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30 Reading Comprehension Activities for K/1
- Suzanne Kelley
- July 26, 2021
- No Comments
Reading is everywhere. As an adult, you have to read books, lesson plans, emails, texts, posts, blogs, recipes, directions, etc., every single day. So you already know how essential it is for your young students to become proficient with reading skills. And comprehension and comprehension activities are vital for reading.
Our students must, in simplest terms, gain meanings from what they hear us read and what they read to themselves. I am sure you do frequent read alouds with your littles and have become masters of asking the right questions. And, you probably have developed a ton of strategies to check for understanding. But, I’d like to add to your tool chest these 30 Reading Comprehension Activities; #10, #13, and #26 are frequently used activities in my room!
Activities for Whole Group!
- Comprehension Purpose Questions. I am sure you don’t need me to tell you how squirrelly some of our kinder and firstie students can be when it comes to listening quietly during read alouds. Before reading, give a purpose question that students need to listen to the text if they hear the answer. Then, allow the excited blurt-outs that will occur when they hear the answer. If some kids miss hearing the answer, they definitely will be listening to their friends and repeating!
- Think Aloud Prompts. Just like above, students repeat what they hear and see! While reading out loud, ask yourself questions out loud as well. Hmm, I wonder what Goldilocks will do next. Gosh, I wonder why she did that. Model, model, model how your kids should be thinking while they are reading!
3. Story Structure. Story structure can be as simple as discussing the title, author, and illustrator then going into plot or problems and solutions. Or you can take the following steps by discussing the beginning, middle, and end of the books you read. To demonstrate understanding, I give my students a sheet of construction paper that I folded into thirds. Initially, the students draw a picture of the beginning of the story on the first fold. In the middle fold, they draw a picture of the middle of the story, followed by the ending on the last third. As my students progress, we add in words and then sentences.
Comprehension Activities to Guide Your Groups More!
4. Question Popsicle Sticks. For this activity, write the 5W questions on popsicle sticks. If you wish to go beyond the 5W questions , check out this blog! Randomly pull sticks or have the students pull sticks, and those become your questions for that story.
5. K-W-L Charts. I enjoy hearing from my students before a story. I show them the book, and we study the cover while discussing the title. Or, if I am introducing a topic, I will tell the kids what we will be learning about today. Then, the kids tell me what they know about the subject. I excite them about the book or topic, and the kids tell me many things they want to learn. After, we write down all of the things we learned! The kiddos love sharing!
And a Few More Group Activities!
6. Story Walk Retells. After my kiddos sit for a story, I need to get them up and to move! You can use a long piece of butcher paper and create a “Pathway” down the center for students to walk along as they retell a story. I recommend making the pathway as a class. Along the path, have visual reminders of essential pieces in a retell. (Character, Setting, Events, Problem, Solution)
7. Making Connections. By making text-to-life connections and activating prior knowledge, students become invested in their reading. Connections can be a powerful tool to keep them engaged and motivated when working on their reading skills. Furthermore, connecting what your students are reading to their lives and activating prior knowledge may help them retain more of their reading.
8. Story Beach Ball or Story Cube. Teachers can purchase pre-made beach balls from various companies, but the easiest and cheapest is buying and blowing up a beach ball on your own and writing your questions. After a story, kids softly toss the ball, and whatever question their right-hand lands on (good practice for right and left hands) is the question. Keep passing, so all kids get a turn if you wish. It is ok if kids get the same question because repetition is helpful for all for comprehension!
9. Mirrors and Windows. Mirrors are books you can see yourself in, making personal connections. A book that is a window allows our students to look into someone else’s life and gain perspective. Both types improve our understanding and comprehension! Choose books that will enable your students to see in the mirror but also look through the window! For a great blog on this topic by Lanesha Tabb and Education with an Apron, click the link !
Comprehension Activities for Small Group or Individual Work
10. Directed Draw & Write . Kids enjoy drawing about things they read or hear, so you could give paper and have students draw a picture from the story with an accompanying sentence. ETTC has some fabulous Directed Drawings where kids follow the directions to create their image and then complete comprehension activities around the picture. Click the link to get on the list for our newest Directed Drawings !
11. Comprehension Strips . These Quick Comprehension Strips are great for Literacy Centers for Quick Comprehension Checks, Comprehension Practice, Megacognition Activities, Warm-Up Activities, and Intervention Activities! 100 strips in all!
12. Sentence & Picture Match-ups. With this activity, I use picture cards that I already own in my classroom. I then write corresponding sentences on word strips from the Dollar Tree (30 in a pack for $1.00!). During centers or stations, students match the picture to the sentence.
13. 5 Finger Story Retells. ( CORE BINDER ) Your thumb is the setting, the index finger is the characters, the middle finger is the problem (beginning), the ring finger is the events in the middle, and pinkie is the solution (ending). If you don’t have our great resource, CORE Binder , which has several five-finger options, including the visual below, the students can trace their own hands and fill in all the information!
