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New Engaging Kindergarten-5th Grade Poems for Teaching Reading Fluency

I’m so excited to introduce these brand new Kindergarten-5th Grade poems for teaching reading fluency! These short poems are perfect to use all school year to help your students focus on reading fluency. With a variety of themes and grade level poems included, you’ll be able to find something for all your readers. Students typically enjoy focusing on different types of texts. Poetry is just one way to focus on fluency that can engage readers that may have a tough time focusing on an entire book.  

Using Poetry to Teach Reading Fluency

reading fluency poems

Poetry is a great way to focus on fluency in your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms. First, poems are shorter than an entire story or book. For struggling students, poems provide a safe space and a format they can feel confident reading.  Sometimes we need to start small in order to practice the reading skill.  Second, poems either rhyme or have a rhythm to them, which helps with fluency.  These natural cadences provide a good place for students to practice fluency. Let’s chat about this poetry resource and what’s included.

What’s Included?

When you purchase this resource, you’re getting so much more than just a few poems – you’re truly getting an entire resource dedicated to practicing fluency in a way that’s fun and engaging to students.  

Each set of poems includes 15 poems, as well as activities to do with them. The kindergarten fluency poems include 15 rhyming poems that students will be able to read easily after a few rounds of teacher modeling.  Each poem comes with 2 formats: a black & white version that includes a smaller font of the poem, the fluency activities such as repeated readings and reading in fun voices, and comprehension questions related to the poem with an answer key. 

The color version is full page and includes just the poem, with larger images and font.  This can be tossed up on a projector if you’re reading as a class, or tossed in a binder where you can keep all of the poems together.

How to Use Reading Fluency Poems

There’s a variety of ways these reading fluency poems can be used in both formats, which is what makes this resource so great.

  • Literacy Centers: Classroom teachers can use the black & white version of these poems in literacy centers as a great way to encourage your students to become fluent readers by creating a poetry folder for each child. After the poem has been read a few times by the teacher, students will naturally get the hang of reading it and therefore be able to work on fluency.  Once students understand the simple instructions included for the poems, they’ll be able to focus on reading the poems and their understanding of the poem. More importantly, they’ll gain confidence as they’ll be able to do the literacy center independently or even with partners for partner reading.  More on this below!

  • Small and Whole Groups: If you have a group of students who struggle in fluency, these black & white versions can be done together at your small group table.  This will give those struggling students a safe space to work on their fluency as you read the poem together and go through the fluency practice and questions.  During small or whole group instruction, students can also choose to circle high frequency words they recognize, underline words that have matching phonics patterns, highlight answers to their questions, or color the picture on the black & white format.

  • Take-Home Work: These can be easily popped into a fluency binder or folder (fluency folder cover is included!) for sending home, using as a fluency center, or independent reading time.  Laminating these or tossing them in a dry erase sleeve for repeated use is greatly beneficial.  One of the best aspects of these poems is that they can encourage students in their creative writing. When students take these home, they can be encouraged to practice just that!

  • Poem of the Week: Have students choose a favorite Poem of the Week that they can repeat throughout the week.  Encourage students to write some creative stories that go along with each poem – you might even find you have your very own Shel Silverstein or Robert Frost in your classroom!

  • National Poetry Month: After your students have read the poems and have gone through the unit reading fluently, encourage students to read popular poems for National Poetry Month to take their fluency to the next level.

  • Poetry Journal: Make copies of each poem for the students in your class. Encourage students that when they complete a poem and read it fluently, add it to their very own poetry journal.  If they’d like to add extra poems, like haiku poems, let them!  Poems they write they’ll be likely to read fluently.

Kindergarten-5th Grade Poems for Reading Fluency

Word choice and overall reading level included for each poem is appropriate for the specified grade level, from Kindergarten-5th Grade. The Kindergarten specific poems can be read aloud to young students, and then they can repeat your reading. First graders and second graders will focus on the set of first and second grade poems. Depending on the ability level of the first grade and second grade students, they can either have the poem read to them first, or they can read the poems on their own.   First-grade students may need more time to get a hang of the first grade poems, while second graders may be ready to jump in a bit more quickly.

The final set includes 3rd-5th Grade poems for upper elementary students.  Some of the poems included are funny poems, which will be enjoyable for the older kids!  If you’re someone who has a wide range of reading abilities in your classroom, you’ll want to grab the K-5 bundle to reach all your readers. It is important when working on fluency that students have reading material at their independent level so they can focus on all aspects of fluency.

