10 Easy to Prep Literacy Centers Ideas for May


May is almost here! If you teach first grade, this is the magical time where many of your students are making the shift of “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” If you are like me, you try to stretch their learning as much as possible to get the most out of the foundation you laid throughout the year.

I have some center ideas that incorporate skills that are typically great for May! Whether you write these ideas down and pull them from your sources, or you already own my 1st Grade Literacy Centers Bundle, you have stumbled upon the right place for all things 1st Grade Literacy Centers.

[Click here to see our 1st and 2nd Grade Literacy Centers for the Year]

10 Easy to Prep Literacy Center Ideas for May

1.  Text Message Fluency: These text message fluency mats are PERFECT for this time of year.  You could even have your students working in pairs and taking turns reading the two different characters texting back and fourth. These have been made you your students can conveniently write their answers to the comprehension questions after reading each of the text message conversations. Laminate these so you can use them time and time again or simply print them off and have your students take them home after they complete each one! It’s completely up to you!

2.  Prefixes and Suffixes Word Building: Just grab some cutouts (I used a pencil) and write common prefixes and suffixes on the beginning or ending of the pencil.  Have a list of base words and allow your students to create new words with the prefixes and suffixes.  This is a great center to use language skills to build on new vocabulary learned throughout the year.

3.  Reader’s Theatre Scripts:May is a great time to let your students practice their fluency with different types of texts. They absolutely LOVE being able to read and act out plays. These simple Reader’s Theatre Scripts go great with comprehension questions so students are held accountable after reading each script.

4.  Idioms Memory: Practice common idioms and/or expressions by making a game of Idioms Memory.  The students will LOVE the ridiculously cute (and funny) pictures.  These illustrations are great for solidifying those idioms, especially for those English Language Learners.


5.  Paragraph Editing Mats: Let your students apply the editing skills they’ve been learning all year with paragraph editing.  The nice thing about these is that once you have them laminated, you can use them over and over again! I like to use these fine tip dry-erase markers so my students can rewrite the paragraph correctly on the bottom.

6.  Circus Sentence Fluency Puzzles: Allowing students to read text that is familiar to them helps to build confidence in their reading.  You could set up these familiar text/picture puzzles with any concept that is familiar to your students.   

7.   Poetry Mats: May is the perfect time to work on poetry.  Understanding how to interpret and write poetry is not only beneficial for creativity, but it also allows students to express themselves.  I have created these templates which can be laminated so that students can choose which template they want to work on. They can then record in their journals or on a “final draft” paper.  My students end up LOVING poetry and I always remember how much I love teaching it!

8. Making New Words with “e”: Now that you have laid the foundation for phonemic awareness, it’s time to have a little fun! Students will see how the meaning of words change by simply adding an e to the end of the word! You could have them draw the words or you could use these mats so they can easily see how the meaning changes with different CVC/CVCe words! 

9.  Create Your Own Story: Students can pick their three characters and create any story that they imagine.  They have had lots of interaction with text and read-alouds.  They have even written narratives of their own.  Now is the time where they can stretch those skills and create stories on their own using the character prompt cards! This one is always a winner in my classroom. 

10.  Main Idea and Details: Main idea and details can still be a hard concept to grasp, especially for English Language Learners.  Allowing your students to think about what the main idea is with familiar objects can help them to transfer main idea when encountering different types of text.  These mats make it easy for you to laminate and use year after year! These are also a great intervention for students that are having a hard time grasping main idea.  

I hope you enjoyed these Literacy Center Ideas for May! .

Right now, I am sure you are probably thinking, “This is exactly what I have been looking for!!! How in the world do I get my hands on these?!?

We offer a Year-Long Literacy Centers for 1st and 2nd Grade.  This resource was specifically made to create an impact with your students, and to help you create a better work-life balance.  Take the guess work out of centers, so you can do what you do best…TEACH!

  • Student-Friendly Directions for Every Center
  • Hands-On and Engaging Activities
  • Recording/Accountability Sheets for Every Center
  • Flexible and nonseasonal centers to supplement your current curriculum.
  • Cohesive resource with a variety of centers to last you an entire year.
  • Consistent centers so you have minimal redirection.

[Check out our 1st and 2nd Grade Literacy Centers for the Year]

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Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.