Text Pyramids for Improving Reading Fluency

Reading Pyramids are powerful teaching tools that have so many uses! This blog post provides a basic outline of what they are. However, watch the video below for a detailed explanation of how to use these. I created a FREE digital and printable template for you; simply enter your email address below, and it will be sent right over to you!

The Power of Reading Pyramids

  1. They allow for targeted, direct, and explicit instruction.
  2. You can use them with multiple grade/ability levels.
  3. You can easily differentiate them.
  4. They can cover numerous language skills (phonics, spelling, vocabulary, fluency, and grammar).

The video below breaks Reading Pyramids down and details how they can be used in so many ways.


You can use reading pyramids for all phonics skills. Simply type in your words and the skill into the free template provided, and you’re ready to go!

Multisyllabic Words

Reading pyramids are perfect for multisyllabic words. Just as with phonics, you can “plug in” any skill (closed/open syllables, affixes, Greek/Latin root words, etc.). When you break down multisyllabic words in reading pyramids, students can see the distinct word parts which helps build their orthographic memory. 


Reading pyramids are not just for words! You can use them with phrases, which helps improve student prosody (the rhythmic quality of fluent readers). You can begin with high-frequency phrases (noun phrases and verb phrases) and then work your way up to longer prepositional phrases. To incorporate grammar, you could have students identify the preposition and object of the preposition. If you really want to go deep with grammar, you could also incorporate adverbial phrases and clauses.


Once your students have grasped “scooping” or “chunking” text into appropriate phrases, you can move to sentences. In the example below, we added a new phrase to each level of the pyramid. This helps to build sentence-level fluency and prosody.