From the first day of school-themed poems, to seasonal poems, to funny poems, to poems about new friends, your students are going to love reading each original poem. These kids poems work great in whole group settings, literacy stations, during small groups, or even for independent reading activities all throughout the school year.  Any of these poems can be used throughout the year or as an entire poetry unit.

How to Set up a Reading Fluency Poetry Station

Since everybody (teachers and students included!) loves a good literacy center, I wanted to provide you with all that you needed to set up your own successful poetry literacy center/station.  But first, let’s chat about why these literacy centers for fluency are important for classroom use. 

Fluency improves upon a variety of reading skills, like comprehension and vocabulary.  When students are fluent, this frees up cognitive space in their brain to understand what they’re reading and to learn new vocabulary.  Literacy stations that focus on fluency that students can do each day will greatly benefit them to get to this “next level” kind of reading.  

Fluency also bridges the gap between decoding and comprehending words.  Some students spend more time on this bridge than others, but when you’re setting up a fluency station they can visit daily, they can finally reach the end of that bridge and begin comprehending what they’re reading.  

Lastly, fluency also encourages students to read in a way that’s engaging and entertaining.  Mastering fluency allows them to read texts as they are supposed to be read – whether that’s a story, poetry, or acting in a play.  During these centers, students can work on inflection and different voices for characters.

These poetry stations can be set up where students are reading a new poem (or ones they’ve previously heard) in a fluency folder or binder.  If you slip them into a dry erase pocket, students can also underline answers to comprehension questions or circle rhyming words. 

Similarly, you can set up your literacy station as a fluency center where the poetry folder is included in the rotation of texts to be read.  This is a particularly good idea if you’ve let your students do the center independently for a few weeks and it’s time to move on.  For an extra fun twist, add sticky notes to each poem and have the students read it in a silly voice!

In this station, you may also choose to have students record themselves reading these poems.  When students actually listen to themselves read the poems back, they can be more aware of what they need to work on.  Similarly, have students partner up and give each other feedback on which area of fluency to focus on: accuracy, pace, or expression. 

Kindergarten-5th Grade Activities for Reading Fluency

These Kindergarten-5th grade fluency poems are going to be the just-right activity for your classroom. One of the best aspects of these poems are the variety of seasons that can be celebrated through them.  Snag the Kindergarten Reading Fluency Poems for your youngest elementary kiddos!  Then, grab the First and Second Grade Reading Fluency Poems as well!  If you teach the older grades, the Third-Fifth Reading Fluency Poems are just right for you.

We all know that we have differing levels in our classrooms, so I made a Kindergarten-5th Grade Reading Fluency Poems Bundle for you!  And if you’re looking for more amazing fluency resources, check out my blog post on Reading Fluency Passages and how you can use them to maximize your fluency game in your classroom.  

If you’re in need of some other fluency resources, check these out:

  • My Fluency Toolkits: These toolkits work great for fluency centers, independent reading, and in small groups.  Students can focus on their fluency in different settings with these toolkits, as well as the aspects of fluency: accuracy, expression, smoothness, pace, and reading for meaning.  Students can grab the laminated checklist and read through these aspects before modeling good fluency. You’ll get 2 fluency toolkit photo box covers, 2 full page fluent reader checklists, and 2 photo box-size fluency reader checklists to up your literacy center game and lesson plans!

  • Reading Fluency Timed Practice:  These reading fluency timed practice worksheets for kindergarten and first grade work great as progress monitoring activities.  In these activities, students will work on Letter Name Fluency, Letter Sound Fluency, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency, and Nonsense Word Fluency.  Students can use these for practicing between benchmark assessments, as take-home work, working towards goals, or even literacy centers.

  • Seasonal Fluency for First and Second Grade:  These fun, seasonally themed fluency reading passages and activities are perfect for small groups, literacy centers, or independent work. Students develop their fluency skills by reading through seasonal poems, Reader’s Theatre, and passages! Each one has additional fluency activities that include comprehension questions, repeated fluency readings, scooping phrases, nonsense phrases, Change Your Voice, and I Have, Who Has?

  • Fluency Passages:  If you’re looking for more fluency work but with passages rather than poems, then I’ve got you there, too!  Each of these fluency passages has two formats: black and white version for the teacher to mark up and a colorful version for these students.  As always, comprehension questions are included with each passage, as well as a fluency folder cover, fluent reader reminder posters and mini posters, data tracking pages, and fluent reader awards!  Students will read their own colorful copy as you mark notes on the black and white version during this informal assessment.  Watch your students’ confidence soar with these fluency passages!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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