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Free Reading Fluency Passages and Activities for 1st Grade

I’m so excited to share these free reading fluency passages and activities for 1st Grade with you! 1st graders may still be learning sight words, or working on their ability to respond to comprehension questions. They’re also typically working on growing the number of words they can read in one minute, as this is often part of  benchmark assessments. The free reading fluency passages that I’m sharing with you will allow your 1st graders to practice improving their reading speed via reading passages. The student materials included in this freebie are super simple to use. You can use the printable worksheets which include various reading levels of passages to help each child practice their fluent reading skills. Read on about these free reading fluency passages and activities for 1st Grade!

Why it's Important to Focus on Fluency for 1st Grade

Fluency drills will look different for each grade level. Kindergarten students may be focusing heavily on fluency of letters, phonics skills, such as words with short vowels, short phrases, and sentences. They will build up to reading fluency passages. Whereas 1st graders often are ready to work at their independent reading level with fluency passages to help improve different aspects of fluency. 

Picture books can be used to model fluent reading to your students. Choose a familiar book, favorite poem, or a favorite book of your class and use it during a read aloud. Spend time focusing on fluency, such as: reading rate, how to use appropriate expression, and emphasizing how different characters sound. When students hear and see you doing these things, they will want to do the same, while they read. This can be done all school year. You can even have students join in, in a choral reading format, as they get more comfortable with fluency.

 These activities can also be done in second grade. 2nd grade students benefit just as much from the modeled fluent reader activities. The reason I recommend continuing this practice, no matter the grade level of your students, is because students will apply it during independent practice. Suddenly you’ll hear students using appropriate expression, changing their voice for different characters, and appropriate reading speed. 

First grade students look up to their teachers so much. Any chance they have to sound or look like their teacher, they’ll often take advantage! I’m full of ideas on how to focus on fluency so here’s just one more for you! Use an audio recording. You can record yourself reading, or have students listen to authors reading their own books. The purpose is simply for students to have more examples of reading fluency.

Free Reading Fluency Passages

I’m excited for you to grab these free reading fluency passages so that you can focus on building fluency skills as well. Listening to a child’s reading of fluency passages can be music to your ears. So long as the child’s pace and expression is mimicking that of a fluent reader! These free reading fluency passages are a printable PDF that you can download and use right away. With a variety of reading levels included, you’ll find something for all of your students! Grab the free reading fluency passages for 1st grade right now!

Fluency Passages and Activities for 1st Grade

free reading fluency passages

Two resources I wanted to share with you are my fluency passages for 1st grade, as well as my seasonally themed reading fluency passages and activities. Classroom teachers AND 1st graders love using these both as a way to work on their fluency. Special education teachers love them as a way to work on accuracy with words per minute (WPM) fluency goals. With comprehension questions included for all the passages as a follow up activity, your students will be able to practice reading for meaning. As we know, comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading. We want students to be able to read fluently and to read for meaning. Building comprehension skills goes hand in hand with focusing on fluency. The more fluently students read, the better their comprehension becomes. While not having to focus as heavily on word decoding, students’ brains can focus on comprehension skills. 

In my seasonally themed reading fluency passages and activities for 1st grade resource, I include:

  • poems 
  • reader’s theatre scripts
  • fluency passages 

I also have things like:

  •  Change Your Voice
  •  Scooping phrases
  • Nonsense phrases
  • Repeated fluency readings (at the word, phrase, and sentence level)
  • I Have, Who Has? games  

These activities are all engaging ways to heIp students improve their fluency skills. You can grab the bundle to use throughout the school year to focus on fluency.

How use Use Fluency Passages and Activities in Your Literacy Block

It’s important to know how to use fluency passages and activities in your daily literacy block. You want to feel comfortable and confident that your students are working on the right things while focusing literacy. You may have students who need help with sight words, or specific phonics skills, like short vowels, r-controlled vowels, or vowel team words. It’s important  to make sure you’re giving students the right activities to work on building these phonics skills throughout the day. That’s where fluency passages come in. You can focus on all these phonics skills and sight words within context, via fluency passages. Giving students the opportunity to read these types of words in reading fluency passages for 1st grade will help them improve their accuracy. Students can focus on reading a number of words that they’ve been practicing decoding within the fluency passages. The reading fluency passages for 1st grade work in a variety of settings. 

3 Ways to Use Fluency Passages and Activities:

  1. Small group (use as actual passage for group time)

  2. 1 on 1 (with parent helper or assistant, or teacher)

  3. Fluency Center (repeated readings)

Once you begin using the fluency passages and activities within your literacy block, you’ll start to see improvements in all areas of fluency!

Want to learn more about fluency?

poems for teaching reading fluency

I’ve got even more for you to read about fluency! Check out the blog posts below for more strategies and activities to improve reading fluency.

5 Strategies to Improve Reading Fluency

Kindergarten-5th Grade Poems for Teaching Reading Fluency

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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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