7 Fun Guided Reading Activities For Little Learners To Try

Guided reading is a small-group activity where students read books at their reading levels. It helps teachers purposefully guide students through texts that become more difficult. Guided reading offers a comprehensive learning environment as students come across texts and stories from different genres, authors, and illustrators. It is a helpful approach for kids of all reading proficiency levels. However, the approach has various challenges with reference to the selection of books, assessing the reading stage, and allocating time to each reader.

On this note, we can make it fun by including creative and engaging activities. The purpose of guided reading activities is to encourage and facilitate meaningful connections between children and the texts they read. Not only reading but students also get a chance to practice a variety of abilities, such as reading comprehension, vocabulary, empathy, and use of structure. Check out the given-below activities to create a stimulating learning experience that leads to more student engagement.

Guided reading: Navigating the various stages

Guided reading is a traditional form of conducting reading sessions in groups. However, the concept is dynamically changing with the current learning requirements. This concept can be better understood by analyzing 3 prominent stages in the guided reading process.

Stage 1: Before Reading 

The before-reading stage is the stage when the teacher introduces the concept and text of guided reading to students. It is an effort made by the teacher or the instructor to give knowledge before the reading begins. 

In this stage, the role of the teacher is to select an appropriate text, prepare the introduction and briefly introduce the context of the reading paragraph or the story to students. Students should actively ask questions and clear doubts at this stage.

Stage 2: While Reading 

Stage 2 begins when students start reading the text. As students begin reading, the teacher carefully analyzes what is being read. The teacher also checks if students are making any mistakes at a certain point. If a student needs assistance, the teacher actively provides it during this stage. 

The teacher or the instructor also tries to record observations significant to reading. Teachers listen, observe and interact with students to assist them in reading. Students are supposed to read the text softly and also freely express the need for assistance during the stage.

Stage 3: After Reading

State 3 is the after-reading stage where the real discussion between the student and instructor begins. In this stage, the teacher tries to communicate with students with respect to their understanding and knowledge about reading. The teacher also inquires if a student has used any particular strategy for reading. 

In this stage, teachers invite students to respond and discuss what has been read. Teachers also provide an opportunity for students to find answers to their questions. At times, this stage might also include drawing or a writing session as a creative activity. In this stage, students should openly discuss their predictions, reactions, and responses to the story.

Engaging guided reading activities for students 

Guided reading is an innovative method to engage students in increasing their fluency and understanding of different types of content through reading. Check how teachers and parents can also use creative guided reading activities to engage students in a fun and challenging environment. 

1. Hey, Who’s Next?

 Hey, Who's Next?

This guided reading activity is designed to create a stimulating learning experience for students. The activity offers an enthusiastic environment thereby allowing students to contribute their best towards it.

  • To conduct this activity, make a group of 5 students.
  • After this, take a book. It could be a storybook, a novel, a newspaper, or any knowledgeable paragraph.
  • Make sure each student has the same book in his/her hand. 
  • Now ask one student to start the reading process.
  • When you feel the student has read a good 5 to 6 lines, ask them to stop. 
  • Now the student who completed reading is supposed to pick another student and ask him/her to start reading from where he/she stopped.
  • Likewise, the activity continues until the time each student has received the opportunity to read.

It is important to involve a challenging environment for students in guided reading activities. This activity is focused on increasing the concentration and focus of students. As any random page number could be assigned to them, they concentrate more on active listening. 

2. What’s in your Letter?

What's in your Letter?

Guided reading becomes even more interesting when students get an opportunity to read something completely new. The more they are exposed to fresh content, the more they develop an urge to learn.

  • To conduct this activity, ask every student to write a letter to anyone.
  • Students can write a letter to their parents, friends, or even the author of their favorite book. 
  • Give them a certain time to write this letter.
  • Once they have written the letter, ask them to pass their letter to the student sitting on their right.
  • Now, each student has a different letter in their hands. 
  • Once the letters are exchanged, begin with one student and ask him/her to start reading.
  • In such a way, the activity goes on till every student has completed reading a fresh letter.

The basic aim of this activity is to enhance guided reading sessions by sharing personal views. As students get to read something that is completely fresh and coming from someone known, they can instantly create a connection between the text as well as the person. 

3. Let’s Plan the Vacation 

 Let's Plan the Vacation 

Guided reading is a mixture of active listening, reading, and understanding. It is all about processing thoughts into accurate statements that can be done through an interesting activity.