14. Sequencing Activities . Our Digital Sequencing Activities, including 14 interactive sequencing mats and 9 sequencing stories, are great for practicing sequencing with your students.
15. Silly Sentences Mix Up. Using my Dollar Tree words strips, I cut sentences that are silly into words. The kids love to mix and match the words to make even more ridiculous sentences. They then draw a picture that matches their sentences. So easy, but the kiddos love it!
More Comprehension Activities
16. Alphabet Foldable Books . Three versions come with these adorable Alphabet Foldable Books that allow you to differentiate with your students! Not sure if this product is right for you kinders or firsties? Try a freebie !
17. Graphic Organizers. Graphic organizers let students process information both visually and spatially, which encourages them to internalize the material. The very nature of graphic organizers enables students quite literally to see the connections in what they are reading.
There is a slew of graphic organizer products out there, or you can even have your students create their own! Here are some examples of how you can pair graphic organizers to any unit you teach! Find more close reading units with graphic organizers here !
18. Map Story Setting. I am not an artist says every teacher who is about to write on the board! Fortunately, my students think I am Van Gogh! I draw a big blob shape on the board, and then they tell me different things from the story that I need to add for the setting. So much fun for them, and what a great social skills lesson that everything doesn’t have to be perfect!
Bonus Activity: If starting with a shape or line and then having your students transform that into a picture that they will then write about sounds great, try Transformation Station . And what’s a bonus without a freebie ?
Keep Those Activities Coming!
19. Picture the Character. Have you ever asked your students to draw a picture of someone other than themselves? Sometimes, the results are hilarious! We close our eyes and visualize the main character before drawing.
20. Character Comparisons. Whether using a Venn diagram or another graphic organizer, I always make a character comparison for my stories. Sometimes, we compare good vs. evil, and other times, we pick two characters from the story. This lesson ties in nicely to both character traits and adjectives!
21. Practically 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions . The differentiation with these ETTC Practically 1st Grade pages is fantastic! Students can fill in the blanks, circle choices, or write a sentence from the vocabulary bank. Building up fluency helps comprehension, and these are leveled just perfectly for late K or beginning First!
22. Mind Movies (Visualization). Expanding on #19, we spend time visualizing the plot, setting, problems, and resolution and draw our visions onto lengthy strips of paper folded in strips as if it was a reel of the film!
23. 3-2-1 Strategy. After students complete a passage, ask them to write down 3 things they learned, 2 interesting things, and 1 question. By using this simple strategy, you not only boost their engagement but you allow them to improve their reading comprehension purposefully. You can find this in our CORE Binder as well!
24. More than Books. Allow your students time to explore nontraditional reading material that interests them. Other materials will motivate them and keep them excited about reading, but they will offer reading challenges that typical texts may not. Suggest material like newspapers, magazines, recipes, comic books, blogs, or song lyrics! Keep it fresh and fun, and your students will be dying to read more!
25. Technology. Technology is the perfect way to not only get your kids excited about reading but offer them the opportunity to work on a variety of reading skills. If you don’t have it yet, ask your school for Readingatoz.com .
26. Literature Centers for First Grade . Who doesn’t want 120 non-seasonal first-grade centers for the entire year, including our 24 kindergarten literacy centers?
27. Turn & Tell. Let’s all agree here that Kindergarten and First-Grade students love to talk to their classmates. Ask a group question after a story, then have the kiddos turn and tell their neighbor their answer. Turn & Tell works best when the questions are open-ended and require some thought before responding.
28. Simon Says. To be able to comprehend, our students need to be able to listen and follow directions. Playing Simon Says will boost your students’ abilities to do both!
29. Act it Out. Many of our students love to entertain, and what better way than acting out the stories they have heard!
30. Scavenger Hunt. I have increased my scavenger hunt game since distance learning occurred. And now that we can move around the building more, I love setting up scavenger hunts with clues requiring thinking and comprehension. The kids have a lot of fun, and usually, the result is something simple and cheap!
So, we have given you 30 great ideas for comprehension activities for your kiddos to give your students a great learning base for their literacy! I hope you were able to grab some tricks to use in the fall! Let us know in the comments if you have any additional activities to add to this list!
WRITTEN BY – SUZANNE KELLEY
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Free printable reading comprehension - SImple sight word stories with significant use of high frequency sight words from the Dolch Word List . Interactive questions included. Perfect for homeschooling and distance learning.
Kindergarten reading comprehension.
