My First: Shared Reading
Ideal for sharing with emergent readers
How can characters like Mittens, Dumpy, and Biscuit help students in your classroom? The characters in the books at this level are experiencing the same types of events the children at this age level are experiencing. For example, Mittens has to get used to a strange new house in Mittens, and in Biscuit and the Baby, Biscuit must be quiet and patient while a new baby is sleeping.
Below are some ideas that you can use to help students comprehend the stories and relate them to their own lives.
Classroom Guides for other I Can Read! levels:
- Relate the story to the students’ lives. While reading, stop periodically to ask students how the events in the story are similar to their own lives and what they have experienced. While reading The Day I Had to Play with My Sister, for instance, ask students about a time they were asked to play with a younger sibling, cousin, or neighbor. Was it difficult? Why or why not?
- Activate prior knowledge. Before reading a story, discuss what the students may already know about the topic. For instance, before reading the story Biscuit, ask students what they already know about puppies. Write their responses on a large poster-sized sketch of a puppy, and display it in the classroom. Read Biscuit to the class. Then remind students of their responses on the sketch puppy. Ask students how Biscuit and other puppies are similar.
- Develop a community of readers by inviting a guest reader to the classroom. It is essential for children to see important people in their lives reading and showing enthusiasm for reading. For example, invite an older friend, sibling, parent, grandparent, etc. to come to the class to read Cat and Dog to the students. Afterward, have each student illustrate an event from the story. Combine the students’ pages into a classroom book for display, or let the students take their illustrated pages home to share with their families or their guest readers!
- Enhance alphabetic awareness. Recognize letters and the sounds they make by identifying words. For example, B is for Biscuit, W is for woof, woof!
By using the first letter of the child’s name, identify something else that begins with the same letter. You can also try to pick words from a page in the book and identify other words that start with the same letter.
Level 1: Beginning Reading
Ideal for readers who are beginning to decode words and sentences
Level 2: Reading with Help
Ideal for readers who are increasingly confident, but still need some help
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.