Reading: 1st Grade

Help your child become a strong reader by learning the skills she is taught in school and ways to help at home.
By Shira Ackerman, MA
Jan 25, 2013



Reading: 1st Grade

Jan 25, 2013

Building reading skills and doing reading practice are essential parts of a 1st grader’s learning. Even when students are not specifically learning “reading,” they are constantly reading as they learn other subjects. This practice as well as specific reading lessons are crucial to making 1st graders strong readers. In addition, 1st graders develop their reading comprehension skills and talk more about and gain a deeper understanding of what they read. 

In order to build reading skills, your 1st grader:

  • Recognizes the features of a sentence (for example: first words, capitalization, and ending punctuation).
  • Recognizes the spelling and sound of two letters that represent one sound, such as th, ch, wh (these are also known as digraphs).
  • Learns to read regularly spelled one-syllable words.
  • Understands how an “e” at the end of a word changes a vowel within the word.
  • Breaks up longer words into syllables in order to read them.
  • Reads grade-level words that have “irregular” spellings.
  • Knows the difference between and reads fiction and non-fiction texts with purpose and an understanding of the plot and important ideas and characters.
  • Talks about and answers questions about the text he reads.
  • Reads texts aloud at an appropriate speed and with expression.
  • Compares different characters, events, or texts.
  • Understands the purpose of and uses common features in a book, such as headings, tables of contents, and glossaries.
  • Begins to read (grade appropriate) poetry and identifies words and phrases that relate to emotions and the senses.

Reading Activities

  • Play Time: Read aloud a favorite story or poem as though it is a play or using different voices for the character and the narrator to help your child practice her pacing and expression. Your child can also read a book to you!
  • Read and Draw: Ask your child to draw a picture of her favorite scene, character, or page from a book. She can then write a description of what she drew and why she chose to draw it.
  • Become Poets: Find small and simple poems. Read them together and talk about the feelings they convey. Try making up your own poems together about objects, people you know, or anything you like!
  • Word Games: Use magnetic letters, letter tiles, or cards from games to create both real and silly words. Practice building longer words by putting together shorter words and sounds.
  • Create Your Own Dictionary: As your child learns to read new words and understand the meaning of those words, keep track of them in your own dictionary. Your child can write them down, draw a picture to illustrate the word or its definition, or write a sentence with the word. 
Age 6