Second Grade Reading Centers: Ideas for Reading Teachers

Reading centers can be useful in your classroom because the variety of activities can keep kids engaged. Centers can also teach students independence. Keep reading for a few ideas that you can use to create reading centers in your classroom.

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Using Reading Centers in the Second Grade

Why Reading Centers Can Be Useful

A reading center is a space, often located along a wall or in a corner, that's set up with activities to engage one child or a group of children. Because a reading center is usually off to the side, it gives students learning opportunities while at the same time minimizing classroom clutter. Alternatively, you could set up reading centers around the classroom and have groups of students travel from one center to another, engaging in different activities.

Different Kinds of Reading Centers

Reading centers can address different aspects of reading, such as independent reading, partner reading, writing and listening. When you set up a reading center for your class, base it on a specific area you think your class needs to focus on. The benefit of having multiple reading centers in your classroom is that students can build several reading skills in one class period.

Reading Fluency and Comprehension

Help your students practice reading comprehension by creating a reading center with story cards. Each card should have a couple of descriptive sentences. Students can read a card and draw a picture to illustrate the story.

Students can practice reading fluency by reading a poem out loud. Choose a silly poem that your students will enjoy and give them time to practice with a partner. At the end of a reading period, let the students from that center perform their poem for the class.


If it's possible, use part of your classroom budget to set up a listening center in your classroom. Ask the librarian to get some audio books and let your students listen to a story being read aloud. It's best to have enough copies of the book that students can follow along while listening. If you're unable to acquire enough copies, use photocopies.


Since reading and writing go together, one of the reading centers in your classroom can involve writing. Students at this center may write stories, poems, or make entries in their own special journals. They may write about their own experiences or the books they are reading. If they wish, students at this center may create their own books, adding illustrations to their stories. As a final step, students can read their books or other writing to the class.

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