List of Reading Strategies

A critical Foundation for Reading Success

five pillars of reading

List of Reading Strategies

Add some variety to reading instruction and maximize its effectiveness by making use of this list of reading strategies. Each strategy is easy to implement and helps keep students actively engaged in the process of learning to read.

To learn more about decoding, teaching, and what reading strategies are, visit the Reading Horizons Reading Strategies Homepage. To see what customers are saying, take a look at our Reading Horizons reviews.

1. Project Words

To help students develop automaticity with word recognition, flash one word at a time on the board or wall by quickly turning a projector on and off. Have students orally read each word as it comes up.

2. Repeat and Speak

When asking students to write letters, words, or sentences, use the following process to engage multiple language skills at the same time: Say the letter, word, or sentence twice. Have students repeat it back twice. Have them write it once. Finally, have them read it aloud once.

3. Allow Think Time

When asking a question, allow enough “think time” for students to generate an answer.

4. Sort Words

Have students sort words from a story into parts of speech.

5. Follow Along

When students are “following along” as you read out loud, randomly stop in different places and ask the students to chorally complete each sentence.

6. Teach Phonics

When teaching subject area words, don’t neglect phonics. For example, when introducing the word “atmosphere,” don’t begin by writing the word. Instead, pronounce the word, break it into spoken syllables, and then write it one syllable at a time. Finally, discuss the meanings of parts of the word (i.e., “atmos” is Greek for “vapor, steam,” and “sphere” is Greek for “globe, ball”).

7. Cue the "ABCs"

Have students use each letter of the alphabet to begin a word that relates to a specific topic. For example, if the topic is weather, students may choose the word “arid” for the letter A, the word “barometer” for letter B, and so forth.

8. Use Nonsense Words

Use nonsense words to assess students' knowledge of the alphabetic principle.

9. Employ the 3-2-1 Strategy

Use the 3-2-1 strategy to measure student engagement. After students read a passage, have them write 3 things they learned, 2 things that are interesting, and 1 question they may have about what they read.

10. Inference

To teach inference, gather a suitcase full of objects, and have students describe what the owner of the suitcase must be like based on inferences made from the items in the suitcase. Relate the activity to clues that the author gives in a story or passage from which students can draw inferences.

How can I apply this in my school?

Download our free reading strategies resource kit which includes:

  • an article about how vocabulary instruction can aid in teaching reading

  • a list of active reading strategies by Dr. Monica Bomengen

  • a reading skills list infographic and pdf.