Proven Elementary Reading Strategies You Must Try

Elementary reading is a foundational skill that has a direct impact…

Elementary reading is a foundational skill that has a direct impact on the educational success of children. It is the main skill that provides children with a rudimentary means of gathering information and making sense of the world around them.

Reading will eventually enable them to gather and comprehend more complex information as they move to higher education. The importance of developing elementary reading skills cannot be overlooked because it has a long-term impact on a person’s educational, occupational, and social success.

We’ve looked through archives and educational studies to provide you with actionable information that you can use to help children become excellent readers.

A little girl reading
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Choral Reading

Choral reading is a strategy where the teacher and class read a particular text aloud and in unison. Choral reading is compelling because it reinforces comprehension of the words and sentences read aloud.

It also improves retention, vocabulary, and fluency. It also aids struggling readers develop confidence in reading aloud because it draws unwanted focus away from them and encourages them to participate.

Pair-Assisted Reading

Pair-assisted reading is a reading strategy where teachers pair two students during reading practice. One reads the material aloud while the other assumes the role of a listener.

The more fluent reader usually reads the content first. This sequence provides the struggling reader with a model to follow and allows them to ask questions about the content before reading it aloud.

This 2014 study revealed that pair-assisted learning yields greater fluency, use of context, greater likelihood of self-correction, fewer errors, and better phonic skills. Students were also more confident in reading and speaking.

The Flaw in Round Robin and Popcorn Reading

Round Robin and Popcorn Reading are reading strategies wherein each learner in the class takes a turn to read text out loud. This approach is flawed because it fails to provide the reader with a reading model to learn from.

It also exposes the struggling reader to an uncomfortable situation. – nobody wants his deficiencies to be highlighted, especially in class. It may cause the child to fear the prospect of reading instead of enjoying it.

Cross-grade Reading

Cross-grade reading involves pairing upper and lower grade-level students for reading assignments. The rationale behind this strategy is to provide learners with a one-on-one mentorship relationship. Children from higher levels teach those from lower levels.

The benefits derived from this approach flow both ways. 

Kids from lower levels gain a model with greater reading fluency and benefits from the focused attention. In comparison, children from higher levels develop soft skills such as empathy and patience.

It also benefits older children who struggle with their reading. It gives them access to simpler reading material without shame and nurtures their leadership skills. 

Moreover, this approach instills learners with a sense of community.

Ear Reading

Ear reading is a strategy where learners listen to an audiobook while reading the physical book. This approach is beneficial to all learners because learners associate the reading material with the sounds in the audiobook.

This approach is particularly beneficial for struggling learners and those with dyslexia because it bridges the gap between eye reading and ear reading. In this 2010 study, dyslexic students who participated in ear reading sessions exhibited better reading accuracy, greater motivation, and better behavior and school performance.

However, ear reading cannot serve as a substitute for a structured literacy approach because it fails to provide sufficient fluency training.

Structured Literacy Approach

This teaching approach gives students an in-depth understanding of fundamental concepts such as:

  • Phonology – identifying sounds in words.
  • Orthography – associating sounds with symbols.
  • Syllables – dividing words into syllables.
  • Morphology – understanding base words and affixes.
  • Syntax – applying correct sentence structure.
  • Semantics – understanding the meaning of words and sentences. 

This approach develops the neural routes that are necessary for one to become a proficient reader. This approach is beneficial to all learners but is particularly effective for struggling learners. Children from this district showed significantly improved educational performance after being taught via a structured literacy approach. 

Allow Learners to Choose What They Read

The rationale behind allowing them to choose the books they read is, so they are more engaged in the material they are reading. The presumption is that children naturally gravitate to exciting topics and stories.

Alternately, you can offer new choices that reflect the learner’s experiences. This measure provides learners with challenging and stimulating content to facilitate learning.

Asking learners about their interests and hobbies is an excellent way to assess what topics they find interesting. It will make it easier to select reading materials that a learner might find interesting.

