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20 Reading Games for 2nd Grade to Help Break Up the Day

by Studentreasures | Apr. 22, 2021 | Classroom Activities


Avid readers are better able to form sentences correctly and write them easily, along with using proper grammar and having larger vocabularies than children who read less frequently or tend to avoid reading altogether.

Reading comprehension also allows children to excel academically with less oversight from educators and makes them confident enough to proactively seek information for themselves, as opposed to waiting for the information to be presented to them.

Children who consume a diverse selection of reading material tend to be more creative and imaginative. Reading even plays a role in personal safety since many important warnings are communicated with signs.

Overall, reading is the basis for all other learning that a child will do over the course of their lifetime, which is why it’s so crucial to help them become the best readers they can be.

Luckily, building this skill isn’t dependent on formal lessons and worksheets—children can easily improve their reading skills with exposure to good models, guided learning games and word games . Here are 20 of our favorite 2nd grade games to play in class to help break up the school day!

1. Scavenger Hunt

This activity teaches children how important reading is without the activity being focused specifically on reading. Make a list of five to ten clues leading to different locations around the classroom. At each location hide a stamp, stickers or a different colored marker.

Once students decipher the clues and find the correct location, they mark their list with the marker found at that location. This activity can be done individually or in small groups.

2. 20 Questions: Vocabulary Edition

Write down class vocabulary words on strips of paper and throw them into a hat. Students will take turns coming to the front of the classroom and picking a word.

First, they say the number of letters in the word, then the rest of the class takes turns asking yes or no questions to try and figure out what the word is.

Encourage creative questions, and add words that aren’t on the class vocabulary list if there aren’t enough for everyone to choose a word.

3. Hopscotch Spelling

Use chalk outside (or masking tape inside) to make four hopscotch maps with each map having seven letters in them (one full alphabet among all four maps; the letters don’t need to be in order).

Get the class into a line at the hopscotch maps. Call out one of the vocabulary words, and the kids take turns jumping one at a time to the correct letters to spell the word.

If the word is “amaze,” the first kid in line goes to the map with “a” and jumps to “a,” and the second kid goes to the map with an “m” and jumps to “m,” etc. If you want to make it more exciting, put a time limit on how long they can take to spell each word!

4. Story Puzzle

Pick a common story, like a fairy tale, that the whole class is familiar with. Have them tell you something that happens in the story in any order. Write the events down on a whiteboard so the whole class can see them.

Once everyone has agreed that they’ve covered all the main events of the story, have students take turns putting the events in order. Discuss how events are related to each other and help them learn how every action causes other actions to occur.

Recommended Read Collaborative Writing Activities for Elementary Students

5. Word Search

Have students create their own word searches by filling out graph paper with their class vocabulary words and then filling it in with random letters. Once everyone has finished, have them trade word searches with a friend and circle all the vocabulary words!

6. Vocabulary Story

Write down vocabulary words on strips of paper and put them in a hat. Next, start a story with a simple prompt, like “One day, when I was walking down the road…” Then, have students pull a vocabulary word from the hat and continue the story until they’ve used the vocabulary word.

Make sure to go around the classroom at least once, but this game can go on all day by putting the words back into the hat and repeating them as often as they come up. The random nature can lead to some funny repetitions!

7. Favorite Author

Help students look up their favorite authors online. Most authors have a professional website that displays their books and usually has a frequently asked questions page about them and their work.

Have your students provide answers to questions like “What is the author’s birthday?” “What are some books they’ve written?” or “Which of their books is your favorite?”

If the author’s website has a contact form, encourage students to write a letter to the author to tell them how much they love their books—lots of authors will write back.

Recommended Read 17 Fun Research Projects for Elementary Students

8. D.E.A.R.: Drop Everything and Read

Another nice and relaxing way to break up the day is to shake up your lesson plan and take a class reading break! This activity is useful on days when kids don’t seem to be engaged in the lessons and need something a little different to reset and get back into the learning mood.

Like the acronym says, just drop everything and read. Math books closed, reading books open. You can also do this as a read-aloud/read-along, where you read to the kids and they follow along in the text.

9. Creative Reading Spaces

When students are having a designated reading period, encourage them to sit on the floor or against a wall or take them to another area in the building, like the library. Moving around and changing the setting will help them switch their brains over from one activity to another.

10. Share Your Favorite Book

This activity is like a book report but less formal. Students take turns going to the front of the class and talking about their favorite book. Make sure they include the title, author and a short description of what the book is about.

If more than one student likes the same book, have them share different parts or favorite characters and encourage them to try other books that other students like.

11. Story Charades

Divide the class into groups of four or five. Have each group choose a story that the rest of the class will be familiar with. Then take turns having each group come to the front of the classroom and act out the story without words. The other groups have to try to guess what the story is.

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12. book costume party.

Choose a theme related to a book the class is reading. Have kids make masks and/or hats out of construction paper, using markers to decorate them.

The class will have fun dressed as their favorite characters, and can even pretend to be the characters and have conversations with each other about the events in the book.

Recommended Read Funny National Holidays to Celebrate in the Classroom This Year

13. Compare and Contrast

Find several different versions of the same fairy tale, and read each of them to the class. Have students discuss which elements were the same in every version and which ones were different. Which version did they like best, and why? How could the story be improved?

14. Pitch a Sequel

After your class has finished reading a book, have them come up with ideas for what a sequel would be like. They can choose a title and draw book covers and write up a short summary. This activity is a perfect candidate to turn into a classbook !

