Second grade reading comprehension activities

Second graders are the most enthusiastic readers out there. They are transforming from the main subject into the readers who are looking for meaning. As they build on their perceptible skills, they begin to connect with themselves and the world at large. These second grade reading comprehension activities will help your students dig deeper into the text with themselves as well as their peers.

1. Build a pyramid.

Printout of reading comprehension activity using plastic cups with symbols

The idea was born out of the everlasting love of a teacher’s students for building the Cup Tower at any opportunity! Cups are coded with symbols to represent different story elements. After reading their flattened text, students share the elements of each story as they build their cup pyramids. They can then record the story elements of the matching graphic organizer.

Learn more: Teach out of the box

2. Clip together a reading technique fan.

The reading technique forms a fan joining the cards together

Modeling is the best way to guide students through reading comprehensible techniques. But unless they are actively involved in this process, they will not maintain sufficient strategy to make any meaningful difference in their own unique understanding of the text. Fans of this technique come here. The link below shows how this teacher uses cards in his class.

Learn more: Organized classrooms

3. Use a volcanic graphic organizer.

Drawing a volcano is a three-part book for students to start reading, to record their thoughts about the middle and the end.

Demonstrate how to draw a simple volcano, divided into three sections, and ask students to draw one in their reading journal. After reading the first few pages of the story, ask the students to write the first impression at the foot of the volcano. This is a good place to start guessing where the story is going. About halfway through, ask students to write down how they feel and how they feel the story is changing. Once they finish reading, they will write down what they think the story is trying to teach them and what they took from the story at the top of the volcano.

Learn more: Student wealth

4. Compare characters.

Reading comprehension worksheets for 2nd grade students to compare characters in a story

Encourage your students to think more deeply about the characters in a story. At the top of each image, ask students to write the name of a character. Then ask them to write specific features about the character in the torso section. In the circle between the letters, ask them to write the properties shared between the two figures.

Learn more: Florida Center for Reading Research

5. Create an understanding cottage catcher.

Kuti Catcher - 2nd class reading comprehension

Once the loss of classroom teachers, cottage catchers have become a fancy way of practicing skills that kids can get excited about. This free download from Classroom Game Nook has three versions with questions about characters, settings, plots and more.

Learn more: Classroom Game Nook

6. Wear a retailing glove.

Retailing Gloves - 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension

Retailing is an important skill to work for young readers to help them understand what they are reading These gloves are a chic accessory with labels that you can easily change. For fiction retailing, you can include settings, characters, problems, events and solutions. For nonfiction retailing, you can include basic ideas and supporting details. At the bottom of the glove, you can focus on making connections.

Learn more: One smile at a time

7. Create a Wanted Poster

Wanted Poster - 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension


Learn more:

8. Roll and chat your way to understanding.

Roll and Chat - 2nd grade reading comprehension activities

If you are looking for fun second class reading comprehensible activities that work well for station or small-group work, try Roll and Chat. Players take turns and answer questions about their reading.

Learn more: Primary sports

9. Toss a story ball around.

Toss a Story Ball - Understanding 2nd Grade Reading

Kids will love this version of the toss using a beach ball with customized questions that can be used for any reading. This is a great activity for reviewing or when you want to continue learning, but your kids need to get up and move.

Learn more: Coffee cups and crayons

10. Follow a yellow brick road.

Follow a yellow brick road - 2nd grade reading comprehension

This fun lesson is another way to work on repeating skills. Print out this free story-material card. Then, place them to create a road. As students run from one yellow “brick” to the next, they retell the story.

Learn more: Kara Carol

11. Make a shutter book.

Make a Shutter Book - 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension

This lovely foldable book is a great way for students to show their understanding of story elements in a colorful way. This is a great guided reading project to go along with reading aloud.

Learn more: Upper Primary Snapshot

12. Make book discussions a regular part of your literacy block.

Idea card for a student book discussion

Book discussions are a great way for students to demonstrate their reading comprehension. But sometimes when students stand up in front of others, they are not sure what exactly they will talk about Download these adorable subject cards to guide students to tell their classmates what they are reading.

Learn more: Teacher takeout

13. Celebrate the joy of reading with Flashlight Friday.

Children are reading books by flashlight

I can’t think of a better way to end the week than to apply Flashlight Friday to your ELA block. Students absolutely love to read in the dark and outside their desks. Add fun by allowing them to bring their comfortable blankets and their favorite squishy!

Learn more: Flashlight Friday

14. Implement Kagan Cooperative Education Strategy.

Kagan Balanced Literacy 2 Resource Books

When it comes to collaborative learning and active engagement, Dr. Spencer and Laurie Cagan are the ultimate masters. My personal favorite Cagan technique is called “Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up”. Using this technique, students stay out of their seats and mingle around the room. When they are signaled to stop, they find their closest colleague, partner and discuss the topic you choose.

Learn more: Cagan Publishing

15. Toss around reading comprehension cubes.

Cube of understanding

These are great start to conversation conversations that will encourage your students to discuss different aspects of the story with their classmates. Use them in the center, in small groups, or as a whole-group activity.

Buy it: Read Comprehension Cube on Amazon

16. Make a story-retelling paper bag book.

Story Retail Paper Bag Book Project

These beautiful booklets are easy to create and can focus on important story elements Your students will have a lot of fun creating them while showing respect for those important ELA skills.

Learn more: Understanding connections

17. Create a lap-book-style book report.

Lap Book Style Book Report

Lap books are another creative way to encourage those artistic vibes as well as to put thoughts in writing on paper. Use it as a whole-group assignment after reading aloud, or ask students to create one after reading a book independently.

Learn more: Cara’s creative playground

18. Complete a story element map.

Story material map

Students can write their ideas by hand or draw pictures describing each element of the story with this simple story map template. Make a double-sided copy and add a notch to things so that students can write both. And Draw their ideas!

Learn more: Katie Bird

19. Play a storytelling-themed board game.

Story-themed board games

Players draw random story elements and use them to tell a long-story type of story. With five different modes of play, this adaptive and fun game makes it easy to reach all types of students and learning styles.

Buy it: Long storytelling board game on Amazon

20. Hold a Book Character Day.

The children dress like the characters in a book

Book Character Day is one of those second-grade reading comprehension activities that kids will remember forever! It gives them a chance to show how much they know about one of their favorite characters Encourage them to dress like their characters and carry props that are part of their story. Maybe they want to act and talk like their character. Be sure to set aside time for each student to tell their classmates about their chosen character and why.

Learn more: Shane Ever Blog

If you like these second grade reading comprehension activities, check out our favorite second grade books.

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