Wonder Readers Teacher’s Notes

Teaching the Lesson:

  • Before Reading
  • Front loading difficult language and concepts
  • Pre-Reading Discussion
  • During Reading support
  • After Reading and Extension
  • 1 Graphic Organizer for each title

Before Reading

Before a book has been introduced to the group, it can often help to prepare students for the text they are about to read. Drawing on prior knowledge is a key preparatory activity, inviting students to share information and become familiar with the topic beforehand. In addition, covering concept vocabulary will also make the reading more pleasurable.

For example, if students are reading a book about the desert, writing “desert” on the chalkboard and helping to read and recognize it will implant the word and make it easier for students to recall the word when the book is presented.

Pre-Reading and Introducing the Book

At this point in the lesson, the students see the book for the first time. The group is offered the opportunity to read the title and author’s name, as well as discuss the cover photograph. Introducing the book should include an open-ended discussion (“What do you think about…”), as well as questions that elicit predictions (“What do you think will happen…”).

Students’ answers can be recorded in graphic organizers to motivate reading. Introducing the book is also an appropriate time to “set a purpose” for reading. Present specific information or pose a question, and encourage students to look and listen for this information as they read.

In addition, students should be encouraged to flip through the book to become familiar with the content and the placement of text. Preview the text by pointing to concept vocabulary words and challenging students to find those words in the text. Alternatively, students can respond to the photographs, exchange ideas about the book’s content, make predictions, and share relevant experiences.

During Reading

The reading begins with a quick review of the title and book cover. Students are then encouraged to read the table of contents and to make predictions based on the chapter titles. The reading continues with the first page of text. Strategies for first readings will vary, depending on the topic, text structure, and photographs, as well as on students’ prior knowledge. It is usually helpful to read along with them for the first few pages. Once students seem comfortable with the text, quietly drop out of the reading, letting them read the text aloud on their own.

Prompt as needed, but have them rely more and more on their own capabilities and knowledge.

After Reading

After reading the book, return to any lists or graphic organizers generated prior to reading. Together, make additions or revisions to their initial thoughts. Also encourage students to express their impressions of the book, explaining why they enjoyed the content or language. Challenge them to retell the information or main idea of the book in their own words, as well as ask if they would like to learn more about the topic.

Taking running records and retelling with individual students are basic assessment strategies to all guided-reading programs. Small group discussions before, during, and after the reading will provide ideal opportunities to assess students’ prior knowledge and comprehension of the subject and text, as well as of their current oral language and reading skills.

Teaching Points

In guided-reading groups, teachers can be flexible in meeting individual needs by prioritizing and focusing on a few points at a time. These points can be found on the individual book teaching notes under Discuss the Challenges in the Text. How students perform during the first reading and interactive with the group during rereading will inform teaching choices. Note where students had difficulty.

Which strategies did or can they use to help themselves? Students who are reading comfortably with Emergent Level books have mastered the primary concepts of print and word decoding. Teaching points, therefore, will often focus on more intricate language matters, such as analyzing compound words, exploring word meanings, identifying words, exploring word meanings, identifying types of sentences, and word building.