Hop to It! Hop to It! plus At the Farm, Hot and Cold, I Like Winter, Pets, I Want to Jump, A New Baby Sister, Up and Down
Three Yellow Ducks Three Yellow Ducks plus Stop and Go, I Like Summer, I Made a Cake, Red or Blue, My Friend, A Dog in a Wagon
©Courseware Solutions Wordville.com for Fun English Language Learning
More Free Online Reading Comprehension and Word Games: 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Word Hunt Game
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Fun Reading Learning Games Pick a Letter Word Game Who Am I? Which One is It?
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Reading Comprehension Worksheets Grades 1 - 10
Use our free, printable reading comprehension passage exercises to improve your student's reading skills! Recognizing letters and words is an important first step in learning to read. However, it is only a first step; it is vital that students comprehend, or understand, what they are reading. They must be able to get the meaning of the text: What is the author telling the reader? This is reading comprehension, and it is an essential skill for success in school and in the real world. Below are our reading comprehension worksheets grouped by grade, that include passages and related questions. Click on the title to view the printable activities in each grade range, or to read the details of each worksheet. They are free for use in the home or in the classroom. Be sure to check out our spelling words activities too!
1st Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
This 36 week first grade worksheet program for reading comprehension provides grade-appropriate passages and related questions, and can be used for other grades as appropriate.
2nd Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
This 36 week second grade worksheet program for reading comprehension provides passages and questions that are grade appropriate, but can be used with additional grades.
3rd Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
The 36 week third grade worksheet program for reading comprehension that we’ve organized here provides reading passages and activities designed for 3rd grade but can be used for other grades.
4th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
The 36 week fourth grade comprehension program that is included here provides reading passages and questions that are grade appropriate, but can be used with additional grades.
5th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
The 36 week fifth grade comprehension program provides passages and related questions that are grade appropriate, but can be used with additional grades.
6th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
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9th - 10th Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets
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10 Great Reading Comprehension Games
By Med Kharbach, PhD | Last Update: February 17, 2024
One of the most effective ways to enhance students’ understanding and enjoyment of reading is through interactive and engaging reading comprehension games. These games not only make learning more enjoyable but also reinforce crucial reading skills in a dynamic and memorable way.
From rolling dice to solve narrative puzzles to creating visual storyboards that bring text to life, reading comprehension games offer a plethora of benefits. They build vocabulary, enhance understanding of narrative structures, encourage critical thinking, and foster a love for reading.
In this post, we’ll delve into a variety of games that can transform reading from a solitary task into a lively and interactive classroom adventure. Whether you’re a teacher looking to spice up your reading curriculum or a parent seeking ways to support your child’s literacy at home, these games are designed to boost comprehension skills in an entertaining and educational manner.
Related: Best Reading Games for 4th Grade
Reading Comprehension Games
Here are some of the best reading comprehension games to use with your students and kids to enhance their reading experience and enable them to explore various aspects of reading in a fun and engaging way.
1. Story Cubes
Story Cubes are great tools for bolstering reading comprehension through the art of storytelling. Imagine the excitement in students’ eyes as they roll the dice, each face adorned with unique images, prompting them to weave a tapestry of narratives. This game is especially useful for enhancing students’ narrative skills, creativity, and ability to sequence events.
As students play the game, they get to practice and develop their critical thinking and detail orientation skills. They also learn to appreciate the nuances of narrative structures, understanding the importance of character development, setting, and plot, which are crucial for reading comprehension.
Incorporating Story Cubes into your teaching toolkit allows you to address various aspects of comprehension in a manner that feels more like play than work. You could challenge students to connect their stories to themes or characters from texts they are reading, thereby deepening their engagement with the material. It’s a brilliant way to encourage them to think outside the box and see the connections between abstract images and concrete story elements.
2. “Wh” Bingo
“Wh” Bingo transforms the traditional game of bingo into a dynamic reading comprehension exercise. By focusing on the critical “wh” questions – who, what, when, where, why, and how – this game compels students to delve into texts with a detective’s eye probing into context, the characters’ motivations, and the implications of their actions. This game encourages students to engage with texts on a deeper level, promoting a thorough understanding and recall of details.
This game can be easily adapted to any text, making it a versatile tool for educators. Whether it’s a complex literary piece or a straightforward article, “Wh” Bingo encourages students to grasp the finer points of texts, fostering a habit of attentive reading and critical thinking. It can also be used as an excellent review activity before assessments, ensuring that students have internalized key information from their readings.
3. Jeopardy! Reading Edition
The Jeopardy! Reading Edition is an innovative way to transform a classroom into a game show, where knowledge of the text is the key to success. By categorizing questions into characters, settings, quotes, plot points, and themes, this game does more than test recall abilities; it encourages comprehensive understanding and analytical thinking. Students must not only remember details from the text but also articulate their thoughts and connections clearly, a skill paramount to reading comprehension.
