Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Introducing Guided Reading with a Brief Mini-Lesson
This is a guest post by Kathy Crane, one of our regular guest bloggers. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from her and  click here to read her blog .

A guided reading lesson usually opens with a brief mini-lesson. The objective of the lesson is generally something that will help students read the text to be presented. Most of the time it will look different for each guided reading group. For example, if you are going to read the book  Brown Bear    by Lee Waters you could choose from limitless mini-lessons. Below are a few suggestions.

Tracking Print

The strategy of tracking print can be practiced by printing the word cards below and doing the following:

Place the word cards in a row to construct a sentence. “Think Aloud” as you place the cards: talk about the word itself, and drawing attention to the space between words.

“Okay, I now have a sentence. I will take my finger and point under each word that my voice is saying.”

Point at each word one by one in a slightly exaggerated fashion. Ask students to read the sentence one by one pointing at each word as the word is spoken. After the activity, remind students that when you read today’s book, remember to point at each word as it is read. *Note: For lower level groups, use objects rather than words and allow students to practice naming an object only when their finger is pointing at it.

Sight Words:  in, the, will

To practice the words  in the  and  will , first show the students each word in flash-card style. Next, pull out a small deck of cards (about three or four of each word) with the words  in the , and  will  printed on them.

“We are going to play Hot-Potato-Word! To play, I will draw the top card and read it. I will then pass it to ____ (the person at my left), and then he/she will read it and pass it and we will read and pass until it gets back to me. I will then put the card in a container to cool it down.”

After playing, remind students to look for the words  in the , and  wil l  as they read the day’s book.

Using Picture Clues

To practice this skill, use the cards provided.

“We are going to read words by using picture clues.” First show card #1. “Who can read this word?” (Probably the majority of students will be unable to read the card.

Next show card #2. “Who can read the word now”? (Most students will now be able to read the card.

“Why was it easier to read the word on the second card than the first?” (Let students respond). “It was easier because you were able to use a picture clue to help you read the word.”

Continue with the remaining cards. "As we read our book today, I want you to pay close attention to picture clues as we read."

Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading, is a published author of thirteen books, a freelance author and developer of teaching curriculum, has been a teacher of kindergarten for twenty-two years, and publishes the blog  Kindergarten Kiosk
For more information on the Zoozoo Animal World series that includes the book shown in this lesson, click  here  to visit our website, or click the image to the left below to download a series highlights sheet with key features.  To see Kathy's entire Bear Thematic Unit on her TPT page, click  here .