In Buddy Reading , a person [or a parent] who knows how to read well reads with a person [or
a child] who can’t read as well. Together they choose a book that isn’t too hard and find a good
spot to read. Buddy Reading helps the person who can’t read as well hear the sounds of words when
someone else reads with them. When they learn the sounds of the words better, they are able to
figure out the pronunciation of the words. The better reader helps the other reader as they read
the book together. The readers can take turns reading, or read the words together. The better
reader can help with pronunciation, the meaning of words and understanding the story. They
can ask questions as they read. The buddy can give clues when the student reader gets stuck on a
1. “What sound does the word start with?”
2. “What word would make sense there?”
3. “Does that sound right?”
4. “Will the picture help you?”
The better reader might ask questions about the story like:
1. “Who are the characters?”
2. “Where does the story take place?”
3. “What problem does the character have?”
4. “What kind of trouble is in the story?”
5. “How is the problem fixed?”
6. “Tell me what is happening in the story so far.”
Anyone can help people who can’t read by reading to them, or reading with them and when they
stumble on a word, you can help them sound out the word. A good reader always uses at least
two strategies before giving the word to the reader who is learning.
When you read to your buddy:
1. Practice reading aloud by yourself a few times.
2. Make your buddy feel comfortable and welcome.
3. Sit side by side.
4. Let your buddy hold the book!
5. Talk about the title and the author.
6. Look through the pictures – let your buddy predict what will happen.
7. Encourage your buddy to ask questions and point out details.
8. Stop and talk about the characters and events from time to time.
9. When you finish reading, ask about his favorite part or character and tell him your
Reading Buddy Strategies:
These are some things you can try with your little buddy to help them read.
1. Read Aloud – read to your buddy, but make sure he look at the words while you’re
2. Echo Reading – First, you read a sentence or paragraph, then let your buddy read the
same sentence or paragraph.
3. Choral Reading – Read at the same time – out loud!
4. Take Turns Reading – first you read a sentence or paragraph, then let your buddy
read the next one.
Here are some things you should try when your buddy can’t figure out a word.
1. Wait – give them a chance to figure it out by themselves!
2. Tell them to look at the pictures for clues about the story.
3. Ask them what would make sense.
4. Skip the word, and read the rest of the sentence.
5. Have them look for words or patterns they recognize.
6. Have them look for letters or sounds they recognize.
7. Give them a choice – is it this or that?
8. Once they know the word, have them reread the sentence.
9. Never make your buddy feel bad because he can’t figure out the word.
10. Most of all, praise your buddy!
You can say things like:
- I like the way you read that!
- I like how you got the first sounds of that word!
- You’re really smart – you figured it out all by yourself!