You can easily use our free publishing kits to help your students design a whole catalog of sequel stories!

This classbook will absolutely be a fun collectible for students and parents to keep as a memento from second grade! It could even be an artifact from an alternate timeline where these sequels were published and added to the literary canon!


15. Design a Map

Have your students draw a map of the setting from a book they are reading (or the setting from their favorite book). Aside from including the important landmarks and labeling all the relevant places, they can also draw a line showing the characters’ paths through the story!

16. Alphabet Posters

Students should write down the alphabet on a large piece of paper, leaving plenty of room between each letter. Next, students choose a word for each letter, write the word and draw something to represent it.

The main points are comprehension and vocabulary, so make sure your students can explain what each word means. Give special recognition to any students who come up with a word that no one else did!

17. Sticky Note Mind Map

Divide your class into three or four groups. Each group is assigned a character from a story your class recently read. The groups get a stack of sticky notes and a wall to put them on.

Have them write something about the character on each sticky note—a description, a character trait, something they did in the story, etc—and then put the notes on the wall, categorizing them in whatever way makes the most sense to them.

18. Personalized Bookmark

Each student is given a long piece of paper to design their own bookmark. This can be based on a specific book, genre or author they love.

Once they’re done creating their bookmarks, make sure to laminate them so none of the art transfers from the bookmark to the pages of the books they use it with.

19. Comprehension Ball

Get a beach ball and write a question on each section with permanent marker. These questions can be general so they’ll work for any story, or they can be about a specific story you want to focus on

Tip: Permanent marker can be removed from the beach ball’s surface with rubbing alcohol, in case you want to switch it up.

Have students stand in a circle and play some music. Roll or throw the ball into the circle and have students roll or throw the ball to each other until the music stops.

When the music stops, the last student to catch the ball has to answer whatever question their thumb is touching. Then start the music back up and repeat!

20. Sentence-by-Sentence Storytelling

Start with a prompt sentence like “Dolphins are the best animals in the ocean” or “I woke up this morning on Mars,” and then have your students continue it.

Go around the room adding sentences one by one until you’ve gone around the room at least twice (or if the story is too funny to continue!).

For an extra challenge, require all sentences to start with the same letter (for example, the dolphin story would have sentences that all start with the letter D), or require that the next sentence has to start with the letter that comes after the last letter in the previous sentence.

Turn your students into published authors with help from Studentreasures!

Every teacher understands that reading is foundational for his or her students’ future success, and a great way to motivate your students to put more effort into their work is by giving them the opportunity to publish it.

Many reading activities and projects can easily be turned into a themed classbook for your students to have a collaborative resource to refer back to during the year—and to hang onto as a keepsake once the year is over!

Just pick an activity—or several!—then choose the student work you want to use in the classbook, and  get started with one of our easy-to-use classbook publishing kits .

For more lesson plans, classroom activities, and resources,  check out our online Teacher’s Lounge . In addition, you can also  refer to our blog  for teaching strategies, writing activities, and writing prompts for your young students.


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reading activities grade 2

Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers

We Are Teachers

20 Fun Second Grade Reading Comprehension Activities

Help your students dig deeper into texts.

Second grade reading comprehension activities including "Toss around a story ball" with a beach ball that says, "Were" and "Why" and "Make a shutter book" with a folded paper book illustrated by a student

Second graders are some of the most enthusiastic readers out there. They are transitioning from the basics into readers looking for meaning. As they build upon their comprehension skills, they are beginning to make connections to themselves and the world at large. These second grade reading comprehension activities will help your students dig deeper into texts on their own as well as with their peers.

1. Build a pyramid.

Printout of reading comprehension activity using plastic cups with symbols on them

This idea was born out of one teacher’s students’ eternal love for constructing cup towers at any opportunity! The cups are coded with symbols to represent different story elements. After reading their leveled text, students share each story element while building their cup pyramid from the bottom up. They can then record the story elements on the matching graphic organizer.

Learn more: Teach Outside the Box

2. Clip together a reading strategy fan.

Reading strategy cards joined together to form a fan

Modeling is the best way to guide students through reading comprehension strategies. But unless they’re actively participating in the process, they simply won’t retain enough of the strategy to make any meaningful difference in their own independent comprehension of text. That’s where these strategy fans come in. The link below shows how this teacher uses the cards in her class.

Learn more: Organized Classroom

3. Use a volcano graphic organizer.

Drawing of a volcano divided into three parts for students to record their thoughts on reading a book beginning, middle and end

Demonstrate how to draw a simple volcano shape, divided into three sections, and have students draw one in their reading journal. After reading the first few pages of the story, ask students to write first impressions at the base of the volcano. This is also a good place to make predictions about where they think the story is going. At about the halfway point, have students write what they think and how they think the story is changing. Once they have finished reading, they will write what they think the story is really trying to teach them and what they took away from the story at the top of the volcano.

Learn more: Student Treasures

4. Compare characters.

Reading comprehension worksheet for 2nd graders to compare characters in a story

Encourage your students to think more deeply about the characters in a story. In the head of each figure, ask students to write a character’s name. Then have them write specific attributes about the character in the torso section. In the circle between the characters, have them write shared characteristics between the two figures.

Learn more: Florida Center for Reading Research

5. Construct a comprehension cootie catcher.

Cootie catcher -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

Once the bane of classroom teachers, cootie catchers have become a novel way to practice skills that kids can get excited about. This free download from the Classroom Game Nook includes three versions with questions about characters, setting, plot, and more.

