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Classroom Activities that Efficiently Implement the Daily 5

Janelle Cox

If you like the idea of having consistent literacy centers, then the Daily 5 is something that you may like to try in your classroom. The Daily 5 framework helps to ensure students are always engaged in reading and writing classroom activities during literacy time. It encourages reading independence, communication skills, listening skills, writing skills, and much more. When students are able to do these skills independently, it gives teachers the opportunity to work individually on teaching strategies with children or in small groups.  What’s exciting about these classroom activities is that they are being used in many classrooms across the country, and teachers are raving about the benefits. Here is a quick guide on how you can efficiently implement the Daily 5 classroom activities into your literacy centers.

Classroom Activities: The Benefits

As mentioned, teachers are loving the benefits the daily 5 has in their classroom. They like how students are developing more independence, and how it is transferring to other areas of their learning. They also love how students are working in groups, because it means that students are more engaged in their learning, which means less time for classroom management.  The Daily 5 is also easy to implement and adapts to all curriculums. 

The 5 Daily Tasks

The five daily tasks are as follows. These tasks should be written in bold letters on a poster and placed somewhere in the classroom where all students can see them.

  1. Read to Self
  2. Read to Someone
  3. Listen to Reading
  4. Work on Writing
  5. Word Work

Read to Self

The first step is for the students to read to themselves. During this time, the teacher is working with a child or in a small reading group. The other students are reading to themselves. Students should be allowed to choose the book they are reading, unless they are rereading the reading group book.

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Read to Someone

During this center, the students are partner reading. Usually the book they are partner reading is from their reading group. Each student must take turns reading the book. When they finish, they can read to themselves.

Listen to Reading

During this time in the Daily 5, students must listen to someone reading. Computers, apps, or books on tape or the best way to complete this task. If you have a tablet, then the app “Read Me Stories” (for children ages 5 and under) is a good one. For children over 6, a good app is called “MeeGenius Children’s Books,this is also available on the computer as well.  Another great website is to try out is “Storyline Online.

Work on Writing

There are many options that you can do for this task, but many teachers find that using a writing prompt works the best. Each reading group would get a different prompt to write about that correlates with what they reading and doing in their groups. All students have to do is write about what the prompt is asking them to do. For example, the prompt might ask them to compare and contrast something in the story, to draw a picture, or even to write an alternative ending to the story.

Word Work

This is the fun part of the Daily 5, and teachers find that students really enjoy working on this task. There are many activities that students can partake in for this step of the literacy center. Many teachers find that pasting a paper with a variety of choices in students’ journals works the best. This way students can either go down the list one by one, or choose the activities that fit with their learning style. Here are a few examples of word work activities.

  • Cut and sort words - cut words out and make compound words.
  • Rainbow words – roll a dice and the number matches a color to write the words.
  • Bead it – string letter beads to form words.
  • Magnet letters – form words with magnet letters on a cookie sheet.
  • Play-Doh Words – form words using Play-Doh.

When starting the Daily 5, always remember to start with the read to self. Once your students are used to this, then it will be easy to move on to the next levels. It’s also essential to go slow when first implementing this process. In the beginning, there will be days that things may not work out so well, but remember with confidence and perseverance your students will be working independently in no time. Also, it’s wise to give your students choices during this literacy time. Give them choices about where they will sit in their group, what word work tasks they will perform, and what books they will read silently. When you do this, you will increase engagement in your students.

Do you use the Daily 5 in your classroom? If so, what types of classroom activities do your students partake in? Please share your thoughts below in the comment section, we would love to hear what you do in your classroom.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to and TeachHUB Magazine. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at

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