Guided reading lesson: text level 3 (understand a simple narrative text)

​​​A series of lessons that require students to read and understand a simple narrative text.

Text details

'The Merry Go Round' – PM Red, Beverley Randell, Illustrations Elspeth Lacey ©1993.

​Lesson overview

This guided reading lesson will require students to read and understand a simple narrative text.

The text provides opportunities to:

  • explore literal and inferential comprehension
  • identify and learn high frequency words
  • recognise text that has repeated and familiar structures
  • identify contextual characteristics such as bolded text to emphasise meaning
  • think critically about how the author and illustrator portray the characters in the text.

Text contains

The text contains:

  • some repeated structures, e.g. Look at ……/  ……is up on a ……… 
  • high frequency words, e.g. come, here, is, a, on, look, at, said, no
  • common nouns, e.g. pig, duck, horse, car, plane
  • proper nouns, e.g. Dad, James, Kate, Nick
  • bolded text (No, horse).

Literal and inferential comprehension

Links to the curriculum

Foundation

Reading and viewing

Use comprehension strategies to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently. For more information, see: Content description VCELY153

Level one

Reading and viewing

Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning about key events, ideas and information in texts that they listen to, view and read by drawing on growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features. For more information, see: Content description VCELY186

Learning intention

We are learning to use literal and inferential levels of comprehension to help us understand what we read.

Success criteria

I can answer a literal and inferential question about the text I read.

Theory/practice connections

When readers make inferences they are able to understand the text at a deeper level. They can understand information that the author has not stated explicitly by recognising and making links between text clues (text or illustrations) and their background information on the subject (Davis, 2015).

Making inferences contributes to a reader’s overall comprehension; the ultimate aim of reading.   To teach students how to make inferences, “direct explanation and modelling of the inferential process” must occur (Dewitz and Dewitz, 2003, p.432).

Role of the reader

Text Decoder/ Text Participant

Lesson sequence

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention.
    • When you read, it is important to understand what you are reading about. To help us understand, today we are learning about literal and inferential comprehension. You will know if you have been successful at learning about literal and inferential comprehension if you can join in the group discussion at the end to answer a question about what you have read.
  2. Hand text to each student. Read title and discuss the front cover. Ensure student understanding of merry-go-rounds.
    • Page 1: Teacher led discussion on characters in story-Dad, James, Kate and Nick (abbreviated form of Nicola). Students repeat character names and locate in the text.
  3. Teacher and students look through the pages. Teacher models the sentence structure pattern through their talk (e.g. Who is up on the pig? James is up on the pig. Who is up on the duck? Kate is up on the duck. Who is up on a horse?).
  4. Students read text quietly to themselves. They may need to read twice for understanding. During this time, the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to support the learning needs of each child. (e.g. Does that make sense? What word could go there that makes sense?).
  5. After all have read return to the text to check for comprehension. Ask students to answer some literal questions (e.g. Who is in the story? What was Kate up on?). Use the term ‘literal’ and explain what it means. Ask students to find a page in the text that answers one of prompted questions and read it to the group (i.e.: Literal questions are answered directly in the text).
  6. Text, prompt students to think inferentially. Use the term ‘inferential’ and demonstrate how to think inferentially. Turn back to pages 8, 9, 10 and 11. Examine the text clues. Firstly, look at the body language of Nick in the two illustration pages. Why do you notice about the expression on Nick’s face ? Why does she have her arms crossed? Link to bold writing on page 10 “No!” Ask why the author has used bold writing. Compare Nick’s body language on page 10 with her body language on the final page? How has it changed?
    • Activate the background knowledge of students. What do they know about little brothers or sisters and how they make choices? Students to discuss. Teacher relates their examples to Nick.
    • Making an inference requires linking text clues and background knowledge. Ask students to link the ideas just discussed and lead them to making an inference based on the question, “Why does Nick choose to ride up on the horse rather than the car or plane?”.
  7. Return to the learning intention and success criteria. Ask students who could answer a literal question? An inferential question? Record anecdotal responses for future planning.

High frequency words

Links to the curriculum

Foundation

Writing

Understand that spoken sounds and words can be written and know how to write some high-frequency words and other familiar words including their name. For more information, see: Content description VCELA157

Level one

Writing

Understand how to use visual memory to write high-frequency words, and that some high-frequency words have regular and irregular spelling components. For more information, see: Content description VCELA184

Learning intention

We are learning to recognise and read some high frequency words in this text.