Learn more: The Classroom Game Nook

6. Put on a retelling glove.

Retelling glove -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

Retelling is a vital skill for young readers to work on to help them understand what they are reading. These gloves are a snappy accessory with labels that you can easily change. For fiction retellings, you can include setting, characters, problem, events, and solution. For nonfiction retellings, you can include main idea and supporting details. At the bottom of the glove, you can focus on making connections.

Learn more: One Giggle at a Time

7. Create a Wanted poster.

WANTED poster -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

This free lesson from is a fun writing and drawing activity that has students take what they know about the bad person in the story and turn the details into a colorful Wanted poster.

Learn more:

8. Roll and chat your way to understanding.

Roll and chat -- 2nd grade reading comprehension activities

If you’re looking for fun second grade reading comprehension activities that work well for stations or small-group work, try Roll & Chat. Players take turns rolling dice and answering questions about their reading.

Learn more: Playful in Primary

9. Toss a story ball around.

Toss a story ball -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

Kids will love this version of toss using a beach ball customized with questions that can be used for any reading passage. It’s a great activity for review or when you want to keep the learning going, but your kids need to get up and move.

Learn more: Coffee Cups and Crayons

10. Follow a yellow brick road.

Follow a yellow brick road -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

This fun lesson is another way to work on retelling skills. Print out these free story-element cards. Then, lay them out to create a road. As students hop from one yellow “brick” to the next, they retell the story.

Learn more: Cara Carroll

11. Make a shutter book.

Make a shutter book -- 2nd grade reading comprehension

This lovely foldable book is a great way for students to show their understanding of story elements in a colorful way. This is a great guided reading project to go along with a read-aloud.

Learn more: Upper Elementary Snapshots

12. Make book talks a regular part of your literacy block.

Idea cards for a student book talk

Book talks are a great way for students to demonstrate their reading comprehension. But sometimes when students get up in front of others, they’re not quite sure what to talk about. Download these adorable topic cards to guide students as they tell their classmates about what they are reading.

Learn more: Teacher’s Takeout

13. Celebrate the joy of reading with Flashlight Fridays.

child reading a book by flashlight

I can’t think of a better way to end the week than implementing Flashlight Fridays into your ELA block. The students absolutely love reading in the dark and out of their desks. Add to the fun by allowing them to bring in cozy blankets and their favorite squishy!

Learn more: Flashlight Fridays

14. Implement Kagan Cooperative Learning Strategies.

Kagan balanced literacy 2 resource book

When it comes to cooperative learning and active engagement, Dr. Spencer and Laurie Kagan are the ultimate masters. My personal favorite Kagan strategy is called “Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up.” Using this strategy, students are out of their seats and mix around the room. When they are signaled to stop, they find their nearest peer, partner up, and discuss whatever topic you choose. 

Learn more: Kagan Publishing

15. Toss around reading comprehension cubes.

comprehension cubes

These are great conversation starters that will encourage your students to discuss different aspects of a story with their classmates. Use them in centers, small groups, or as a whole-group activity. 

Buy it: Reading Comprehension Cubes at Amazon

16. Make a story-retelling paper bag book.

story retelling paper bag book project

These cute booklets are easy to make and focus on important story elements. Your students will have so much fun making them, while honing in on those important ELA skills. 

Learn more: Comprehension Connection

17. Create a lap-book-style book report.

lap book style book report

Lap books are another creative way to put thoughts to paper in writing, while still fostering those artistic vibes. Use this as a whole-group assignment after a read-aloud, or have students make one after reading a book independently.

Learn more: Cara’s Creative Playground

18. Complete a story element map.

story element map

Students can handwrite their ideas or draw pictures describing each story element with this handy story map template. Kick things up a notch by making a double-sided copy to allow students to both write and draw their ideas!

Learn more: Katie Byrd

19. Play a storytelling-themed board game.

story telling themed board game

Players draw random story elements and use them to tell a tall-tale type of story. With five different ways to play, it is easy to reach all types of learners and learning styles with this adaptable and fun game. 

Buy it: Tall Tales Storytelling Board Game on Amazon

20. Hold a Book Character Day.

children dressed up as book characters

Book Character Day is one of those second grade reading comprehension activities that kids will remember forever! It gives them a chance to show how much they really know about one of their favorite characters. Encourage them to dress as their character and carry props that are part of their story. Maybe they’d even like to act like and talk in the voice of their character. Be sure to set aside time for each student to tell their classmates about the character they chose and why.

Learn more: Shann Eva’s Blog

If you like these second grade reading comprehension activities, check out our favorite second grade books .

Plus, get all the latest teaching tips and tricks by  signing up for our newsletters .

20 Fun Second Grade Reading Comprehension Activities

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Is 2nd grade your fave grade to teach?

reading activities grade 2

Teaching Expertise

38 Awesome 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension Activities

2nd grade reading comprehension activities

June 10, 2022 //  by  Maria Van Norman

Second-graders have many of the fundamental skills for reading under their belt. This is when second-grade teachers can dig a bit deeper into students' comprehension skills by engaging in reading comprehension activities. Getting creative, reading fun stories, and using a variety of texts (both nonfiction and fiction books included) will keep your students interested and excited to learn.

Throwing in a student's favorite chapter book or having them independently choose what to read can create excitement as well. Draw on the following awesome reading comprehension lessons to give your kids a boost in school and on their way to a lifetime of success.

