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Level 2: Reading with Help

Ideal for readers who are increasingly confident, but still need some help

How can you challenge the self-assured readers? There are likely to be students in your classroom who could benefit from a larger selection of books with longer sentences and some challenging words. The books at this level present your students with whole new experiences in a wider variety of genres.

Along with the terrific fiction stories, Level 2 books include nonfiction, mysteries, poetry, and scary tales. Your students will delight in the engaging stories of favorite characters like Amelia Bedelia, the literal-minded housekeeper, and good friends Frog and Toad. Nonfiction selections, such as Amazing Dolphins! and Amazing Tigers! will satisfy their curiosity about the world around them.

Students at this age are also able to handle the more complex storylines found in the mysteries solved by the characters like Aunt Eater, Big Max, and Bunny and Jack—the High-Rise Private Eyes. They also will enjoy the language play in poetry books such as Halloween Howls and Valentine Hearts.

Below are some ideas that will help the students in your classroom continue to become more confident readers.
  • Understanding homonyms and homophones. Homonyms are words that are spelled and sound the same but have different meanings. Examples include: “bear” [animal] and “bear” [right or left, as in direction] (Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, pp. 24–25).

    Homophones are words that sound alike but have different spelling and meaning. Examples include: “heard” and “herd [of cows]” (Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia, p. 11).

    Write “Homonyms” and “Homophones” on a T-chart. Include the definition under each word. Have students generate a list of homonyms and homophones. Record responses in the appropriate columns. Keep the chart on display for reference.

    Have students choose a pair of words to illustrate. Give each child a piece of oaktag or plain paper. Students can fold the paper evenly in half, then write their word pair on the bottom of the page—one word on the left, the other on the right. Using colored pencils or crayons, have students draw pictures to define the words. Students should use the words in a sentence and write the sentence across the top of the page. Display student work in the classroom along with a description of the lesson.
  • What would Amelia Bedelia do? Understanding idioms. An idiom is a figure or a colloquial phrase. Idioms can easily be misunderstood, especially by someone like Amelia Bedelia, who takes things so literally. For example, in Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor, Mr. Rogers tells Amelia Bedelia, “You should run for the mayor’s office.” What does Mr. Rogers mean? What does Amelia Bedelia think he means? Have students come up with a list of idioms or expressions that confuse Amelia Bedelia. Record responses on chart paper. Have students choose an idiom to illustrate. Fold drawing paper in half. Write the expression across the top of the page and draw a picture of what the words really mean on one side, and what Amelia Bedelia thinks they mean on the other. Students should caption each illustration.
  • Writing and performing simple skits. Have students select “Amelia Bedelia’s Top Ten Most Mixed-Up Moments” and create a series of short skits in which to act them out. Together, brainstorm memorable scenes. Then demonstrate how to write a script based on the book. Students choose roles and rehearse. Have students perform their skits for the class.
  • Encourage identification of important details. After reading Amazing Snakes!, have students work in groups of two or three to draw a very long snake on bulletin board paper. They should write with inventive spelling, or with help from you, five to ten facts they learned about snakes while reading the book. Snakes should then be colored. Groups should share what they learned about snakes with the rest of the class. Display the snakes around the room.
Classroom Guides for other I Can Read! levels:

My First: Shared Reading
Ideal for sharing with emergent readers

Level 1: Beginning Reading
Ideal for readers who are beginning to decode words and sentences

Level 3: Reading Alone
Ideal for readers who can read on their own

For even more ideas to use in the classroom, see our Tips and Tricks for Educators.


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