This game format allows for a high level of customization, enabling teachers to tailor questions to the specific texts being studied. It’s an excellent way to review before tests, engage students in a competitive yet educational activity, and foster a love for reading. The excitement of competing in a Jeopardy game motivates students to delve deeper into their readings, seeking to understand not just the superficial elements but the intricate details and overarching themes.
Comic Strip Sequencing
Comic Strip Sequencing offers a creative way for students to express their understanding of narrative order through visual means. After reading a story, students create comic strips that outline the sequence of events. This activity helps in comprehension and allows students to identify areas of confusion or misunderstanding. The visual aspect of this game makes it especially appealing to visual learners and can serve as a potent tool for reinforcing narrative structures and sequences. It’s a fantastic way for students to engage with the material on a different level, translating textual information into visual storytelling.
The Mystery Box game is a tactile and intriguing way to promote close reading and attention to detail. By filling a box with objects related to the story or text, students are challenged to pick an item and explain its significance within the narrative. This game encourages students to make connections between the physical world and the stories they read, deepening their engagement and understanding. It’s a hands-on approach to reading comprehension that highlights the importance of detail and fosters a more immersive reading experience.
Character Role Play
Character Role Play is an immersive game that allows students to step into the shoes of characters from their reading materials. By acting out key scenes or improvising scenarios, students gain a deeper insight into character motivations, relationships, and development. This method of exploring reading materials not only enhances comprehension but also fosters empathy and a deeper connection to the characters and the story. It’s a dynamic way to bring texts to life, making the act of reading a multi-dimensional experience.
Vocabulary Matching is a quintessential reading comprehension game that does more than just expand a student’s vocabulary; it embeds these words into their language repertoire in a meaningful way. By matching vocabulary words from their reading materials with definitions, sentences, or pictures, students actively engage with new terms, reinforcing their understanding and ability to use them in context. This game is especially beneficial for solidifying complex vocabulary, making it an indispensable tool for enhancing comprehension and facilitating language acquisition. It’s a straightforward yet effective method to enrich students’ linguistic foundation, crucial for their academic and personal growth.
Story Board Game
The Story Board Game transforms the journey through a book or story into an adventurous path that students can physically navigate on a game board. This reading comprehension game makes understanding a text an interactive experience, with each move on the board presenting challenges or questions related to the plot, characters, or themes. Tailoring this game to different reading levels allows for inclusive play, ensuring that every student can engage with the material in a way that’s both fun and educational. It’s an ingenious approach to make reading an active pursuit, encouraging students to think critically about the text as they advance through the game.
Inference Riddles offer a unique twist on reading comprehension games by challenging students to solve puzzles that require a deeper level of thinking. This game tasks students with reading short passages and then solving riddles that demand an understanding of what’s implied, rather than explicitly stated. It’s a fantastic way to teach students to look for contextual clues and read between the lines, enhancing their inferential reasoning skills. Inference Riddles not only make comprehension exercises more engaging but also foster critical thinking and analytical skills that are vital for students’ academic success.
Book Trailer Project
The Book Trailer Project is a creative and modern approach to reading comprehension, where students create a “trailer” for a book they’ve read. This project goes beyond traditional reading exercises, asking students to dive into the text’s key themes, characters, and plot points and present their understanding in a multimedia format. It’s a dynamic way to encourage students to analyze and synthesize information from the text, promoting a deeper engagement with the material. By allowing for creative expression, the Book Trailer Project not only enhances comprehension but also caters to the diverse talents and interests of students, making it a valuable addition to any reading program.
Related: Best Reading Websites for Kids
The reading comprehension games I shared with you above do more than just improve comprehension skills. They also ignite a passion for reading, foster creativity , and encourage critical thinking. Incorporating these games into your reading curriculum, will enable you to provide students with a dynamic and interactive learning experience that makes reading both a challenge and a joy.
In compiling this list of games, I tried to make it as diverse as possible thus catering to various learning styles. The purpose is to provide practical ideas and tips that you can apply in your teaching. These reading comprehension games are meant to cultivate lifelong learners who view reading as a window to the world’s endless wonders.
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Meet Med Kharbach, PhD
Dr. Med Kharbach is an influential voice in the global educational technology landscape, with an extensive background in educational studies and a decade-long experience as a K-12 teacher. Holding a Ph.D. from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, he brings a unique perspective to the educational world by integrating his profound academic knowledge with his hands-on teaching experience. Dr. Kharbach's academic pursuits encompass curriculum studies, discourse analysis, language learning/teaching, language and identity, emerging literacies, educational technology, and research methodologies. His work has been presented at numerous national and international conferences and published in various esteemed academic journals.
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Kindergarten Reading Exercises
Comprehension skill building worksheets.
These comprehension worksheets introduce specific comprehension topics including sequencing, characters, setting, true vs false, cause vs effect, fiction vs non-fiction.
Sample Kindergarten Reading Exercises Worksheet
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