Hands-On Comprehension Activities 

1. mark up the main idea .


Arm the kids with this reading comprehension worksheet that focuses on the main idea and key details. Read the comprehension passage together and answer the exercise questions. You can then move on to other grade-level comprehension passages to find the main idea and key details.

Learn More: K5 Learning

2. Compare-A-Character


This kid-friendly resource gets students thinking about the essential skill, characterization. In this comprehension exercise, the kids will write down what they learn about two of the main characters in the story. They will record the character's differences and similarities.

Learn More: Florida Center for Reading Research

3. Frank's Facts vs. Opie's Opinions


Use this worksheet to teach kids about facts vs. opinions. Have the students use their critical thinking skills to decide whether each statement is either one of Frank’s Facts or Opie’s Opinions. Use an F for fact and O for opinion.

Learn More:

4. Super Shutterbook Reading Response


Create a shutter book and choose what the kids need to review. There are many things to do with a shutter book, such as summarizing the story. The kids can practice fact vs. fiction or even setting. This engaging activity will be a hit as the kids get to be creative!

Learn More: Upper Elementary Snapshots

5. Comprehension Cootie Catcher for Story Elements


Have kids create this cootie catcher.  (There are spots to add in your own questions in case the students need a refresher with other types of comprehension topics.) Pair up the students and have them review the story by answering the questions about story elements.

Learn More: Classroom Game Nook

6. Persuade, Inform, or Entertain?


Completing this activity will teach kids how to recognize the author’s purpose for a text. Print out the cards and have students place the cards that say “persuade,” “inform,” and “entertain” in a row. Then give them the passages and have them place them in the correct column.

Learn More: Florida Center For Reading Research

7. Creating Mind Movies


Share with the students that imagery revolves around their five senses. Then, spend some magical time reading them a story rich with imagery. Have them close their eyes and imagine what the story describes. Ask them questions about the characters and setting and have them explain what they imagined.

Learn More: Reading Rockets

8. Cause and Effect Match Up 


9. The Retelling Glove


Grab a light-colored glove and permanent marker. On each finger, either write out the story element or draw a picture as described in this activity. Take some read-aloud time and stop periodically to have them answer the questions based on each finger. This will help them practice retelling a story.

Learn More: Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

10. Fiction and Non-Fiction Review: Grab Some Books


Review whether a book is fiction or non-fiction with this activity. Grab some books of different genres and this printout. Have students either use the two larger cards and put each book under the correct genre or have them fill in the titles under the correct genre on the printout.

11. Comic Creator 


On a blank piece of paper, create three columns, evenly spaced (or print this template). Have students draw a scene from the book in each column. Give them some colored pencils, crayons, and markers, and allow them to get creative. Spend some one-on-one time discussing their choices for each scene.

12. K-W-L Chart


Using this template (or create one that's similar), have students fill in the Know (K) and Want-to-Know (W) sections in reference to the text they are about to read. Next, read the text and have them fill in the Learned (L) section to see what they grasped from the text.

Learn More: Home Reading Helper

13. Prediction Worksheets


Before reading a book, the students will see the title of the book. Use this worksheet to practice predicting what a book will be about based on its title. Discuss their thoughts on why they chose their prediction.

14. Create a WANTED Poster


Talk about the "bad guy" in the story by having them create a WANTED poster. The students will use details from the story to fill in the poster with both a drawing of the character and some fun writing about why the character is "WANTED." Discuss the poster when finished.

15. Compare-A-Story


Have students make text-to-text connections by comparing stories using this graphic organizer. Use as many details as possible by thinking about the story elements. Fill in the similarities and the differences between the two stories.

Reading Comprehension and Media! 

Sometimes, it's hard to get your hands on the perfect comprehension stories and books, thankfully we live in an age where almost everything can be found online. Here are some amazing online activities that have already been completed for you! Save on planning time and spend more time enhancing your students learning with these videos.

16. The Dog and The Joey

Enhance and assess your student's context clue skills with this read-aloud. Read in small groups, as a whole class, or at home. Your students will be engaged throughout the entire story and will surely be excited to answer the questions at the end!

Learn more: Hype Math

17. Ask the W's

In this video, students will go on a journey with an experienced second-grade teacher, learning how to ask proper questions! Honestly, this video not only will be great for students to watch but also very helpful for teachers to get a little refresher on asking questions during comprehension.

Learn more: Hand 2 Mind

18. Story Elements

There's no doubt that teaching story elements isn't an easy task. It takes lots of repetition and visuals to drill story elements into a child's day-to-day thinking. Start or refresh your kiddos with this video in order to give them a different type of fun and engaging visual.

Learn more: Leigha Nunnally

19. Comprehension Read Aloud

My students absolutely love this story. It's engaging and always interesting for students to hear someone else reading to them. It's always important to introduce your kiddos to different styles of reading. This is a great way to see how well they do, listening and comprehending a story read in a different style than your own.

Learn more: Nicole's Speech & Language Consultations, LLC

20. Sparkle Tooth

Pull up this video on your student's Ipads or Chromebooks and have them read aloud to a partner or in small groups. This can also be used as an individual student assessment if desired. Listen to your students read the story for fluency and ask questions at the end to assess their comprehension.

Learn more: KidsEduc – Kids Educational Games

21. Visualize

Creating mental images is so important for students listening to and reading stories. It's important for students to understand exactly  how to visualize before they can successfully apply this skill. In this video, students will learn the different ways to visualize. Follow it up with an activity solely focused on visualizing.

