures are complete, review the characters with her and create a list comparing their thoughts, actions, traits and roles to ensure a solid understanding.

Second Grade

When advancing to the second grade, children often progress in their ability to distinguish between events within a story as well as two separate versions of the same story. To give your son some practice with this, find two versions of a classic text, like a fairy tale or folklore. After your child completes both readings, have an open discussion about the similarities and differences between the two. Ask him which he liked better and why.

Third Grade

By the time they reach the third grade, students should be using context clues to analyze a text and determine the most appropriate definition for unknown words. Instead of simply choosing more complex words for your child to study, you can make this activity fun by creating or printing an idiom worksheet. Start by writing several sentences that include commonly used idioms like 'beating around the bush,' 'tie the knot' and 'spill the beans.' Have her read through the worksheet to determine the meanings of the phrases based on clues within the sentences.

Fourth Grade

Comprehension of vocabulary words is the key to advancing reading skills, and fourth graders use several methods to define or clarify word meaning. In order to help your child have fun while practicing his weekly vocabulary list, suggest creating a vocabulary book in place of flashcards. On each page, your son will write the word, the definition and a visual representation of the word. On the second page of the 2-page spread, he will write a sentence using the word and draw a picture that represents the new sentence. You can staple the pages together so he can easily flip through and review before weekly quizzes.

Fifth Grade

Reading comprehension passages and questions are available online in a variety of genres and topics for fifth graders. In order to get your child reading more often, select a few brief passages for her to read during the week, outside of the classroom. You may choose news articles, poems, short stories or anything else that will be of interest to your daughter. To test her comprehension of the text, ask a few open-ended questions about the author's main point and challenge her to find specific quotes that support those ideas.

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