In first and second grade, students are starting to get the hang of reading. We spend so much time focusing on reading-level books and reading comprehension. It is so important!
However, another important part of learning to read is reading to follow directions!
As first or second grade teachers, we may be surprised to find that students didn’t follow directions. They continue to ask questions about how to do things even though the instructions have been explained and listed.
Reading to follow directions is a skill that students need to learn. They don’t just naturally understand it when they learn to read. Their whole lives so far, they have learned what to do by being told or shown. This is a new way of communicating so it is important to focus on this in the earlier grades so they are able to use this skill in day-to-day life.
Here are some ways you can teach your students how to read to follow directions.
- Always list directions on the board. This may seem obvious, but it’s important so it is worth mentioning. Use big letters and a numbered list to help them understand the format.
- Go over commonly used words in directions that they may not know. Something that can trip them up big time with reading to follow directions is words they don’t know or are struggling to sound out. Looking at instructions full of words they don’t understand can be overwhelming and discouraging for them. Going over those words ahead of time will boost their confidence.
- Use worksheets that have instructions listed on them. Tell students that the instructions are on the worksheets so they can read it to find out how to complete it.
- Make it fun with games! Create centers that focus on reading directions. In each center, include the instructions for a simple game that students have to read in order to play. You can also pair students up, and have them race to read their instructions to complete a task first. There are so many possibilities!
Reading to follow directions is a skill that students will need for their whole lives. College assignments, job applications, instruction manuals, the list goes on! Practicing and perfecting this skill early on is vital and will set them up for success later on.
Another great way to practice this skill is with this Reading To Follow Directions resource!
This bundle comes with activities for every month of the year that will have your students perfecting their reading to follow directions skills.
Students demonstrate reading comprehension by simply reading sentences and coloring a picture to follow the directions.
They can read the sheet using many sight words and then follow the directions to color pictures. It’s fun and creative!
You can also try out my Veterans Day Read and Follow Directions resource here!
Looking for more back to school resources and tips? Check out my post here!