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May Reading Activities

May reading and language arts activities for the upper elementary classroom

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May is such an exciting time of year with so many things to celebrate. As the school year begins to wrap up, we can almost taste the sweetness of summertime approaching. Speaking of tasting sweetness… Did you know that May is National Hamburger Month? May also includes holidays such as Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day. We can’t forget about Teacher Appreciation Week being celebrated in May as well. To celebrate, you can take some time for yourself because we have some great May reading activities already prepared for you to use in your classroom.

May reading and language arts activities for the upper elementary classroom

May Reading Activities

May Informational Reading Passages

By the time you get to May, you have probably started to get your students ready for next school year by pushing them a little bit harder and giving them more complex reading passages to work through. If you are still wrapping up standardized test prep, don’t worry, these passages will be helpful for you too. This is a great time to reinforce all of the reading strategies you have taught through the school year and maybe introduce a grade level up standard or skill.

Your students will be eager to read the four included informational reading passages this month that cover all of May’s celebrations. And as always, the May passages include companion comprehension worksheets to make sure your students are hitting their marks. This month’s reading passages include:

Hamburger Happiness reading passage will engage your students while helping them practice important reading comprehension skills
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Hamburger Happiness
  • Mother’s Day Beginnings
  • What is Memorial Day?

These passages are great to use in isolation while reviewing or when teaching a specific skill. While reading the engaging passages and completing worksheets, students will work on a variety of different reading skills including:

  • Vocabulary
  • Reading for details
  • Summarization skills
  • Descriptive short answer responses
  • Supporting answers with text evidence
  • Figurative Language

Poetry Reading Comprehension

This May themed poem is perfect for helping students with poetry reading comprehension

Poetry is often times one of the more difficult genres to teach because of its format and non-traditional structure. Students need lots of practice with poetry in order to master concepts like figurative language. The May reading activities poetry corner includes an original poem titled “May’s Memorial.”

This descriptive poem will have your students marching into things such as personification and alliteration as they read all about the fallen heroes celebrated on Memorial Day.

Your students will love celebrating everything May has to offer as they read and work through these informational reading passages and activities. You will love being assured that your students are getting all that they need to master the important reading skills and strategies needed to succeed.

May Language Arts Centers Activities

These reading and language arts activities are perfect to fill your lesson plans and centers in the month of May

May is the perfect time wrap up the year by reviewing all of the concepts and skills you have been working so hard on all year. There’s no better way to do that than by using centers. Centers allow your students to work independently and guide their own learning process. This allows you to be able to assess their skill base while they are actively engaged in the process. It also gives you time for the additional end of the year tasks that need to be done.

You can never go wrong with an academic game! May’s center activities are filled with super fun and rigorous games covering analogies, types of sentences, and cause and effect. These games are just what you need to fill your ELA centers! They are also great for intervention groups, small group work, or even independent work. The possibilities are endless!

True or False: An Analogy Activity

Analogy game for upper elementary students helps students determine if the provided analogy is true or false.

Studying analogies will help students to enhance and reinforce reading comprehension skills such as vocabulary, synonyms, antonyms, attention to detail, and much more. It will also help to prepare them to become better standardized test takers.

This game can be played independently, with a partner, or in a small group. By looking at the first two underlined words of their card, players will determine the relationship between the words(synonyms, antonyms, parts of a whole, etc.)They will then decide if the last two underlined words have the same relationship as the first two underlined words. If they do, the analogy is true. If the relationship is different, the analogy is false.

They will then record their answers in the appropriate “true” or “false” column on their answer sheet.

Sentence Sort: A Memory Matching Game

Give students practice identifying sentence types with this fun sentence matching game.

This fun activity focuses on the four types of sentences: Imperative, Declarative, Interrogative, and Exclamatory. Improving our knowledge of different types of sentences helps to improve our reading and writing skills.

In this 2-4 player game, players will take turns turning over cards to try and find a match. If the cards are a match for a sentence and a category, the player gets to keep the cards. All non-matches are turned back over. Players keep rotating in a clockwise direction until all matches have been found. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins!

Cause and Effect: A Matchup Game

The youngest player will love getting to go first in this fun game practicing cause and effect. This game is great for groups of 2-4 players. After spreading out all of the cards in a pile on the table, the first player will begin by picking 2 cards from the pile. The player will keep the cards if they are a matched set of a cause and effect. If not, the player returns the cards to the pile. This continues in a clockwise direction.

Help students master the concept of cause and effect with this matching game for centers or small groups.

Exciting twists like lost a turn, take a match, and lost a match are included to keep your students on their toes. The game ends when all matches have been made. The player with the most matches is the lucky winner!

What’s the Effect Activity

Oh no! Someone has come along and moved the effects all out of order! Your students will help to put the cause and effect pairs back together by cutting and pasting them correctly on the blank worksheet.

This activity is great for early finishers, and of course it works well in centers or for small group work.

May Themed Writing Fun

May writing activities are all about descriptive writing. These two fun descriptive writing projects will help your students work on using those describing words to make their writing fresh and vibrant for the reader.

Your upper elementary students will love the Hamburger Heaven writing activity.

May Descriptive Writing

National Hamburger Month provides the perfect prompt for this fun and engaging descriptive writing activity. Using included resources, your students will organize their thoughts and ideas into paragraphs. Their final draft will be written on the lined paper and illustrated in the framed box. It’s time to get cookin!

Write a Descriptive Diamante Poem

Continue celebrating all of the celebrations of May with these fun writing activities. This Descriptive Diamante is easy to write with its specific rules. Your students will love creating a diamond shaped, 7 lined poem beginning with one topic and ending with an entirely different one.

A guideline is included to make it easy for them to begin writing their ideas. Then, they will transfer their final draft onto the included “A Diamante Poem” worksheet. Lastly, all of your creative artists will be able to shine while illustrating their original poem.

Grab Your May Reading Activities

Be sure to fully enjoy all that May has to offer with these reading and language arts activities. You and your students can dive right in with these informational reading text passages, center activities, and writing resources! You can find all of these May Reading Activities in the Appletastic Learning Store.

Looking for More May Fun?

Check out these links for more fun and engaging May resources.

Save these May Reading Activities for Later

Pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board so you can come back all month long for more May reading activities and classroom learning fun.

May reading activities and language arts centers for the upper elementary classroom

Shelly Rees

Hi, I’m Shelly! Thank you for being here. I love helping third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers with fun and engaging activities that require no to little prep! Let me help you by taking some of the stress and work off your plate.

Share this Post


Hi, I'm Shelly

Hi, I’m Shelly! Thank you for being here. I love helping third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers with fun and engaging activities that require no to little prep! Let me help you by taking some of the stress and work off your plate.

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