passages and having students read each
passage for five consecutive days, focusing
on different skills each day. With each repeated reading, emergent readers engage
with and review new vocabulary while
stronger readers dig in and examine the
text more closely.
To implement this process, choose short
passages—a paragraph for younger students, two or three paragraphs at the most
for older ones. If the selections are too long,
advanced readers may rush through them
while struggling readers may feel overwhelmed. Short passages, however, allow
all readers to hone their skills without getting bogged down. Then once students have
mastered the skills, they can tackle longer
passages with ease and confidence.
Select passages that represent a variety
of writing genres including newspaper articles, letters, Scripture, persuasive essays,
and even technical writing. Include fiction
but also selections about social studies, science, and other academic subjects. Avoid
the temptation to select only topics your
children enjoy. Learning to analyze all types
of texts will help them to become lifelong
As your children reread the selection
each day of the week, focus on different
skills. With the first reading, for example,
children can identify subject, reader’s and
author’s purpose, and genre. Older students
can also identify tone or mood.
If your children aren’t yet fluent readers,
read the passage out loud on the first day,
and ask them to highlight words they already know. On the second and third day,
try reading it together. By the fifth reading,
encourage children to read the selection on
their own if they are able.
With the second reading, ask children to
engage in word study and other vocabulary
tasks. Your focus for this day might also
include idioms, connotations, and euphemisms if your readers are ready for those
Invite students to make inferences with
the third reading and to find evidence in
the passage supporting their answers to
content-related questions. They could also
answer questions about literary devices,
point of view, and rhetorical techniques.
Consider using the fourth reading to
identify the main idea or to create graphic
organizers. Many passages lend themselves to specific organizers like Venn diagrams, character webs, timelines, or even
Finally, have students summarize the selection with the fifth reading. Though summarizing a story or article is sometimes
difficult, students can easily learn to write
summaries by using the “key word” method. This method involves picking out five or
six important words in the selection (
usually nouns or verbs) and then writing three
to four sentences using those key words.
This process teaches students to look for the
I recommend working
with short passages
and having students
read each passage for
five consecutive days,
focusing on different
skills each day.
Sample reading passage and daily activities for elementary students and high school students .
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