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Five Reading Activities for 2nd Grade

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 6/6/2012

Try some of these creative ways to help your students learn valuable reading skills while having fun in the process. These suggested activities are simple to do, economical, and educational in every aspect. Give them a try, and your students will surely have a ball learning from them.

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    So you have finished discussing your topic and now it is time for you to check how much they have grasped from it. These reading activities are easy ways to let your students apply what they have learned, but also to relate it with other subjects. Enrich your students' understanding of reading skills such as context clues, synonyms and antonyms, fluency in reading orally, and even their writing skills.

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    A Giant Picture Book

    Let your students pick three new words that they have learned from some of the stories read in class. Then, hand them three pieces of letter-sized paper and coloring materials. Instruct them to write the word on top, and in the center, let them illustrate the word’s definition. Ask them to use the word in a sentence with a minimum of five words.

    Their works are going to be compiled, so it can eventually become a class project. (To make sure that there are no duplications in the words picked by each student, ask the students to write on the board their individually selected words so that others will not choose them.)

    Teacher Tip: To compile the works, you may punch three holes on the left side of each paper and use rings or yarn to bind them.

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    Mask Parade

    Ask your students to think of their favorite character from a book that they have read. Then let them make a mask that looks exactly like the character’s face. They may make use of cardboard, crayons, buttons, glitter glue or any decorative items that are suitable to the design that they have in mind. Organize a mask parade, and let them walk around the classroom or school wearing their very own masks!

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    Synonyms and Antonyms Twister

    You will need a Twister mat in this activity. If you do not have one, you can always improvise by using an old tarp or a large plastic cover that measures 67” X 55”. On the classic Twister mat, there are four rows with six circles on each row; but if you wish to make a bigger mat, you may come up with eight to ten circles in each row. Cut out green, yellow, blue, and red circles from colored paper or cardboard (about the same size as those on a Twister mat). Then, write an adjective on each circle. The adjectives must have their corresponding antonyms and synonyms. Stick the circles on the mat, but make sure that the pairs of synonyms and antonyms are not positioned beside each other.

    To play this game, simply shout ’SYNONYMS’ or ‘ANTONYMS’ to instruct the students to locate a pair of synonyms or antonyms on the mat. Just like in the original Twister game, they have to use their feet or hands in positioning themselves on the circles. The only difference is there is no need to use a spinner.

    Examples of words that you may use may include; pretty, beautiful, kind, ugly, cruel, nice, good, unpleasant, bad, huge, tiny, big, little, small, lovely, grand, dull, attractive, near, distant, far, close by, horrible, terrible.

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    Radio Drama

    This is a fun second activity that can help develop fluency in reading words, as well as using the right intonation and feelings in each statement. As they enrich their reading skills, they can also experiment with different objects to produce the right sound for an action. Create a written script that is suitable for the reading level of your students. Divide the class into small groups and distribute the script to them. Then, hand them a bag containing several sound-producing items. Examples may include a tin can, spoon, hand bell, wooden box, wind chime, etc. Let them read aloud the script with their group and ask them to make use of the objects to produce sounds suitable for the actions found in the script. Give them time to practice, then let them present their radio drama to the rest of the class (hidden behind a curtain, of course!).

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    Fun in Comics

    With a partner, ask students to make an original story set in a comic using Comic Life. Remind them that the characters in their story must demonstrate proper morals and values that the readers can learn from. They may use real or fictitious characters and settings in their story. This reading activity is a fun and effective way for your 2nd grade students to check their knowledge of punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.

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    Photo Credit: WikiCommons