Learn more: Shannon McGilloway

22. Comprehension Strategies

Honestly, this is one of my favorite videos on the web. Use this video and imitate it in your classroom by making a poster of all of the different comprehension strategies, or watch it along with your class!

23. I Am A Snail Poem

I Am A Snail is a poem written by an anonymous author, it is both engaging and great for practicing fluency. In this video, read with your students in a variety of repeated reading strategies that will help them to enhance their fluency.

Learn more: Astute Hoot

24. Good Morning Comprehension

This video provides a great start to the day! Reading in the morning will help your students get ready for the day. The Giving Tree  is an extremely popular story and most likely you students will have read this book before. Making it even better for comprehension! If you already have this book in the classroom, use this video for some ideas on how to properly use it to boost comprehension.

Learn more: Speech Day with Tiana Mae

25. Character Understanding

Teaching students in 2nd grade to see from another character's point of view isn't always easy. Sometimes, it can take hours of planning and prep to make sure you get your point across. In this case, it's super important to revisit how to teach character understanding. This video will give an overview of exactly what students need to know!

Learn more: Hannah Braun

Sight Words

Are sight words important for student comprehension? Of course, they are! Being able to recognize grade-level sight words will help students to read more fluently. These words are meant to be remembered and immediately read, without students having to sound them out. Save time, and help your students read more fluently by integrating these strategies into your classroom.

26. Basic 2nd Grade Sight Words

Here is a video that reads with your students and helps them to read sight words! It's important for students to be able to read and understand these sight words. They are grade level and this is a perfect transition activity if there is a bit more time left at the end of a lesson.

Learn more: Read Kids

27. Make Your List!

This video can be used to make a list of sight words that are grade level. It can often be difficult to find grade-level sight words that aren't included within a program. If your school doesn't provide a spelling program, then create your own list using this video! During free time, have students follow along and read the words.

Learn more: GKL - Golden Kids Learning

28. Sight Word Songs

We all love a good song to incorporate into our classroom. This song may take some time to learn, but listening daily will help students with their listening and spelling comprehension. Break it down and learn it in pieces or have students go big and try to learn it all.

Learn more: Little Fox - Kids Songs and Stories

29. How to Teach Sight Words

If you're new to teaching younger students or just haven't sat down and looked at teaching sight words in a while, review the proper science behind teaching them with this video! Although it may not be a direct activity, it will surely help you to find activities that support the science behind teaching sight words.

Learn more: Susan Jones Teaching

30. Sight Word Memory


This sight word memory game will be so much fun for students! Save yourself some prep time and use it online or make up your own matching game! It might be beneficial to have students write down the words on flashcards while they're playing.

Learn more: Worldwall

31. Build These Words


This is a really fun activity for students in any classroom. I love to use this as a whole-group activity and have students guess the answers by raising their hands or working as teams. They love to join the leaderboard at the end of the lesson as well.

32. Sight Word Bingo


There's nothing better than a quick little game of bingo! What a perfect way to call out the sight words, other than pulling up the Random Wheel on your smart board. Students will love to come up and spin the Random Wheel. While finding and marking the sight words on their Bingo cards.

33. Color By Sight Word


My students absolutely love color by sight word. This website offers a variety of different sight words coloring sheets that may be perfect to bring into your classroom.

Learn more: Teach Starfall

Classroom Visuals

Making sure to hit each child's learning techniques is vital to a successful classroom. Having visuals set up throughout the classroom is great and necessary for any 2nd grade. Whether you create these together as a whole class or just read through them together, it will surely help students to grasp a better understanding of their reading comprehension skills.

34. Purchase Posters


Purchasing posters and creating an activity to go along with them is a great way to enhance student learning. Your students will love these colorful posters that will help teach them a few different comprehension tricks!

Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers

35. Reading Wall


A reading word wall like this is both inviting and engaging. Adding this to your classroom will brighten it up and give students a visual board when they are stuck on a certain comprehension skill.

Learn more: Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

36. Create a Focus Board


Although this is a high prep board, it's totally worth it! This can be a bit overwhelming in the first year of teaching, but once the words and different visualizations are created based on the curriculum, creating this board will become quite simple over the years.

Learn more: Life in First Grade

37. Retell the Story


This is an amazing visual that should really be integrated into any 2nd-grade classroom. Teaching beginning, middle, and end shouldn't be hard. Have this posted in the front of your classroom and students are sure to use it to help them confidently read through their reading passage or answer their comprehension questions.

Learn more: A Walk in the Chalk

38. Reading is Thinking


It's important to make sure that your students know the importance of thinking while reading. This will help them make connections to any comprehension passage. Therefore, having a poster like this displayed somewhere in the classroom, will help them to mark up their paper while reading and make connections.


There are so many great resources out there when it comes to helping second-grade students with reading comprehension skills. Whichever activities you choose, be sure to ask students a lot of questions to help them through. As long as you can get a bit creative and mix up your lessons, the students will be engaged and learning.

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3rd grade reading comprehension activities

Lucky Little Learners

Jump to Specific 2nd Grade Literacy Skills

Reading comprehension, writing & grammar.