Fluency-Oriented Reading Instruction

This study shows that fluency-oriented reading instruction improves pronunciation and reading comprehension compared to lessons taught in pairs or alone.

It is a classroom-based approach that emphasizes minimizing phonics decoding errors and focuses on reading instruction to facilitate grammar and vocabulary mastery. 


We cannot overstate the importance of developing a child’s reading skills. Reading proficiency takes a lot of time and work to achieve. These strategies provide instructors with a multitude of approaches to help ensure that children develop the skills they need for long-term educational success.

Frequently asked questions

How do elementary students improve reading comprehension?

  • Reading aloud to them.
  • Provide books at the appropriate level.
  • To improve fluency, read.
  • Talk to your teacher.
  • Students need to supplement their class readings.
  • Talk about what they are reading.

Do reading strategies really matter?

Reading strategies (such as compare and contrast, predictive and inference, summarizing, etc.) are designed solely to boost comprehension of the text. Teaching reading strategy is very important since it shows students how good readers think.

What are the 10 strategies in reading?

  • Ask questions
  • Read out loud. Sometimes, it helps to hear yourself read out loud.
  • Have you read any books that you’ve already.
  • Slow down
  • Use context clues
  • Re-read. Most readers will skip this one.
  • Make a search for a word that you do not know.
  • Make connections

How can I improve my child’s reading skills?

  • Keep an eye out for new books.
  • Read on a regular basis to encourage your child.
  • Get your reluctant reader to find books they enjoy.
  • Use examples outside of books.
  • Don’t let your child go to college by reading.
  • Take your child seriously.

What are the 6 basic strategies for developing literacy?

Developing literacy involves making connections, visualizing, questioning, inferring, determining importance, and synthesizing.

What are the 3 effective reading strategies?

  • Scanning. Scanning is used to find specific information found in a text.
  • Skimming. Skimming, like scanning, is a fast type of reading.
  • Reading for Detail. Reading carefully is probably the most common reading strategy.

What are the 7 reading techniques we follow while we read a text?

  • Active Reading
  • Scanning
  • Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review
  • Detailed
  • Structure-Proposition-Evaluation
  • Skimming
  • Speed

Which reading strategies are effective Why?

  • Read with a purpose. Firstly read with purpose, which is what I would suggest.
  • Inferring
  • Monitoring/Clarifying
  • Questioning
  • Identifying the main point.
  • Previewing
  • Predicting
  • Visualizing

What is the most effective reading strategy?

Teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, indicating, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing to improve student comprehension.

What are the 4 types of reading strategies?

  • Scanning. The reader usually scuttles across sentences to find a specific piece of information.
  • Extensive reading
  • Skimming. The act of skimming, sometimes referred to as fundamental reading, involves going through a paragraph to grasp its main idea.
  • Intensive Reading

What are the 7 strategies of reading skills?

In addition to activating, summarizing, monitoring and clarifying, visualizing and organizing, searching and selecting, questioning, and inferring are seven strategies that highly skilled readers use.

What is the best reading intervention program?

In 2020, more than 5000 students were supported by Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) for tier 2 and 3 students on Branching Minds.

What are the 5 effective reading strategies?

  • Activating background knowledge. Students who engage in activities that bridge their old knowledge with the new can do better comprehension, according to research.
  • Questioning
  • Analyzing text structure
  • Summarizing
  • Visualization

Which method or technique do you prefer for teaching reading to elementary school learner?

One of the most popular and commonly used methods is Phonics. As the process progresses slow and the reading out loud halts, eventually the cognitive processes involved in translating between letters and sounds are automatized and become more fluent.

What is the best intervention for struggling readers?

Reading and rereading familiar texts is the most common method of increasing reading fluency. Learning to read aloud, with guidance from teachers, peers, or parents, is also associated with fluency.

Proven Elementary Reading Strategies You Must Try

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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