Looking for engaging reading activities that your upper elementary students will actually enjoy doing? For today’s post, I have teamed up with an amazing group of educational content creators to bring you a round-up of some of our very favorite engaging reading activities that will capture the attention of our upper elementary readers. I know their amazing ideas will inspire you!
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Secret Code Reading
Transform your reading lessons into thrilling adventures with the Secret Code Digital Reading Comprehension activity! This Google Slides resource is all about boosting student engagement. Your students will eagerly read and reread the passage to uncover clues and solve the secret code, turning reading into an exciting detective mission.
Not only is it fun, but it also deepens their understanding of crucial reading comprehension concepts like the author’s central message and finding text evidence, which are valuable skills 3rd and 4th-grade students need.
Maybe the best part…. this engaging reading activity is NO-PREP for you!
Looking for some fun and engaging reading activities for your upper elementary learners? Marissa from Creative Classroom Core loves using paired passages in her ELA classroom. These engaging tools help develop critical reading skills and enhance understanding of various texts and subjects. The success of paired passage instruction begins with thoughtful text selection. It’s essential to choose texts that fit well together in terms of their themes, concepts, or historical contexts. By mixing fiction with non-fiction, poetry with prose, or even texts from different cultures, students can discover connections that go beyond each text individually. This approach helps students see literature as a collection of interconnected ideas. Read more tips and tricks for using paired passages in your classroom by visiting the Creative Classroom Core blog!
Reading and Grammar Together
Bringing grammar and reading together through parts of speech skill cards is an effective approach to not only reinforce grammar but also offer engaging reading activities for your students. Rachel from Uniquely Upper believes that diving deeper to find parts of speech while reading can and should be integrated into every ELA classroom. Not only are students reviewing grammar skills, but they are also close reading to search for a particular skill. To begin, students select reading materials such as books, articles, or short stories and work to identify sentences or paragraphs that showcase different grammar skills. Encourage students to explore the text, hunt for the specific grammar skill, and match them to the skill on the card. This activity not only fosters a deeper understanding of grammatical concepts within a context but also enhances reading comprehension by encouraging students to analyze language within the content they are reading. It’s a concrete way to make grammar more tangible in the context of literature, promoting a unique approach to language learning. Read more and grab a freebie by visiting Uniquely Upper’s blog.
Don’t leave picture books in primary grades! Marianna from Creatively Comprehensive finds that engaging picture books are a great tool for upper elementary students learning to apply advanced reading skills and strategies on their own. Take a trip to your local library’s children’s section and grab an assortment of brightly colored, highly appealing books- there’s one for every genre and topic you can think of! Once you have your borrowed treasures at home, take a peek to see which books pair themselves with key reading skills or strategies. Introduce one a day during your whole group instruction, then leave them in a center with related graphic organizers! Your students will have so much fun reading these books they won’t even consider it “work” to fill the organizer out.
This blog post on Marianna’s website is a great resource for using picture books as engaging reading activities with upper elementary students. While there, you can grab a list of teacher–and-student-tested picture books for important skills and strategies!
When it comes to reading activities for upper elementary students, how do we make nonfiction reading fun? Reading and understanding informational texts in grades 3 through 5 is essential, but unfortunately some students think it is also boring. Tanya G Marshall–The Butterfly Teacher has a remedy for this! One of the engaging reading activities she highly recommends for nonfiction texts is using magazine scavenger hunts. 3rd-5th graders actually enjoy learning random facts about new things! Especially on topics that appeal to them. Magazine scavenger hunts are worksheets with a list of options students must find and write down while they read magazines. Not only do they work well for reading centers, but they also help students master understanding nonfiction text features. Plus, you can revise to work for other nonfiction reading activities. To learn more about how she uses them, check out her blog post on How to Teach Informational Text Reading to Students Without Boring Them to Tears.
What are some ways you love to motivate your students to comprehend what they read in class? Rach from Fifth is My Jam shares a great strategy she uses to encourage her students while they read novels and more! Cue the vocabulary doodles – Rach says when her students practice their vocabulary in an unconventional way, they are bound to remember it. She has been using vocabulary doodles for years and uses them with each new unit she teaches. These vocabulary pages are so much fun and evoke a side of comprehension students can be proud of. Read more here about how to get your students started with their own vocabulary doodles and include these engaging reading activities in your classroom!
I hope you found several engaging reading activities in this post that you can use right away in your classroom! Make sure you save this post so you can come back and grab a few more ideas for your upper elementary classroom!
Want to learn more about engaging reading activities?
- 5 Pre-Reading Activities That Boost Student Reading Engagement
- Cracking the Code: Effective Strategies That Encourage Students to Read Non-Fiction Text
- Close Reading Questions: An Effective Tool for Student Engagement
The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.Robert John Meehan
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