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Reading Activities for 1st Graders

1st grade is an important year for building reading skills! At this level, students dive a little deeper into reading and work on developing their comprehension and fluency. To get this practice, you’ll need lots of reading activities for 1st graders at the ready! Here are a few of my favorite low-prep activities to make your planning a breeze.

Reading Passages

Guided Reading Passages are an excellent way to structure your small group reading lessons each week. These specific passages include a lesson plan example, vocabulary cards, pre-reading activity, 3 levels of reading passages with vocabulary words and comprehension questions, a comprehension graphic organizer, and a writing response page. Plus, there are three different passages for each story at three different levels. This allows all the students in the class to practice the same reading skill, and learn about the same topic, but at a level that is good for them!

Differentiated Reading Passages for the Entire Year

Reading on the Move

Reading is typically a stationary task, which can make younger students antsy — including first graders. My solution to this problem is Reading on the Move! Combining fluency practice with a little physical activity is the perfect way to keep students engaged and help them get the practice they need. There are plenty of Reading on the Move resources available, including holiday themed versions! From stories, to simple sentences, to festive Christmas passages, check out all of my Reading on the Move resources to get your plans set for the year.

Phonics Reading Mats

Teachers love that these Phonics Reading Mats help their beginning or struggling readers get the phonics practice they need in order to break the code of reading! Students begin by stretching through the sounds in a word family or blend. Then, they will continue to read words practicing that phonics skill as well as sentences and a short story. Students will have to strictly rely on their phonetic skills to read. These correlate well with the Science of Reading and research on dyslexia!

Phonics Reading Mats are perfect for practicing phonics and reading fluency.

Comprehension Notebooks

Comprehension notebooks are a great way to incorporate regular reading comprehension practice into your curriculum. Each week of these 1st Grade Reading Comprehension Notebooks includes an original text for students to read or have read to them. Each day, the students will practice a comprehension skill related to the text for the week. The great thing about the resource I linked to is that there’s also a digital version, which is perfect for distance learning!

Comprehension Notebooks for Kindergarten through 3rd grade

Roll and Read

Roll and read activities make fluency practice a fun game! To play, students roll their dice to see which passage to read. This is a super versatile activity, since you can use any passages that you’d like your students to work on. For instance, I’ve created a Nonfiction Roll and Read, Roll and Read for Beginning Readers, and a bundle of differentiated fluency Roll and Read!

Interactive Reading Passages

Reading comprehension is so important for young learners. It’s a skill that they’ll use for years to come, and not just in their English classes — in all subjects! These Interactive Reading Passages can be read to younger students to work on listening comprehension or more advanced readers can read the passages independently.

These are perfect for creating interactive notebooks with your students. Copy the passage and have students glue them onto the left side of the notebook. Then, the interactive graphic organizer can be completed and glued into the right side of the notebook. The students will have access to the reading passage where they can go back and highlight evidence in the text for completing their organizer.

Decodable Passages

This Decodable Phonics Passages & Boom Digital Passages with Comprehension resource is a fantastic tool for beginning readers or those struggling with reading difficulties. It includes 48 decodable passages for plenty of practice. The task cards are the perfect way for Kindergarten and 1st grade students to work on their phonics skills. They can also be used for 2nd graders who need extra practice with their phonetic sounds.

Decodable Phonics Passages for 1st graders


These low-prep reading activities for 1st graders make it easy for your students to get the reading, fluency, and comprehension practice they need. Enjoy!

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  1. Heya in order to start with. I teach literature at a mixed school in my area. It is classed as the British equivalent of a American K-12 school in addition. I did a entire week of lessons based on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with a year one class last week. First of all I read the book to the whole class. Nice to meet you and best wishes too. They were all at their own desks listening to me read. The children loved it. So did I in fact. We made colourful mind maps to use.

    After I had finished reading the book I next did a quick themed spelling test. It consisted of ten words that were all taken from the novel in question. In pairs with my help the kids even made some brief summary notes on their unique impressions of the story as well. That was a lot of fun.

    They had to devise a fun version of an additional scene to add to the book. Finally we worked very hard on a class cartoon book of pictures depicting some of the scenes in a art lesson. Other planned group activities included a thank you letter to the author and another class activity revolved around math. I got them to write a short paragraph to describe the characters one by one at one point during one lesson. One lesson was devoted to thinking skills.

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