Reading fluency is a stepping stone to deep comprehension. If you are in search of meaningful content that will deepen thinking skills that also improves fluency, this post is for you. The resources I’m sharing were inspired by close reading passages and reader’s theater. Partner plays are so much fun, and I’m looking forward to sharing them with you in this post.
Why Use Partner Plays
Last year, I was in search of materials that embraced the upper elementary student’s need for social interaction and yet, kept the focus on comprehension. I needed something that addressed their lagging skills with fluency and vocabulary and tied in content area information. I used reader’s theater scripts in our guided reading block as well as tradebooks and close reading, but yet I found that engagement was low at times. When I couldn’t find exactly what my kids needed, I decided to make it! That was the birth of my “Partner Plays”.
Partner Plays for the Upper Grades
These activities mesh well with the Daily Five philosophy for the Read with Partner stage which makes classroom management a nonissue. If kids are engaged with fun, deep thinking materials, then they have no time to cause challenges, right?? I have also used them in guided reading some too. The kids are having a great time working on reading and do not notice that I am listening. I can quickly make note of decoding issues as the kids are reading and address questions.
When I first started making the scripts, I targeted fourth and fifth grade intervention. My goal was to provide my students with a review of science and social studies curriculum AND address my reading skills. The kids really benefited from this and enjoyed them, so I added in fictional stories and branched out to a high/low version for younger readers too.
Here is an example of a script I have created for the upper grades. I live in Virginia, and Virginia Studies is tested in fourth grade. This script is about a family road trip to visit tourism sites in the state. The mother and child have dialogue along their journey about important historic people and places. This one could lead to writing and research opportunities.
Focus on Building Comprehension
Once the script is introduced, there are supplemental materials to go with them. I include specific tier 2 vocabulary words, question task cards for group discussion, a questions page for Close Reading where students find text evidence, and a writing option for post reading. I’ve found these help provide purpose for repeated reading and help the students deepen their understanding.
Working on Fluency in the Primary Grades
In addition to the upper elementary sets, I have also created the Sam and Max series with the primary reader in mind. I tutored a little guy last summer who LOVED dogs, and that got me thinking, “Why not create a high/low set?” So often, we have a range of reading levels in our room, and in the primary grades, kids need to hear fluent reading. By using these in this way, students each get material at the level they need. With the Sam and Max series, I tried to focus on seasonal settings and events to allow them to be used throughout the year. There are two Sam and Max freebies in my store including this one which introduces the characters.
Interested in checking out my Partner Plays?
With all of the partner scripts, there are before, during, and after activities for full engagement and deep thinking. I hope you’ll take a moment to download the freebie files and give them a try. Both bundles are on sale today yet in my store for a great price.
Related Posts You Might Enjoy:
- Why I LOVE Using Partner Scripts to Beef Up Fluency AND Comprehension
- How to Make Partner Work Work for ALL
- Ways to Make Partner Reading Work for You in Primary