6th Grade Reading: A Guide for Teachers & Parents

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This 6th grade reading guide provides parents and teachers with useful information, tips and resources to enhance students' reading skills.

6th Grade Reading: A Guide for Teachers & Parents

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to 6th grade reading. This resource is designed to provide parents, teachers, and students with useful information, tips, and resources to enhance the reading skills of 6th graders.

From understanding the reading skills that your 6th grader should have to ways to improve these skills, and even suggested books for this grade level - we've got you covered.

6th grade reading student picks out a book from the library.

What Reading Skills Should 6th Graders Have?

By sixth grade, students should be able to understand the main idea and supporting details in various types of text, sequence the events of a story, make inferences, and draw conclusions based on the text.

They should also be able to use context clues to understand unfamiliar words, and effectively summarize what they have read. 6th graders should be able to compare and contrast different texts and express their thoughts about the text in writing.

More Advanced Readers

More advanced 6th grade readers will be able to analyze a text, identifying elements such as the theme, tone, and points of view. They may be able to recognize literary devices such as foreshadowing and symbolism and discuss how these elements contribute to the meaning of a text.

Advanced readers might also be able to make connections between the text and their own experiences, other texts they have read, and broader societal issues.

Tips to Improve 6th Grade Reading Skills

If you are a parent or teacher trying to improve your 6th graders’ reading skills, don’t worry. Several strategies can be used to improve 6th grade reading skills.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Regular reading practice is essential. Encourage your child or students to read a variety of texts outside of those assigned in school, including novels, non-fiction books, newspapers, and online articles. Let them choose texts that interest them.

Discuss the reading material with them to ensure understanding and stimulate critical thinking.

Vocabulary Exercises

Provide your 6th grader with vocabulary exercises to enhance their word recognition and understanding. By expanding their vocabulary, students can better understand the texts they read and express their thoughts more effectively.

Plus, a strong vocabulary foundation will boost overall confidence in reading and improve their academic performance.

Interactive Learning

Incorporate interactive learning activities into their reading routine. This could involve book club discussions or implementing digital learning tools that make reading more engaging and exciting.

Interactive learning can promote active participation and encourage students to explore texts more deeply.

Differentiate Teaching

Every student learns differently. Understand your child or student's learning style and adapt the reading strategies accordingly. If you’re a teacher, utilize differentiated instruction in your classroom to allow students to access information in a way that is optimal for their learning.

For some, visual aids may be beneficial. Others may prefer to read out loud or use flashcards to remember new vocabulary. Differentiated instruction can make reading a more enjoyable and effective experience.

Consistent Feedback

Provide consistent feedback on students’ reading. Praise their progress, no matter how small, and constructively address areas that need improvement.

Your encouragement and guidance can boost their confidence and motivate them to continue improving their reading skills.

Student works on his 6th grade reading skills at school.

Suggested Books for 6th Grade Reading

Scholastic recommends the following books for independent 6th grade reading:

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

This compelling novel is based on a true story and alternates between two timelines. It tells the story of two eleven-year-old children in Sudan - a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985 - and their struggles to survive.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This is an inspiring story about a boy with facial differences who enters a mainstream school for the first time. The book promotes messages of kindness, empathy, and acceptance.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

This dystopian novel follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas living in a seemingly perfect community without war, pain, or choice. When he is chosen to become the community's Receiver of Memories, he begins to uncover the dark secrets behind his community's utopian facade.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

This fantasy-adventure novel introduces readers to Percy Jackson, a boy who discovers he's actually a demigod, the son of Poseidon. He embarks on a quest across modern-day America to save his mother, return Zeus's stolen lightning bolt, and prevent a war among the gods.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

This is a tale of survival featuring a 13-year-old boy named Brian. After a plane crash, Brian finds himself alone in the wilderness with only a hatchet. He must learn to survive on his own with no other resources.

Student struggles with 6th grade reading skills in the library.

Lesson Plans, Worksheets & Activities for 6th Grade Reading

Lesson Plan: Activating Prior Knowledge

This resource includes strategies to help students learn how to use prior knowledge, questions to ask, the use of graphic organizers, reading conferences, and more. Lesson plans are also included. Students can also transfer their learning to other subjects.

Lesson Plan: Identify Story Elements

Use these strategies such as graphic organizers, index cards, or cooperative groups to teach students the process of Identifying the elements of a story.

Lesson Plan: "The Fox and the Goat": A Lesson on Aesop's Fable

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn about the characters in a fable by investigating their respective character traits.

Activity: Story Quilts

Students will create a quilt that tells a story. This is a great arts & crafts activity that also ties in creative writing and black history!

Worksheet: Types of Poetry

Students will become familiar with the different types of poetry, including clerihew, diamonte, couplet, limerick, list poems, acrostics, and alliterative poems.

Workbook and Lesson Plan: Opinion Writing

This 2-3 class period unit includes lesson plans, graphic organizers, and a rubric for assessment. In the unit, students read non-fiction texts about gender equality and take notes where they identify the "gist" or main idea. Students then gather evidence from the articles in order to form an opinion.

A full list of 6th grade reading lesson plans, activities, and worksheets can be found here!

About the author

Haley Horton

Digital Content Manager & Editor

About Haley

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Haley now resides in England where she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Literature. She is an experienced writer and editor… Read more

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