Before we dive into some fun and engaging comprehension activities, let’s define this… What is comprehension? According to Wikipedia, reading comprehension is “the ability to process text, understand its meaning and integrate it into what the learner already knows”. To put it simply, to be able to read, understand and remember texts. This sound like a big task, but teachers can make it fun with the following literacy activities:

1. Comprehension Charades

This is a great way to work on vocabulary or story comprehension. Here is how to play:

Red Riding Hood book with reading charades question written on a sticky note,

2. Book Poster

When a student finds a book they like, they love to tell their friends about it. Why not let them do just that, but in a fun and artistic way? Book posters have the same idea as movie posters: advertise why someone should read that book (or see that movie). Once students are done with a book, give them a blank piece of construction paper. There are a couple ways teachers can assign these posters:

book poster about the babysitters club

3. Act it Out

Kids love readers theater. Use that excitement to have them use their creative part of their brain to write a play, make a movie or perform a puppet show based on a book’s plot, or comprehension questions provided by the teacher. Students can make their own puppets using construction paper and popsicle sticks.

4. Comprehension Centers

If you want a comprehension resource that is print-n-go AND has tons of practice opportunities, look no further than the 2nd Grade Reading Centers from Lucky Little Learners. Perk: they are available in printable and digital format.

point of view and retelling nonfiction comprehension literacy centers

Read more about these centers here: 2nd Grade Reading Centers

Download HERE

toothy task kits

Buy Bundle on TpT

toothy task kits

Phonics matching letters up to sounds, and at some point, knowing these sounds put together make words. But how to make this fun? Here are a few ideas:

5. Word Family Races

Maybe you saw the word races and thought, “Nope, I do not want kids running all over my classroom!”. Well, luckily this is a different type of race. Word family races work like this:

Word family races are a great way to get kids thinking about the sounds that make up words. One more thing, this game is best played during small group instruction so the teacher can take the time to talk to the students about the words they wrote.

6. Phonics Bingo

What kid doesn’t love bingo? Bonus for this type of bingo: the students make the cards. Here are the steps:

Students will love it!

7. Word Chains

You may be thinking word chains aren’t fun for kids. But let me tell you, when I say, “Grab your whiteboards and markers. We are going to do word chains.” Kids are pumped! They love the challenge of it AND I celebrate big time when they get all the words correct. I’m talking get up and dance. Word chains are powerful because students only have to change one sound in each word, thus allowing them to really think about the sounds of words. Students will feel SO much success! If your reading curriculum did not come with word chain lists, no problem. Dyslexic Logic has a ton of free lists !

word chain: clap-clip-slip-slit-spit-spot-span-plan

8. Phonics Poems

This is a favorite on this list! Phonics poems not only focus on a phonics sound, they are fun to read. Plus, they feature vocabulary, fluency and comprehension activities as well.

These poems feature 80 sounds! Use them for sound review, or in small or whole group.

Read about Phonics Poems here: A Weekly Routine to Build Fluency Using Phonics Poem

toothy task kits

9. Mad Libs

This is another student favorite! Mad Libs are an amazing way to review/practice parts of speech without it being just another noun, verb, adjective sort! When I do these, I always do them whole group before I assign them during stations. I have my students come sit up front. I draw a name for each blank. If the student can’t think of anything, the class helps them. They LOVE to hear me read the story in the end!

A couple tips:

10. Ridiculous Writing

Sometimes students struggle to think of what to write about. Because of this, many teachers provide prompts. But still, these students struggle to get pencil to paper. Here is an idea that I call ridiculous writing that has proven to get even my least confident writers writing.

ridiculous writing activity about a silly picture of a real life giraffe climbing a tree

Kids will love writing a story about this, or for the more reluctant writers, just describing what they think is happening. To find pictures to use, simply google, “silly pictures for kids to write about”. After writing, have an author share chair!

11. Monthly Writing Prompts

As we talked about above, some students just need a little help when it comes to writing ideas. Lucky Little Learners has prompts for each month of the year that can be used as monthly writing journals.

monthly writing prompts for 2nd grade

There are 20 prompts per month, so students are sure to be busy. The prompts are a mix of narrative, informational, opinion and even included a few free writes.

Read more about them here: No Prep 2nd Grade Writing Prompts

Download Writing Prompts Here

toothy task kits

Fluency is way more than timing students reading for a minute. It is about accuracy, expression and tone as well as speed. Check out these resources.

12. Reader’s Theater

Reader’s theater is fun AND really helps with fluency as well as read aloud skills like expression. This can be done just one day with students getting a script and reading it with a group OR teachers and students can go all out with costumes, props and an audience. We will let you decide what works best for your classroom. Are the ideas flowing?! Below is a list of websites offering free reader’s theater scripts for teachers. Be sure to choose one students can read comfortably. Action!

RT Scripts-Dr. Chase Young

Teaching Heart Free Scripts

Aaron’s Scripts

13. Pyramid Sentences

The Florida Center for Reading Research has TONS of reading resources and interventions. If you have not checked out their site I highly recommend it! One such intervention targets fluency in a fun way: Sailboat reading . This could also be called pyramid reading. In this intervention, the fluency passage is written by adding one word on each line.

Once you download and do FCRR’s resource, you can create your own with any fluency passage you have! In the past, students have enjoyed when I timed them for each page! They decide how much time they will need for each and love the challenge.

14. Character Voices

This idea is just plain fun. Have students read a selected passage with different character voices. Examples voices:

You get the idea!