  • To conduct this activity, you need to arrange a holiday itinerary.
  • Now distribute this itinerary to all students and ask them to go through the brochure.
  • Ask them to thoroughly understand the location, timings, and activities mentioned in the brochure.
  • Once they are done understanding the travel itinerary, ask them to start drafting their thoughts about the specific place.
  • Allow them to freely express their opinion about the place, recreational activities, things to do, places to visit, and other details.
  • Once they are done, ask each student to read the paragraph written by him/her.
  • In such a manner, the activity goes on till every student has read his/her vacation plan with others.

The activity is a combination of building imagination skills and written communication. With this activity, students get an opportunity to freely express their perspectives. As they read in front of others, it also enhances confidence.

4. The Great Interview 

The Great Interview 

With guided reading, children mostly have an opportunity to read different types of text according to their reading stage. However, this activity focuses on building questions and also reading them.

  • To conduct this activity, introduce children to a famous author of their favorite book. 
  • You can take any one book in common and talk more about the author, his/her writing style, personality, and different books written by that specific author.
  • Now, ask students to read any one story written by that specific author.
  • After they are done, allow them to form questions that they would like to ask the author.
  • In this activity, students can form any question related to the author’s personal life, the writing style, how the author decided about the characters or any specific question about the personality traits of any given character in the story.
  • Once students are done drafting the questions, ask students to read out one question at once.
  • The activity continues till everyone is done reading all the drafted questions.

The goal of this activity is to put the mind into a critical thinking process. As students read, they also create a connection with the author and characters. Such activity allows students to explore different perspectives and also question the belief or writing style of the author. 

5. Interesting Words and Phrases

 Interesting Words and Phrases

Guided reading is an effective method to not only build reading skills but also build a good vocabulary. Through guided reading children get an opportunity to come across different words, phrases, and statements that might interest them.

  • To conduct this activity, ask any student to start reading.
  • While the student is reading, ask the other students to spot different phrases and interesting words through active listening.
  • In this activity, one student will be engaged in reading while the others will focus on spotting unique words. 
  • After the student is done reading, the other students read the interesting phrases, statements, or words that they have spotted.
  • Allow them to openly discuss the meaning of the spotted words to test their knowledge.
  • The activity goes on till every student gets an opportunity to read.

The activity focuses on engaging students not only in reading but also in active listening. Such an activity helps build concentration skills, and critical thinking and also widens their horizon to spot fresh words. 

6. Rhyme it like a Poem

 Rhyme it like a Poem

Guided reading is an innovative way to introduce children to the world of imagination and different stories. As children begin reading, this activity focuses on providing them an opportunity to transform the plain text into something poetic.

  • To conduct this activity, give students different books that have some characters in them.
  • Ask students to read the book and form a poem about the character or their story.
  • Ask them to use the book as a reference for including similar words or phrases.
  • Once students are done, allow each student to openly read his/her poem in front of others. 
  • The activity continues till the time each student has received the chance of reciting the poem.

The aim of this activity is to offer students an opportunity to sync stories or paragraphs into poems. Through this, they develop the creative ability to transform texts. It also helps them think out of the box and relate to the character in a deeper sense.

7. State Your Reviews

State Your Reviews

Guided reading exposes students to different kinds of genres including fiction, nonfiction, novels, and fables. This activity focuses on collecting reviews from students about their understanding and criticism of the book.

  • To conduct this activity, choose an accurate book for students in the entire group.
  • Make sure each student has the same book as it allows an open discussion at the end.
  • Ask students to read the book and freely write their reviews about it.
  • The reviews can be about the characters, the plot, placement, and usage of words or their personal opinions.
  • Once they are done framing the reviews, allow an open discussion between students to understand different perspectives and thoughts towards the book.
  • The activity continues till everyone presents their views on the book. 

The basic focus of the activity is to invite participation from students. The activity also offers an opportunity for students to put forward their opinions and have the courage to question different elements of a certain text. With this, students learn to put forward their positive and negative thoughts while being fearless.

Wrapping up…

Guided reading differs from traditional reading groups as this approach focuses on the student’s ability to read. The approach is beneficial for students at any reading level as the students are provided with accurate books and text according to their understanding level. While guided reading activities are a good way to indulge students in a fun learning environment, it is important for teachers and educators to understand the significance of diversified learning platforms.

In such cases, teachers and educators can use multiple different ways for guided reading sessions. Different guided reading applications and books can also be taken into consideration. Similarly, guided reading games also help create a challenging environment for students. It is important to know that each approach has its own benefits and limitations. Hence, teachers and educators must assess the child’s ability and understanding level before considering any approach.

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