What types of activities can Mrs. Nash use to increase her students’ reading skills?

Page 3: PALS Activities

two students reading
When implemented among students in the second through sixth grades, PALS requires an engagement in three activities designed to build fluency and comprehension skills. Once an initial round of training has been completed, students implement the three activities during each session in a prescribed order: Partner Reading with Retell, Paragraph Shrinking, and Prediction Relay.


pals26_03_pairwithteacherDuring each activity, the lower-performing reader serves as the Coach, while the higher-performing reader performs the role of Reader, modeling good reading skills. After five minutes, the students switch roles. The pairs proceed through each of the three activities in the same manner. The teacher selects appropriate text for each student pair based on the reading level of the weaker reader.

It is essential to the success of PALS that, while the students are engaged in peer tutoring activities, the teacher moves about the room and monitors their work. Doing so also provides a great opportunity for the teacher to offer feedback to students about how well they are:

  • Reading
  • Implementing the PALS activities
  • Working with their partners

Each PALS session lasts for approximately 35 minutes, with about 10 minutes devoted to each of the activities. An overview of PALS activities is offered below and will be discussed in greater detail on subsequent pages.

pair at desk Activity

stack of books Skill

clockLength of Activity

Partner Reading with Retell
  • Reading fluency
  • Summarizing
11–12 minutes
Paragraph Shrinking
  • Identifying the main character
  • Identifying main ideas
  • Summarizing
10 minutes
Prediction Relay
  • Making predictions
  • Identifying main ideas
  • Summarizing
10 minutes
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