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A Weekly Routine to Build Fluency Using Phonics Poems

Fluency, Literacy, Phonics, Poetry, Spelling & Word Work

Written by: Katie Palmer

Are you ready for a new way to incorporate your weekly phonics sound into your lesson plans? Do you want it to be a routine kids will love and look forward to? How about if it lasts all week and builds fluency AND phonics skills at the same time? If this sounds too good to be true, I promise, it’s not! You can achieve all of the above with a simple weekly phonics poem routine! Keep reading for day-to-day suggestions and tips on how to incorporate poems for each phonics pattern along with daily activities right away! (Bonus: we’ve got one full week for you – FREE!)

What are Phonics Poems?

First of all, just what are the phonics poems? Check out the features:

  • Although the poems are not 100% decodable, they follow a phonics progression typically taught in 2nd grade.
  • Each poem features 5 activities, one for each day of the week!
  • The daily repeated readings of the poem will help build fluency.
  • The daily activities also incorporate phonemic awareness, comprehension, writing, vocabulary and oral language
free phonics poem and a weeks worth of daily activities for the EE/EA phonics pattern
EE/EA phonics poem and daily poem-based practice activities

Day by Day Phonics Poem Routine

Using a familiar weekly routine with the phonics poems can help students build skills AND give them something to look forward to each week! See below for suggested day by day ideas!

Day 1

Introduce the poem:

  • If possible, project it and read it to the class with amazing expression.
  • Next, have them chorally read it with you the second time. (This will help build fluency and expression.)

Discuss the poem: Ask students a couple comprehension questions about the poem: Who is the main character? What happened that could not happen in real life? Does anyone have a text-to-self connection with the poem?

Work on the Sound: Have students highlight the sound words in the poem. Also, the teacher can write the words on the board. Then, go through the words using the Science of Reading teaching technique featured in this video:

Do the Day 1 activity: On day 1, students will match phonics sound words to pictures and write them. This activity could be done independently and checked or with the whole group. (Teacher preference.) Fun idea: Put on a song and tell students they should be done by the time the song ends. This will keep kids on task, keep the classroom quiet and allow the teacher to walk around and assist as needed.

the day one phonics poem activity is to read the poem and match words from the poem with corresponding pictures

Download HERE

Day 2

Start with a story: It can be fun to read a story that relates to the poem before you dive into the activity for the day. For the sample poem, The Beast, here are some ideas:

A Tale of Two Beasts

The Stinky Cheese Man

Reread the poem: Read the poem chorally today on the first read. Remind students to use expression.

Day 2 activity: Have them complete the illustrations for the words. It could be helpful to play a song again to keep the work time reasonable. Students can share their illustrations with their tables or a partner.

Check out this post for our favorite poetry collections and read alouds – perfect for day 2!

the day 2 activity to go along with phonics poems is to have students illustrate word meanings to demonstrate comprehension of the poem

Day 3

Whisper read the poem: Have students try reading the poem on their own at their seats.

Day 3 activity: The sentences can be read aloud as a class, by volunteers OR independently! If needed, incorporate the Science of Reading word technique in the video above while reviewing the circled words.

a second grade student whisper reading the phonics poem

Day 4

Read with a partner: Be mindful when choosing fluency partners for your students. The paired reading strategy is best done when more fluent readers are paired with less fluent readers. Here is the paired reading routine:

  1. Pair your students according to fluency levels
  2. The higher reader should read the poem first. (And get timed if the teacher chooses to incorporate that.)
  3. Next, the lower reader will read the poem and get timed.
  4. If doing repeated readings, they will each read the poem one more time.
  5. Graph their cold and hot reads scores if desired.

Day 4 activity: They can work with their same partners (or work independently) to answer the comprehension questions. Remind them to use capitals, careful handwriting, best guess spelling and punctuation.

two students reading "The Beast" poem together

Day 5

Final read of the poem: The method of this read is teacher choice. Students could read it independently, with a partner, or chorally as a whole class.

Day 5 activity: The final activity is a writing activity. For the sample poem, The Beast, they will be writing about their favorite meal.

Fun extension activity: They can write or draw what they think will happen next with The Beast & Dean.

reread the poem alone or with a partner is the final step in the weekly phonics routine

Your students will LOVE this weekly poem routine, and hello easy lesson planning! Are you ready to try these poems for FREE?! If so, head here: Phonics Poem Freebie.

Download HERE

Also, check out these helpful posts on teaching vowel teams. They will be helpful when using the poem freebie:

Teaching Vowel Teams

How to Introduce Vowel Teams Using a Sound Wall

Happy teaching!

Download Some More Poems!

toothy task kits

Phonics Based Poems

weekly routine to build fluency using phonics poems


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