7 Ways Primary Students Can Read Together During Partner Reading


I ❤ love ❤ partner reading because:

  • It’s super motivating for students!
  • My students can learn from each other and grow as readers.
  • It’s a great way to fit more “actual reading” time into my schedule—but it’s a change of pace from independent reading AND is a helpful break when my students’ independent reading stamina is limited.

So in today’s quick post, I’m sharing 7 different ways that students can read with a partner!Want to keep partner reading engaging and purposeful? Teach your students these strategies for reading with a partner!Photo Credits:  weedezign, Shutterstock

#1: Look at a book with a partner.

This one is perfect for Kinder (or 1st) toward the beginning of the school year. The kiddos can’t really read yet, but they can choose a book together (or take turns choosing) and simply look at the book. I do encourage them to discuss what they see—this is not a silent activity.

#2: Use the pictures to make up a story with a partner.

When I’m teaching independent reading expectations, I make sure to show my students (usually Kindergarteners, but sometimes first graders) how to make up a story from the pictures. I check out a book from the library written in Chinese or Japanese (something I can’t read), and I model how I use the pictures to invent a story, even though I can’t read the words.

Once my students are able to do this independently, I introduce it as an option for partner reading. It’s helpful to have students alternate pages when they do this activity; otherwise, you may have one child who makes up the entire story while her partner sits by silently.

#3: Use the pictures to retell a familiar story with a partner.

At the beginning of Kinder and first grade, I read plenty of fairy tales and repetitive books aloud to my students. I then make copies available to them, so that they can retell these stories on their own and with a partner!

#4: Echo read with your partner.

Echo reading is perfect for Kinder, first, and second grade students who can read at least a basic Level A book. Students can echo read in one of two ways:

  1. One student (the stronger reader) reads a page, and then his partner echoes him, rereading the same page. They proceed through the book like this. This is great when you have pairs of students who are reading at different levels.
  2. Or, students can take turns being the leader. On page 1, Student A reads first, and Student B echoes her. On page 2, Student B reads first, and Student A echoes him. Etc.

#5: Choral read with your partner.

In a choral read, students read all of the words together. This is best when you have pairs of students who are reading at similar levels.

#6: Take turns reading pages with a partner.

I teach this strategy to Kindergarteners and first graders. It’s best when there’s not a ton of text on the page. When your students are reading longer books, then you can try…

#7: Take turns reading paragraphs or sections with a partner.

For late first grade and up, it’s helpful to show students how to alternate paragraphs or sections. This is helpful if students are reading books with LOTS of text on each page!

Starting Partner Reading in Your Classroom

Of course, all of these activities take time to set up! Establishing clear expectations, modeling, and practice are all key ingredients to partner reading success.

If you’re interested in learning about how I teach independent reading expectations at the beginning of the school year (I follow a similar approach for partner reading), you can read more about that HERE.

Happy teaching!


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Yahaira Acosta-Urena
4 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing!


I’m Alison, a literacy specialist. I love getting kids excited about reading and writing – and sharing teaching ideas with other teachers!

Find It fast


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x