Success criteria

I can read a high frequency word and find it in the text.

Theory/practice connections

Sight words or high frequency words need to be learnt to the point of automaticity because phonic attempts will not help readers decode words such as ‘here’, ‘come’ and ‘said’.  Automaticity ensures words are stored in a reader’s visual memory and immediately recognised when encountered in text. Konza argues that the most efficient way of learning sight words it to teach them explicitly and then immediately consolidate the learning through reading meaningful text (2010, pp. 3-4).

When high frequency words are known, it frees the reader up to concentrate on the content words which contribute to meaning.

Role of the reader

Text decoder.

Lesson sequence

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention.
    • Today we are learning some high frequency words to help us with our reading. High frequency words appear in texts a lot, so that is why we are learning them. We will look at the letters in each word to help us remember them. After we have read, I am going to ask you to find some of them in your book. You will know if you have been successful with your learning today if you can read a high frequency word on a card and match it to one in your book.
  2. High frequency story words written on individual cards (come, here, is, a on, look, at, said, no). Focus on initial letter as a prompt. Read together and play a word game such as tic tac toe to identify them.
  3. Hand text to each student. Read title and discuss the front cover. Ensure student understanding of merry-go-rounds.
  4. Page 1: Teacher introduces characters in story: Dad, James, Kate and Nick (abbreviated form of Nicola). Students repeat character names and locate in the text. Use initial letter to prompt.
  5. Teacher and students look through the pages. Teacher models the sentence structure pattern through their talk (e.g. Who is up on the pig? James is up on the pig. Who is up on the duck? Kate is up on the duck. Who is up on a horse?).
  6. Students read text quietly to themselves. They may need to read twice for understanding. During this time, the teacher hears each child in the group individually. The teacher selects prompts to support the learning needs of each child (e.g. Look at the first letter. What sound does it make? Does that word look right?).
  7. After all have read return to the text to check for comprehension. Ask students to retell the text in sequence (i.e. give literal information).
  8. Return to the high frequency cards introduced at the start of the lesson. Students select a card with a high frequency word written on it. They must locate that word in the text. How many times can they find it? Share findings with group members.
  9. Return to the learning intention and success criteria. Ask students who could read and find a high frequency word in the text. Record anecdotal responses for future planning.

Going further

Provide small whiteboards for students. Students practise writing the high frequency words located in the text several times (e.g. write the word 'come' very small, very big, tall, skinny, in bubble writing, capitals, with curly letters). Write words in personal dictionary.

Letters, words and sentences

Links to the curriculum

Foundation

Reading and viewing

Recognise that texts are made up of words and groups of words that make meaning. For more information, see: Content description VCELA144

Recognise all upper- and lower-case letters and the most common sound that each letter represents. For more information, see: Content description VCELA146

Learning intention

We are learning that text is made up of letters, words and sentences.

Success criteria

I can find a letter, word and sentence in my text and say how each one is different.

Theory/practice connections

Concepts of print are developed as students begin to learn to read. Readers need to know that print carries a message and is made up of letters, words and sentences. A letter is on its own, a word contains a group of letters with a space around it and a sentence is a group of words that is a “complete thought” (Hill, 2015, p. 208).

It is important to use the metalanguage (letter, word, sentence) and ensure students are clear about what each term means. It is proven to be an “indicator of one group of behaviours which support reading acquisition” (Clay, 1993, p. 47).