15. Sight Word Fluency Sticks

Our last idea is a great way to differentiate sight word fluency. After given a sight word assessment, students get rings (or baggies) of sight words to work on. A fun way to do this, if possible, is three rings on a ruler. The rings stand for: Words Read, Words to Work on and Words to learn later.

sight word fluency sticks assembled using plastic rulers and word cards on rings

Read more about Sight Word Fluency Sticks here: Sight Word Fluency Sticks

Download Sight Word Fluency Sticks HERE

toothy task kits

Bonus: Our Favorite of all the Fun Literacy Activities for 2nd Grade!

An Activity for ALL literacy areas: Toothy. Toothy is an amazingly fun and engaging review game. It is available in almost all topics in all subjects. Bonus: once students know how to play Toothy, they will be able to do so independently.

reading activities grade 2

Let us know which of these fun literacy activities for 2nd grade you tried in the comments below!

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reading activities grade 2

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reading activities grade 2

Reading 101: A Guide for Parents

Comprehension: activities for your second grader.

reading activities grade 2

Second graders are learning to think actively as they read. They use their experiences and knowledge of the world, vocabulary, a growing understanding how language works, and reading strategies to make sense of what they're reading. 

This project was developed in partnership with the National Education Association and Colorín Colorado.

National Education Association

Second graders are becoming independent, active readers who ask questions and think about what they're reading! Here are some of the things your second grader can do:

Here are some basic things you can do to boost your child's comprehension skills:

Try to read at home together every day

Although your second grader may be reading independently, it's still a good idea to build in some read aloud time. You will continue to introduce your child to more sophisticated vocabulary and stories, including chapter books. Reading aloud is one of the best ways to help children learn about the world and make connections between their own lives and what's in the book — and that helps children see the world with empathy. And last but not least, it's a chance to spend one-on-one time with your child and share the experience of reading and discovery together.

Keep it fun 

Remember that reading together should spark curiosity, joy, and a desire to explore and learn. Conversations about books should be enjoyable, and not a set of quizzes and questions. As you try some of the activities listed below, remember to keep it light and lively for your child.

Storytelling and audiobooks count, too 

Sharing family stories out loud and listening to audiobooks are wonderful ways to expose your child to language, how stories are built, and knowledge about the world.

Bring in the nonfiction

There are so many great nonfiction and informational books for young kids (such as the popular DK Eyewitness series and National Geographic series). Try to include some of these during your next trip to the public library. Children love learning about the real world and are proud to share what they know!

Explore your world together

Even a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the grocery store can be a rich learning experience for young children. On a walk, your child may watch what's going on at a construction site, and then be able to connect it to stories about what it takes to design and construct a building and the impressive machines that make it happen. These personal connections help children connect what they read with what they know — a powerful way to build comprehension skills!

Build Your Child’s Comprehension: Start with a Book

collage of young kids engaged in hands-on activities

Help your child build background knowledge by exploring 24 kid-friendly themes through fiction and nonfiction books, hands-on activities, DIY science camps, apps, podcasts, websites, and more! Visit Start with a Book to read, explore, and learn!

Signs of good reading comprehension in second graders

Try these comprehension activities at home

Active reading.

Model active reading when you read with your child. Talk about what's happening as you're reading. Stop and discuss any interesting or tricky vocabulary words. Help your child make pictures of the story in his mind. Ask your child, "What just happened here? How do you think that character feels? Have you ever felt like that? What do you think will happen next?" Not only will this develop your child’s comprehension, but critical thinking skills as well.

"I predict ..."

When you sit down for a read aloud, look at the book's cover together. Ask, "What do you think this book might be about? Why? Can you make some predictions?" Guide your child through the pages, discuss the pictures, and brainstorm what might happen in the story. Talk about any personal experiences your child may have that relate to the story.

Mind movies

When you come to a descriptive passage in a book, have your child close her eyes and create a mental movie of the scene. Encourage her to use all five senses. Read the passage over together, looking for details that bring the scene to life. Ask questions like, “How do you know it was a hot day? Which words help you understand that the child was lonely?”

Map this book!

Draw a map of the book's setting, and be sure to include the places where the main action happens!


This is a great way to see if your child understands the main parts of a story. After reading a book together, give your child three sheets of paper, with "beginning" on one sheet, "middle" on the second sheet, and "end" on the third sheet. Ask your child to think about the three parts of the story, and then draw what happened on each on the sheets. Arrange the sheets in order, left to right. What happens if you re-arrange the sheets? Does the story still make sense?

Tell me about it

After a read aloud, one of the best and easiest ways to check for understanding is to ask your child to summarize what the book was about in their own words. You can ask a question or two to help your child clarify her thinking or to add more detail.

Can your child tell you what happened in the story?

This video is from Home Reading Helper, a resource for parents to elevate children’s reading at home provided by Read Charlotte . Find more video, parent activities, printables, and other resources at  Home Reading Helper .

Think alouds

Connect the book to your child's own life experience. For example, A River Dream : "This book reminds me of the time my father took me fishing. Do you remember the time we went fishing?"

Connect the book to other books they have read. For example, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters : "This story reminds me of Cinderella. Both stories are about sisters. Do you know any other stories about nice and mean sisters? Let's keep reading to find out other ways the stories are similar."

Connect the book to big ideas/lessons. For example, Stellaluna : "This story helps me understand that we are all the same in many ways, but it's our differences that make us special."

Words, words, words

Be sure to include books with rich vocabulary in your read alouds and call attention to interesting words and phrases from the story. This may include repeated phrases or idioms (such as "get cold feet" or "I'm all ears"). Offer a kid-friendly definition and connect the new word or phrase to something your child already knows.Talk about how the author used language or words to make the text interesting, informative, funny, or sad.

