As children begin to read, it is important that they move from decoding and just reading words to reading for meaning. Often when asked to read silently, I have noticed that they read the words but they do not pay much attention to the details.
Case in point: I am working with a reading group that has been reading some of the Horrible Harry books. One time when I was away, I left instructions for them to read through the next couple of chapters. When I returned the next day, I asked them to tell me about what they had read. I also asked them some questions about details and events in the chapters. It was interesting to see that they could tell me very little about what they had read. I decided that we needed to do more directed reading to change this.
I created some questions and activities for the chapters and thus began my guided reading novel studies.
I have since created several different guides. These have been very helpful as discussion activities and they have helped the children look for different features while reading.
As you can see, once I got going it was hard to stop. I have started working on some more, but I haven't got them ready for publishing yet. It makes me think I should start a growing bundle.
I started thinking that I could do the same for other books as well. A friend of mine was working with a group that was ready for early chapter books, so I created study guides for the Frog and Toad series for her. These were a hit with her group.
Now I am working on another couple of popular books for grade 2. I hope to have a companion activity that compares the 2 books ready later on this year.
I still wanted the children to search more deeply for information, so I also created Finding Evidence.
This helps them to focus on specific questions as they read through the book and they need to write down the evidence that shows where they found their answers.
This is a sample of how it can be used with a chapter or small book as well. Another teacher created this set of questions for a guided reading book she was using with her students.
Here is a copy for you to try out. Just right click the image below and give it a try.
As you can see, I got caught and I can't seem to stop thinking about creating materials to help students to better understand and appreciate what they are reading about. I hope you find some of these materials helpful. If you have other popular books that you would like to see guided reading study guides for, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.