Monday, April 22, 2013

15 Minute Lesson: Customizable Book About Me

Learning Materials: 

Word Working Skill: Sight Words that are commonly used in personal narratives (I, am, have, a, my, like, me)

Decoding Skill: Use picture clues to decode content words (house, toy dog, etc.)

Comprehension Skill: Recall of details presented in the text.

How to Divide your 15 Minutes:

You will have to choose which skill to really focus on. If your child is a pro at reading the sight words but is really struggling on the content words, then spend more time on talking them through the decoding strategy. If he can read the book without a single error but can't recall a single detail, then spend more time rereading the book and discussing the text.

Before Reading:
Introduce the sight words and practice with them a bit. You can do this any way you'd like. Play a short memory game with the words, have your child trace the words with different color crayons, paint the words, build the words with letter tiles, whatever!

Show your child the book cover and ask him what he thinks the book will be about. An appropriate answer would be "It's about me!" If he says, "It's about a boy" then he is just looking at the cover picture and not listening to the title you just read ("[child's name]'s Story") Remind him to look at the pictures AND listen to the words when he is reading today. 

Do a picture walk, which is just looking and discussing what you see in the pictures without actually reading the book. Your child may point to words here and there and read them. That is okay, but gently redirect his attention back to the pictures and your discussion. This is the time where you would casually work any difficult words from the book into your discussion. For example, your child may say, "This page is about animals." You can respond with "Yes, and those animals look friendly, don't they?" (The page reads, "I have lots of animal friends.") You are basically just planting a seed in his head so he is more likely to read the word 'friends' when he is reading on his own.

During Reading:
Set a purpose for reading by telling your child that when he gets to words he does not know how to read, then he should look at the pictures for help. Model this throughout his reading. Try your very best to not just tell him words that he misses or correct his errors. If he does not correct his own errors, say something like, "Now, does that make sense?" Or, "Is that what you see in the picture?"

After Reading:
Praise him for reading the entire book on his own. Praise, praise, praise! We love to celebrate when we finish a new book. Then, show your child the describing wheel graphic organizer. The center of the wheel should be filled in with his name. Work together to recall details from the book about your child. You may write for him, he can write, or you can take turns writing. He may suggest details that are true, but were not in the book. Discuss whether or not you think it should be added to the wheel. If he comes up with several additional details, consider doing the extension activity with him and reserve the graphic organizer for just details from the book.

Extension Activity: (If you have time left, or want to spend more time.) Have your child brainstorm details about himself that were not in the book. Work together to write a new "Book About Me." You can let him fill in the book template online, or you can simply staple some plain white paper together to construct a book. 

Remember, these 15 minutes that you spend teaching your child how to read is not the only time that he will spend learning how to read each day. These 15 minutes are meant for direct one-on-one instruction of a reading skill or strategy. Have fun exploring other books, crafts and activities throughout the week, in addition to the other play-based learning your child does.

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