Instruction in Reading for Students in Kindergarten through Grade 3

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Reading proficiency stresses the capacity to quickly and automatically digest material and generate meaning and understanding. As demonstrated by Byrnes and Wasik (2009), learning to read requires students to make use of their understanding of the alphabet and sounds. Reading education strives to improve fluency and comprehension so that students can read and comprehend literature quickly, accurately, and with ease.

Reading literacy is crucial for young kids in Kindergarten through Grade 3 because it lays the groundwork for their future academic and career success. These students are reading at various stages, including emerging, early, and fluent readers (Byrnes & Wasik, 2009). Emergent readers at kindergarten level are starting to learn words and how they sound, and transition into early readers who can then understand the details of text, the alphabet, and that text represents spoken language. Fluent readers have extensive vocabulary and display high decoding skills and ability to comprehend text.

Strategies for Teaching Reading Skills to K-3 Learners

Storytelling Strategy

Storytelling as explored by Pennycuff and Miller (2011) involves the narration of stories during reading lessons. It features reading aloud sessions where learners listen to stories told by teachers or fellow learners. This strategy is important as it proves effective in introducing reading to young emergent readers in kindergarten. Through storytelling, learners study how words combine to make phrases and sentences.

During classroom instruction, the teacher identifies an engaging story suitable for the specific grade and reads it aloud to the whole class. The teacher incorporates techniques, such as using voice intonations for various characters in the story, thinking aloud, and using hand and facial gestures to captivate the learners’ attention. Overall, storytelling presents learners with the opportunity to improve their vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Repeated Reading Strategy

Cunningham and Allington (2015) identify repeated reading as an effective way to foster reading fluency. It involves reading a text repeatedly until the learner reads without making errors. Repeated reading is a credible strategy for reading instruction because it guarantees that readers grasp the content. Readers improve their reading speeds, develop sight word vocabulary and gain confidence in their reading abilities.

In classroom instruction, the teacher selects a short passage and reads it out loud several times as the learners pay attention. The teacher takes time to explain the passage, providing a purpose for reading. Next, the teacher reads a line from the passage and learners echo back by reading the same line. They proceed to read the passage repeatedly until they can do so accurately. Repeated reading can be done with the whole class or readers can be paired to read to each other.

Story Mapping

Mahdavi and Tensfeldt (2013) illustrate the superiority of using story mapping in developing learners’ comprehension. This strategy applies graphic organizers to record the main elements of a story during reading, and use them to discuss text. The rationale for using this strategy is its effect of directing the learners’ attention in reading text, and organizing ideas efficiently for improved comprehension.

Story mapping can be used with individual students, with small groups and the whole class. The teacher introduces a story to learners and discusses the main parts. Students are then provided with graphic organizers and shown how to use them. During reading, students complete the map by filling in any missing elements.

Rhyming Games

Gillon (2004) suggests using rhyming games for teaching phonemic awareness. They involve reciting words that end in a common sound. The rationale behind using rhyming is that it develops phonological awareness in kindergarten learners, which is integral in predicting word recognition in the first and second grades, and future literacy success.

Rhyming games are used before reading tasks with individuals, small groups or entire classes. The beanbag rhyme game used in classroom instructions starts with the teacher holding a beanbag and saying a word, e.g. bat. The teacher passes the beanbag to a student who is expected to say a word rhyming with bat, then give the beanbag to another learner. This continues until children have exhausted possible rhyming words at which point they introduce new words and continue.

Word Walls

Cunningham (2005) advocates for the use of word walls in interactive reading instruction. Word walls display groups of words that are organized prominently on the walls. They serve as visual reminders of concepts, and varieties of words and content. The justification for using words walls is that they promote the processing of multiple words in K-3 learners to foster vocabulary building.

Word walls can be used with individuals, small groups and the whole class. The word wall is placed where all the learners can see and words are written in large prominent letters. Teachers and learners can determine the words to put on the wall. Learners always access important vocabulary and use the words in class discussions that entail learning multiple definitions and practical uses of the words. With constant practice using the word wall, learners develop reading comprehension.


From undertaking this assignment, it is clear that teaching language and literacy has become even more complex. Teachers are required to have extensive knowledge of literacy learning and to skillfully use diverse strategies to ensure effective instruction. To engage learners in productive literacy learning experiences, teachers must challenge learners by setting higher expectations for them. Moreover, literacy and language instruction is critical in beginner years and teachers must embrace their role in shaping learners’ academic interactions.


Byrne, J.P., & Wasik, B.A. (2009). Language literacy development: What educators need to know. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Print.

Cunningham, P.M. (2005). Phonics they use: Words for reading and writing. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon. Print.

Cunningham, P.M., & Allington, R.L. (2015). Classrooms that work: They can all read and write. 6th Edition. New York, NY: Pearson. Print.

Gillon, G.T. (2004). Phonological awareness: From research to practice. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. Print.

Mahdavi, J.N., & Tensfeldt, L. (2013). Untangling reading comprehension strategy instruction: Assisting struggling readers in the primary grades. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 57(2), 77-92. Retrieved from

Pennycuff, L., & Miller, S. (2008). The power of story: Using storytelling to improve literacy learning. Journal of Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives in Education, 1(1), 36-43. Retrieved from

February 09, 2023

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