Illustrated timelines

After reading a story, have your child create an illustrated timeline of events from the story. Tape together five sheets of paper along the 8-1/2-inch side to create one very wide sheet that is 55 inches X 8-1/2 inches. To help plan the timeline, your child can add numbers that mark important points of the story. Then it's time to fill in the sequence of events with words and pictures. Once the timeline is complete, ask your child to re-tell the story — acting it out is okay, too! Variation: Create the timeline using Post-Its on a wall or outside using sidewalk chalk.

Comic creator

Lots of kids love comics and graphic novels. Help your child make a comic based on a favorite book — stories with action work especially well. Talk about what happened in the story, and help your child choose which event from the story that she wants to draw. Ask your child to think about the beginning, middle, and end of the event. Using a ruler and marker, divide a paper into squares (or print out this  comic strip template  from Scholastic). Using colored pencils or fine markers, your child can begin the comic strip, drawing one scene per square. Don't forget to include captions beneath each drawing or in graphic novel-style speech bubbles! When the strip is done, ask your child to share her story.

Set up a talk show set with two chairs facing each other. If you like, make two microphones out of paper tubes or other craft supplies. You are the host and your child is a character from the book. Ask questions about the character, such as who you are, why you are important to the story, what happened to you in the story, what is the craziest interaction you had with another character, etc. Then switch roles!

Book trailer

Using a cell phone camera or other recording device, make a short video of your child talking about about why he recommends this book. Encourage your child to show the book cover and some of the inside pages when talking about a certain character or action sequence. Share the book trailer with family and friends!

Show what you know

Does your child love reading nonfiction books (and yes, The Magic School Bus is nonfiction, in a way)? Kids this age enjoy learning facts about things and trying to understand how the world works. If you've been poring over some nonfiction books at home, take 10 minutes to ask your child specific "fact" questions, listen to her answer, and then ask her to show you where to find that in the book.

The power of having your child find answers in an informational book

Finding the right book

The library is the perfect place to feed eight-year-old T.J.'s growing appetite for information — especially about dinosaurs. His mom, Andrea, has figured out that what makes these trips fun for T.J. is letting him pick his topics and direct his own search. (From our PBS Launching Young Readers program Reading for Meaning .)

More comprehension resources

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Pinpoint the problem a struggling reader is having and discover ways to help.

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Reading & Math for K-5


Reading Comprehension Workbooks for Grade 2

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Second Grade Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Grade 2 reading comprehension.

Use these free, printable worksheets to practice and improve reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing.  Each worksheet includes a short fiction or non-fiction passage followed by some questions.  These worksheets are at a 2nd grade level.

reading activities grade 2

Leveled stories & reading worksheets

These grade 2 leveled stories are taken from our series of leveled reading workbooks .  Each successive level provides a greater reading challenge.

Children's stories

Over 20 free children's stories followed by comprehension questions.  Most passages are 150-200 words long; questions ask students to recall what they have read.

Fables for grade 2 students

Each historical passage or fable is followed by 4 questions focused on recalling information directly from the text.

Reading comprehension exercises

Reading comprehension worksheets focused on specific comprehension topics such as the "main idea versus details" of a text, sequencing and story elements (characters, setting, plot).

We also have some short plays and drama exercises  which can be fun way of building comprehension skills.

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2nd Grade Reading Activities From Scholastic Teachables

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Scholastic Teachables (formerly Scholastic Printables) has more than 3,000 second grade reading activities and worksheets that span a multitude of subjects and topics targeted for early reading and language arts, including reading comprehension, literary elements, sight words, phonics, fluency, and more! Sign up today and get instant online access to 2nd grade reading worksheets, lessons plans, practice pages, games, and activities to cover essential reading skills. Plus, you'll get access to Scholastic's more than 30,000 award-winning printables for all grades and subjects to reach every learner. 

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Sample 2nd Grade Reading Activities

Scholastic Teachables has more than 3,000 second grade reading activities that span more than 25 topics targeted for early and essential reading skills for all your teaching needs. Here's a sample of 2nd grade reading activities and worksheets for you to try in your class FREE with a 30-day trial or subscription.

Sample 2nd Grade Reading Activities  


Additional Alphabet Worksheets (Subscription Required)

Letter B Bulletin Board Square

Letter Yy: Alphabet Letter and Picture (Full-Color Reference)

Speedy Work - Alphabet Recognition (Practice Page)

Pocket-Folder Center: Cereal on Sale! (Alphabetical order)

Alphabet Rhyme: Handwriting Practice Page

Dictionary Skills: Alphabetical Order (Practice Page)

Lowercase c: Alphabet Learning Mats

Uppercase D: Alphabet Learning Mats

Letter M: Letter Formation Practice

Manuscript Alphabet: Handwriting Practice Page

Big Birthday Bash!: Identifying Upper- and Lowercase B

Cursive Writing Practice: The Alphabet (Lowercase)

Alphabet Clouds: Beginning Reader Science Play

Alphabet Activator: Kick-Off Assessment for Differentiated Lessons

Letter Ll Illustrations

Check It Out!: Identifying Upper- and Lowercase L

The King's Castle: Identifying Upper- and Lowercase C

Eggs Everywhere!: Identifying Upper- and Lowercase E

Trace and Race (Recognizing Features of Letters): Alphabet Shoe Box

2nd Grade Worksheets

312 2nd Grade Worksheets

2nd grade spelling words (list #1 of 38)

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