By the time readers have reached the fourth grade, they are learning skills that really help them dig deep for greater understanding. Here are seven ways to make reading instruction fun for your fourth graders.

1. Play a round of reading comprehension Jenga.

Jenga game with reading comprehension questions written on blocks

Who doesn’t love a rousing game of Jenga? The careful strategy in picking just the right block. The rush of successfully pulling out a block. Or the loud crash of the whole tower tumbling down! This classroom version is not only a blast, it helps boost reading comprehension skills. Score a used Jenga set at a garage sale or thrift store, then download this huge collection of fiction and nonfiction reading comprehension questions from Sensational Teachings.

2. Beef up vocabulary skills.

Five images of vocabulary activities for fourth graders

The more words a student know, the greater their access to complex reading passages. Practice vocabulary skills in a fun way with these 15 Meaningful Vocabulary Activities. Draw vocabulary sketchnotes, play Vocabulary Jeopardy, join the Million Dollar Word Club and more.

3. Practice using context clues.

A poster teaching 4th graders about context clues

it is vitally important for all students to be able to use context clues to determine the definitions of unknown words. This poster and lesson plan from Crafting Connections will give your students the strategies they need to be a word detective.

4. Try a cool color-coding method.

A reading highlighted with different colors to show understanding

Taking notes and highlighting reading passages with color can help students differentiate, retain, and transfer knowledge as well as pay attention to critical information for meaningful learning. Teach your students to use colors to highlight passages as they read to help them identify features such as main idea, details and vocabulary words. Or use different colors to mark different sections of a graphic organizer. For more ideas, read our Tips for Color Coding Your Classroom.

5. Assign (fun!) book reports.

A paper dodecahedron book report

Gone are the days of the dreaded, old-fashioned, stand-in-front-of-the-class and read your boring book report. How about making a Mint Tin book report? Or a book report cake? Or a mobile made from a clothes hanger or a paper bag book report? These are just a few of the 30 Creative Ways Kids Can Respond to Books we’ve rounded up to get your students excited about reading.

6. Use close reading strategies.

A classroom poster with close reading strategies for students

Close reading is defined as “an intensive analysis of a text in order to come to terms with what it says, how it says it, and what it means”. And research shows that teaching students how to close read helps them become better readers. The trick is spicing it up so that students apply close reading skills without getting bored. Here are 10 Innovative Teacher Ideas for Teaching Close Reading.

7. Create anchor charts together.

Five examples of colorful reading comprehension anchor charts

From marking a text to visualizing to understanding a character’s journey, we’ve got the fourth grade reading comprehension anchor charts for you! Over 35 colorful samples for you to build along with your students during direct instruction time.

Looking for more ways to encourage fourth grade reading comprehension? Check out our list of over 60 of the Best Books for 4th Grade.

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7 Ways to Boost Fourth Grade Reading Comprehension