Reading Comprehension Teaching Resources
Explore printable worksheets, digital activities and more to teach reading comprehension strategies and skills in your elementary classroom. Created by teachers, for teachers, the teaching resources in this collection are curriculum-aligned and have undergone a careful review by a member of our expert teaching team.
You'll find editable versions to easily differentiate your instruction for individual students, plus a variety of options to make lesson planning easier this school year so your students will be able to identify the main idea of a text, draw inferences, remember key details and more.
New to teaching this portion of the English curriculum or just looking for fresh and engaging ways to teach reading comprehension strategies? Read on for a primer from our teacher team!
What Is Reading Comprehension?
We'll start at the beginning! Reading comprehension is a skill that's hard to overestimate in terms of its importance for elementary students to develop.
Defined as the ability to understand and interpret written language, reading comprehension involves the process of decoding text, extracting meaning from it, and then integrating that meaning with prior knowledge and understanding.
Not only does comprehension comprise the ability to recognize and understand individual words, but it also involves the ability to recognize patterns and relationships within sentences and paragraphs.
On top of that is the ability to make inferences and draw conclusions based on the information presented.
Yes, there's a lot packed in there!
How to Teach Reading Comprehension
To develop reading comprehension, students need a variety of language skills such as vocabulary knowledge, grammar and syntax, as well as cognitive processes such as attention, memory and critical thinking.
So how do you teach reading comprehension? Like many of those foundational skills we teach in elementary grades, this isn't something kids learn in a single lesson, unit or even one school year.
Teaching reading comprehension is going to stretch from kindergarten and first grade all the way through the rest of a child's academic career (at least on the pre-college levels).
That said, here are some activities to make use of as you approach teaching reading comprehension as an elementary teacher:
- Pre-Reading Activities — Brainstorming, KWL charts, prediction exercises and other "pre-reading" activities will help your students activate their prior knowledge, build background knowledge and set a purpose for reading. These are all key to developing their comprehension.
- During-Reading Strategies — Teaching your students to ask questions, summarize, visualize and make connections will give students the know-how they need to monitor their comprehension as they read.
- Post-Reading Activities — Reading comprehension doesn't stop when kids get to the last page of a text. It's only just beginning. That's why it's important to make sure your lesson plans include activities that help students deepen their understanding of the text and develop critical thinking skills. Examples of post-reading activities that can help build these skills include discussions, debates and written responses.
Narrative Plot Structure Template
A template for students to use when planning the plot structure of a narrative text.
Human Histories: World Explorers – Comprehension Worksheet
A free comprehension worksheet paired with an informational text about world explorers.
Free Character Traits List
Teach your students to analyze characters more effectively by providing them with a list of character traits.
Comprehension Worksheets - The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Read and learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with a reading comprehension passage and worksheet pack.
Readers' Theater - Itsy Bitsy Spider Read and Retell Activity
Engage young readers in texts with a dramatic reading of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and accompanying story retelling activity.
Character Anchor Charts - Traits, Feelings, and Appearances
A set of 3 posters depicting words and phrases that can be used to describe a character traits, feelings and appearance.
Story Map Template
A template to use when exploring or planning a narrative story.
Phases of the Moon – Comprehension Worksheet
Analyze different moon phases and how their visual appearances change over time with this reading comprehension worksheet.
Novel Study - Chapter Summary Worksheet
A worksheet to help students reflect on their thoughts after reading a chapter in a class novel.
Summer Reading Challenge Calendar
Inspire your students to read during the summer with a versatile reading challenge.
Reading Comprehension Strategies Anchor Charts
Provide young readers with concrete examples of reading strategies with a set of 18 ready-made reading anchor charts.
Comprehension Task Cards - Finding The Main Idea
A set of comprehension task cards to help students find the main idea when reading.
Story Elements Worksheet
Practice identifying characters, settings, problems, and solutions in fictional text with this set of worksheets.
Leveled Paired Passage Worksheets-Mammals vs. Reptiles
Differentiate reading instruction with leveled nonfiction, compare and contrast passages, and worksheets.
Free Author's Purpose Worksheets
Assess reading comprehension by reviewing 3 short passages and answering questions about the author's purpose.
Finding The Main Idea - Comprehension Task (Turtles)
A task to use when teaching your students reading comprehension strategies.
5 Opinion Writing Prompt Stimulus Sheets
A set of 5 writing prompt stimulus sheets with an opinion text focus.
Inference Realtor Advertisements - Worksheet
A series of realtor advertisement worksheets to use when teaching your students how to infer information from written texts.
Comprehension Task Cards - Draw Conclusions and Make Inferences
A set of comprehension task cards to help students draw conclusions and make inferences when reading.
Fascinating Facts About Animals – Comprehension Worksheet
A comprehension worksheet paired with magazine article about animals.
Design Your Own Book Cover Worksheet
A worksheet that encourages students to create a book cover including a summary on the back.
Great Barrier Reef - Comprehension and Note Taking Worksheet
Learn about The Great Barrier Reef with a comprehension and note-taking activity.
Persuade Me: Persuasive Writing Prompts
A set of 4 persuasive writing prompts.
Reading Strategy Bookmark
Bookmarks to remind your students of the different reading strategies.
Inference Scenario - The Elegant Express Worksheet
An activity to use when teaching your students how to infer information from images.
Super Six Reading Comprehension Strategies Poster Pack
A pack of 7 posters which explain the Super Six reading comprehension strategies.
Literary Plot Elements - Graphic Organizer
Familiarize students with finding the 5 elements of plot in a literary text.
Mars vs. Earth - Differentiated Paired Passage Worksheets
Learn about the planets with differentiated compare and contrast passages, activities, and writing opportunities.
Sloth-Themed Book Review Template
Use this sloth-themed book review template to write about your favorite book.
Earthworms Everywhere - Reading Passage and Comprehension Questions
Enhance your students' comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills with this high-interest reading passage about earthworms!
Parts of a Story - Story Elements Workbook
Explore the different elements of a narrative story with this student mini workbook.
Practice identifying and using metaphors with this differentiated metaphors worksheet.
- Reading Comprehension Worksheets
- Reading Comprehension Templates
- Reading Comprehension Posters
- Reading Comprehension Games
- Reading Comprehension for Pre-K
- Reading Comprehension for Kindergarten
- Reading Comprehension for 1st Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 2nd Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 3rd Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 4th Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 5th Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 6th Grade
- Reading Comprehension for 7th Grade