Paired (or Partner) Reading
Paired reading is a research-based fluency strategy used with readers who lack fluency. In this strategy, students read aloud to each other. When using partners, more fluent readers can be paired with less fluent readers, or children who read at the same level can be paired to reread a story they have already read. Paired reading can be used with any book, taking turns reading by sentence, paragraph, page or chapter.
Why use paired reading?
- It helps students work together.
- It encourages cooperation and supports peer-assisted learning.
|When to use:||Before reading||During reading||After reading|
|How to use:||Individually||With small groups||Whole class setting|
How to use paired reading
How to pair students
Pair students either by same reading ability or by high level readers with low level readers. Use the following steps to pair high-level readers with low-level readers:
- List the students in order from highest to lowest according to reading ability
- Divide the list in half
- Place the top student in the first list with the top student in the second list
- Continue until all students have been partnered
- Be sensitive to pairings of students with special needs, including learning or emotional needs. Adjust pairings as necessary
- The reader from the first list should read first while the reader from the second list listens and follows along
- The second reader should pick up where the first reader stops. If additional practice is needed, the second reader can reread what the first reader read
- Encourage pairs to ask each other about what was read. "What was your page about? What was your favorite part?"
Implementing the strategy
- Introduce the students to the Paired Reading strategy. This includes:
- Establishing a routine for students to adopt so that they know the step-by-step requirements for engaging in paired reading (i.e. Will they read out loud, simultaneously? Will they take turns with each person reading a paragraph? a page? Or will one person read while the other person listens?).
- Teaching students an error-correction procedure to use when supporting each other's reading (i.e. re-reading misread words; signals for difficulty).
- Modeling the procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.
- Ask students to begin reading in pairs and adjust reading speed if reading simultaneously so they stay together.
- Have students offer feedback and praise frequently for correct reading.
- Monitor and support students as they work.
See a sample paired reading scenario and feedback.
Find teacher materials, student materials, objectives, and things to do before the lesson
Learn procedures for pairing students.
Teachers can integrate the use of technology by having students use the paired reading strategy with the Clifford stories (including Spanish versions).
Teachers may wish to use the paired reading strategy to help students understand concepts such as charts and graphs.
Students can be paired and work together through these listen and learn examples
Children's books to use with this strategy
(Note: The following suggestions are part of series featuring the same characters and are noted from easiest to more difficult.)
Are You Ready to Play Outside? An Elephant and Piggy Book
Gerald, the elephant and buddy Piggy share another everyday adventure primarily in dialogue presented in bubbles in this latest installment.
Frog and Toad Together
Frog and toad are the best of friends who do everything together.
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
These poems introduce various insects and their lives; ideal for sharing aloud and for relating to informational books on insects.
Magic Tree House: Eve of the Emperor Penguin
Fiction/easy (Stepping Stone series)
Jack and Annie travel to the Antarctic where they learn about happiness from an unexpected source.
For second language learners, students of varying reading skill, students with learning disabilities, and younger learners
- Differentiate the reading material provided to pairs.
- Encourage rereading passages, rather than reading forward, for students who need extra practice.
See the research that supports this strategy
Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L., & Burish, P. (2000). Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies: An Evidence-Based Practice to Promote Reading Achievement. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 15(2), 85-91.
Koralek, D., & Collins, R. (1997). Tutoring Strategies for the Primary Grades.
Koskinen, P. & Blum, I. (1986). Paired repeated reading: A classroom strategy for developing fluent reading. The Reading Teacher, 40(1), 70-75.
Topping, K. (1995). Paired reading, spelling and writing: The handbook for teachers and parents. Continuum International Publishing Group.
Strickland, D. S., Ganske, K., & Monroe, J. K. (2002). Supporting struggling readers and writers: Strategies for classroom intervention 3-6. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.