Have you ever sat down to plan for your reading small groups and just felt stuck? You might stare at your lesson plan and draw a blank. Or you realize your lessons are starting to look the exact same each day, but you can’t come up with something new to try. We’ve all been there! New and veteran teachers have all hit a wall when it comes to planning guided reading lessons. But here’s the thing…we don’t have to reinvent the wheel to have meaningful guided reading activities!
We just need to get creative with how we use some of our resources. Yes, some resources are created specifically for guided reading. Other resources may be intended for literacy stations or independent practice, but we can easily incorporate them into guided reading. Today I wanted to show you my favorite guided reading activities and resources to help you make the most of your guided reading time.
1. Guided Reading Binder to Organize Activities and Lessons
The first step of getting ready for guided reading activities and lessons is to get everything you’ll need organized. You’ll want section dividers to help keep everything inside of your binder in the right spot. You’ll want group pages where you track groups, each students’ progress, and lesson plans. Finally, it’s helpful to have cheat sheets like a prompting guide and running record coding handy so you’re not flipping through tons of things to find them.
2. Guided Reading Leveled Kits
If you’re not positive about how to start guided reading or what a well-delivered lesson looks like, the Guided Reading Leveled Kits include everything you need to successfully deliver a guided reading lesson for those kids who are ready to dig deeper with comprehension. Each kit has a detailed explanation of each component of guided reading, scripted lesson plans, books in color, black and white, and digital formats, word work activities, and parent involvement notes for each level and book.
- Kindergarten Guided Reading Bundle
- First Grade Guided Reading Bundle
- Second Grade Guided Reading Bundle
3. Guided Reading With Decodable Books
The Guided Reading with Decodable Books kits are similar to the leveled kits, except they follow a specific, progressive sequence revolving around phonics instead of levels. Integrating phonics instruction and activities into guided reading not only provides more opportunities for practice, but students get to learn and practice these skills in an authentic way. This is a teacher favorite for sure!
If you want to learn more about integrating phonics into guided reading or if you need help learning how to use decodable readers in guided reading, I have created Decodable Reader Kits for Guided Reading that you can use to help you get a jump start. I have the following kits available (or save and grab the Decodable Readers Bundle):
- Short Vowel Decodable Readers
- Blends Decodable Readers
- Digraphs Decodable Readers
- Long Vowel Decodable Readers
4. Guided Reading Activities for Phonemic Awareness
Mastering phonemic awareness is a key factor in reading readiness for little learners. No matter what reading level a child is on – pre-readers to high readers, they ALL have or need a strong foundation of phonemic awareness. We can reinforce these skills with hands-on activities during guided reading warm-ups. You can implement them after reading if you notice your group struggling with a particular skill.
To make finding and organizing phonemic awareness activities easier, you can grab the sets below! Each set has 27 activities, organization pages, assessments, and data tracking so you can have it all in one place.
5. Word Work Activities
After the warm-up, word work usually is next in the guided reading lesson. Word Work activities can help reinforce phonics skills, practice high-frequency words, work with word families, and more!
You can find leveled Kindergarten Word Work Activities and First Grade Word Work Activities in my shop. Each level (A-J) has 10 or more engaging, hands-on activities for students. Not only can you use them in guided reading, but you can also use them in stations, as morning work, or for independent practice.
6. Phonics Clip Cards
If you have students who need a little extra practice with phonics skills like identifying beginning sounds, ending sounds, digraphs, blends, and vowels, you can use clip card activities during guided reading. First, identify the skill your group needs to practice. Then, you can distribute some clip cards and clothespins and ask students to clip the letter(s). You could do this during the warmup time or as word work.
You can grab your set of clip cards below! Each set has cards with illustrations and letters to clip and a student recording page for extra practice.
7. Guided Reading Strategy Posters
Finally, if you’re looking for a guided reading resource that helps remind students to attend to the words, these FREE strategy posters are for you. I created them with the Science of Reading in mind to provide a visual aid for young readers and to help them work through tough words.
Remember, if you feel stuck or like you need something fresh and new, get creative! If you’ve never tried playdough in guided reading, try a playdough syllable smash activity. All of these resources mentioned will help boost readers, equip them with the reading skills they need, and move readers forward. Grab one today and get excited about guided reading!