Role of the reader

Text decoder/Text user

Lesson sequence

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention.  Today we are learning that a text is made up of letters, words and sentences.  We are going to learn what each one is. By the end of the lesson you will be able to find a letter, word and sentence. You will also be able to tell me how each one is different.
  2. Hand text to each student. Read title and discuss the front cover. Ensure student understanding of merry-go-rounds.
  3. Page 1: Teacher lead discussion on characters in story-Dad, James, Kate and Nick (abbreviated form of Nicola). Students repeat character names and locate in the text.
  4. Teacher and students look through the pages. Teacher models the sentence structure pattern through their talk (e.g. Who is up on the pig? James is up on the pig. Who is up on the duck? Kate is up on the duck. Who is up on a horse?).
  5. Students read text quietly to themselves. They may need to read twice for understanding. During this time, the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to support the learning needs of each child (e.g. Look at the first letter? What sound does that make? Point to the word that starts with ‘s.’).
  6. After all have read return to the text to check for comprehension. Ask students to retell the text in sequence (i.e. give literal information).
  7. Turn to page 6. Ask students to find the word ‘Kate’. Count the number of letters in her name. Find another word with 4 letters on that page (look, duck). Repeat this process with the 2 letter words (at, is, up, on). Discuss the difference between a word and a letter.
  8. Ask students to turn to the final page. Read sentence together. On a pre-prepared card, have the sentence written: Nick is up on a horse. Locate the capital letter and full stop, which signal the beginning and end of the sentence.
  9. As students read the sentence strip makes cuts at the word level. Count the number of words in the sentence. Students reassemble using the final sentence in the text as a guide. 
  10. Play a word hunt game. Find the letter ‘s’ on page 4. Find the word ‘look’ on page 4. Find the sentence ‘Here is a horse’ on page 12.
  11. Return to the learning intention and success criteria. Ask students to define a letter, word and sentence and who can find an example of each. Record anecdotal responses for future planning.

Thinking critically about text

Links to the curriculum

Foundation

Reading and viewing

Use comprehension strategies to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently. For more information, see: Content description VCELY153

Recognise that texts are created by authors who tell stories and share experiences that may be similar or different to students' own experiences. For more information, see: Content description VCELT148


 

Level one

Reading and viewing

Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning about key events, ideas and information in texts that they listen to, view and read by drawing on growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features. For more information, see: Content description VCELY186

Respond to texts drawn from a range of cultures and experiences. For more information, see: Content description VCELY185

Learning intention

We are learning to think critically by talking about how the author and illustrator makes us think about the characters in the text.

Success criteria

I can join in the discussion about Nick and her family and give my reasons for the way the illustrator drew Nick.

Theory/practice connections

Learning to think critically contributes to deeper comprehension as it requires the reader to evaluate the author (or illustrator’s) viewpoint and how that may be positioned within the text (often implicitly).

Once a reader can recognise that no text is neutral and all texts are crafted objects, the information contained within a text can be understood on more than one level (Freebody and Luke, 1990).  

Learning to think critically forms part of a wider set of successful reading practices which must begin alongside learning to decode. Freebody and Luke (1990) argue for the importance of teaching critical thinking “at kindergarten or in adult ESL classes, or any point in between. It must be taught “systematically, explicitly, and at all developmental points”( p. 15).  

Scull (2010) argues that it is a teacher’s role to encourage students to share and defend their ideas and those that are contained in texts. By doing so, teachers provide the opportunity for students to develop “positive reading outcomes” (p. 97).

Role of the reader

Text analyst.

Lesson sequence

  1. Clearly articulate the learning intention.  Today we are going to talk about how the author and the illustrator make us think about the characters in this book. This is called thinking critically. After we have read the book, we are going to talk about Nick and what we think about her. You will know if you have been successful at thinking critically, if you can join in the discussion and give a reason why you think that way.
  2. Hand text to each student. Read title and discuss the front cover. Ensure student understanding of merry-go-rounds.
  3. Page 1: Teacher led discussion on characters in story-Dad, James, Kate and Nick. Students repeat character names and locate in the text. Match the name to the illustration of the character.
  4. Teacher and students look through the pages. Teacher models the text structure through their talk (e.g. Who is up on the pig? James is up on the pig. Who is up on the duck? Kate is up on the duck. Who is up on a horse?).
  5. Students read text quietly to themselves. They may need to read twice for understanding. During this time, the teacher hears each child in the group read individually. The teacher selects prompts to support the learning needs of each child.
  6. After all have read return to the text to check for comprehension. Ask students to retell the text in sequence (i.e. give literal information).
  7. Remind students of the learning intention and success criteria. Ask students to turn back to pages 8 to 11. Ask students to recall what things Dad suggested Nick should ride in (car, plane). Students read out Dad’s suggestions. Turn to final page and students read the text which confirms Nick’s choice of a horse.
  8. Tell students that Nick is a girl and her name is actually Nicola.
  9. Ask students: Why has the illustrator drawn Nick like that? Did you think the character was a girl or boy? What made you think that? Would Nick’s choice have been different if she was a boy?
  10. Return to the learning intention and success criteria. Ask students if they were able to join in the discussion and give reasons for why they thought the author and illustrator positioned Nick the way they did. What did they think? Why? Record anecdotal responses for future planning.
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