The Learning Pad

Building A Reading Community

Lessons for the first days of school

Lesson 1-1

Lesson: What do readers do?

==> I guess you've noticed ALL the books in our room.

==> You can tell that I love books and I love reading.

==> Ask children what readers do.

==> Write their responses on chart paper

==> Bring out all kinds of books, magazines, lists, recipes, letters, etc.

==> Talk about all the different kinds of things that people read.

==> Read a story to the group

==> Send kids to table spots to read a book or magazine of their choosing from the table pots of books.

==> Gather children to talk about their reading.


Lesson: Three ways to read a book

==> Read the pictures, read the words, retell the story

==> Model reading the pictures

==> Model reading the words

==> Model retelling the story of the three little pigs.

==> Create a class chart that shows the three ways to read a book.

==> Send children to tables to practice reading one of the three ways.

==> Gather children together to talk about how it went.


Lesson: Why do readers read?

==> Readers read everyday, all day.

==> Have children help generate a list of reasons that people read.

==> They read when they work, and play and even when they order food.

==> Readers read just for fun. Talk briefly about how much you enjoy reading. Mention a favorite book.

==> Ask the children to bring a favorite book tomorrow.

==> Hand out a letter for the children to take home asking parents to help their child choose one of their favorite books to bring to school.


Lesson: Favorite books: books are treasures

==> Have children sit in a circle around the perimeter of the group area.

==> Have your favorite book in a pretty box or package. Have the kids guess what treasure they think might be in the box.

==> Open the box and share your favorite book with the children.

==> Share your special memories about the book.

==> Have children get their favorite books they brought from home and set them in front of them.

==> Have the children use their eyes to look around.

==> Ask the children what they notice about all the books sitting around the circle. Discuss reading identities.

==> Have several children share their selections and explain why the book is special.

==> End with a discussion about books being one of the greatest treasures a person can ever own.

==> Send children to their tables to read and share their books with their friends.


Lesson: All readers are different

==> Continue sharing from previous lesson.

==> Notice once again differences between book selections

==> Discuss how all readers are different: they have different interests, skills.

==> We all like different foods, have learned different skills; some have taken gymnastics lessons, some music lessons. Just because we don't have the skills now doesn't mean that we can't learn.

==> We are all on a journey; growing as readers our whole lives.

==> Explain that some can read more than others right now. Some can read books that are more difficult. That doesn't make them any better. They are just on a different spot on the reading path.

==> We must always respect other readers. We are here to help each other grow and learn.

==> Stress the importance of never teasing someone about his or her reading. We were all at that spot at one time. We all grow as readers with practice. Some have just had more practice than others.


Lesson: Favorite reading memories

==> We've been talking a lot about books and readers. We've shared our favorite books. Today I'd like us to talk about our favorite reading memories. Special moments with special books are memories which are drawn on your heart forever.

==> Bring out something that reminds you of your favorite reading memory (pooh book and flashlight). I love reading. I love reading in bed and on the trampoline, in the hammock... but one of my favorite reading memories is when my children were younger, about your age. We loved to go camping in the summer. Every night when the kids would snuggle into their sleeping bags in the tent I would take out a flashlight and read The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to them. It was so much fun!

==> I am going to do a quick sketch of my special reading memory. While I sketch I want you to think about your own special reading memories and in just a moment I'm going to ask you to sketch your memory.

==> Close your eyes and think about your memory.

==> Now turn and share that memory with your talking partner.

==> I bet you guys are ready to start sketching. I can't wait to see and hear about your special reading memories.

==> After the kids sketch, gather together for a sharing circle.


Lesson: Talking partners

==> A pond is a gathering place. Often times in books and movies you see the animals gathering together at the watering hole or the pond.

==> We call our gathering place the pond. It is a special place where we will gather to listen to stories together, to learn and to share together.

==> Sometimes when we are gathered I will ask you to share with a talking partner. I want to teach you what that looks like and I want us to practice. It is so important to learn the procedures for talking partners. It will make our classroom a fun, safe, and pleasant place.

==> Explain the procedure for talking partners: when I ask you to turn and talk I want you to quietly turn and face the person sitting next to you. You should not walk around or choose someone who is not sitting right next to you.

==> This next thing is VERY important. You must never refuse to talk to the person sitting next to you. Boys and girls can talk together. Brown hair and blonde hair can talk together. Tall and short people can be talking partners. We are all a community of learners. Imagine how you might feel if someone turned away from you and didn't want to talk with you.

==> You will need to use your talking partner voice. This is a quiet voice. Why do you think we would want to use our quiet voices?

==> A good talking partner is also a good listener. You must listen to what your partner has to say.

==> When you hear me clap my hands you should stop talking and turn back and give me your attention.

==> Let's practice.

Lesson 1-8

Learning to Read- Bike analogy

Learning to read is a lot like learning to ride a bike. When we first start learning to ride a bike we usually start with training wheels. The training wheels support us and keep us from falling down. When we first start learning to read we are supported by other readers. They read to us and with us.

When we take off the training wheels and are ready to give it a try on our own our parent usually holds on to the back of the bike and then lets go as we get going. As we start the year I will be holding on to you as you become readers, but in time I will let go and you will find that you are reading on your own.

We're pretty wobbly when we first start riding on our own. At first its important to practice on a flat spot. Going up hill isn't a good idea when we are just learning. It's smartest to ride on a flat sidewalk. Riding uphill is too hard when you are just learning. You can hardly pedal, you wobble all over and fall down, it won't be any fun, and you probably won't get to the top. Worst of all, you'll never learn how to ride if you just keep riding uphill! It's just like reading uphill books (too hard) doesn't give you the right kind of practice. You won't understand it, you'll stumble on most of the words, you'll get frustrated and you won't have fun!

Riding down hill can be fun too, but that doesn't give your legs exercise and doesn't require that you use some bike riding strategies- like turning, pedaling, stopping. It's just like reading downhill(too easy) books CAN be fun for sometimes, but doesn't exercise your learning to read muscles or give you a chance to use your strategies.

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