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Reading is an important component in a child’s development. It leads to the furnishing of vocabulary, and sight words and builds imagination skills. While reading is crucial, it is also significant to consider the type of reading for students. Guided reading is a helpful approach where students sit together and share the same reading material. In this approach, students learn to read a text independently in a group.
The guided reading approach focuses on accelerating the reading progress of students thereby supporting their reading proficiency. While it offers a comprehensive learning environment, guided reading is enhanced with the selection of the right books. Certain books are designed in a way to offer the right knowledge and language structure for a student’s specific needs. The usage of accurate books can not only lead to progress but also create an interest level in reading. Check how different books serve the purpose of guided reading.
How do I choose a guided reading book? Things to consider
Often, parents and teachers are confused with the type of book required for children. Guided reading sessions are conducted with kids who share similar reading capabilities. In such situations, it is crucial to understand the type of book needed for every child. Check what is important when choosing a guided reading book.
1. Subject Matter
It is significant to check the subject matter of the book. The subject should match the interest level and reading capabilities of children. For example, a child might not be interested in learning the mechanics of a car. Hence, carefully understand the moral the book serves. Also, it is significant to consider the kind of values and knowledge you need to impart to kids depending on their age. Here, the subject of the book defines the power to change a child’s thought process.
2. Language Structure
This is a common mistake when selecting guided reading books. Guided reading books may look classy and colorful however, one should select a book that matches the understanding levels of children. The language should cater to a particular age group that is capable of understanding it. For example, you cannot expect a 4-year-old to understand complicated phrases and high-end vocabulary.
3. Graphical Representation
Guided Reading is divided into levels hence, it is vital to offer the right book at different levels. Students at level 1 might be more inclined towards colorful graphics and spacing between words making it easier to read. However, students at level 5 are already done with that level and would not be interested in such a book. When selecting the book, look for spacing between words, font size, and relevance of images.
Relevant books for guided reading
Guided Reading is a helpful approach that considers the reading capabilities of students. According to the proficiency of readers, different levels are assigned to students. Hence, teachers and instructors must check different books depending on the context, language, and morals of the books.
1. What Should Danny Do?
The book, What Should Danny Do, has nine stories with different endings depending on Danny’s choices. It is an excellent way of introducing children to the power to choose. This provides them with the idea that they have agency over their own lives and the decisions that they undertake. The stories are oriented in such a way that they put a fruitful emphasis on readers.
Young students get an opportunity and the power to choose the ending. They need to decide what their day is going to be and why different choices can affect the progress of the day. For young readers, it is really fun and interesting to see the consequences of different choices and the lessons learned from them.
The illustrations are quite relatable and easy to understand for the readers. Thus, it allows readers to fully come to terms with the fact that no decision is definitive and one can always come back from it with many valuable lessons learned.
2. Mighty, Mighty Construction Site
Sometimes it takes teamwork to get things done and the book, Mighty, Mighty Construction site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld is a testament to it. A New York Times #1 bestseller, this popular children’s book is filled with beautiful pictures of many construction trucks working in harmony and unity to finish the task that lies before them.
It focuses on many prominent moral aspects such as efficient teamwork, friendship, and coordination, which are affluent for the readers. There are many different characters or trucks with dynamic qualities and each one serves solely a unique purpose. In doing so, each truck brings some unique characteristics to the team.
The text is ripe with enthusiasm and liveliness which sets a perfect reading tone complimented by the pictures and the easy-to-read font. Furthermore, the pastel color used in the pictures offers a soothing appeal to the readers and it grows more and more with the pace of the story. Thus, making it a perfect read for younglings.
3. Big Shark, Little Shark
Penned by Anna Membrino, Big Shark, Little Shark is the first step into reading. Through ecstatic and vividly colored imagery it pins two sharks, opposite in size on a quest to find food. Featuring an array of easy and understandable words, it encourages good reading habits and helps in improving the vocabulary and grammar of budding readers.
The rhythmic text and the numerous rhymes that take the pace of the story forward are very catchy and easy to memorize. It is inevitable for the readers to get hooked on the rhymes and convey them all through the day to their friends and family.
The plot and pictures coincide in such a simple and artistic manner, that readers of any age can get the context right and be able to relate to the story in a very practical manner. It motivates the readers to understand the differences that make both sharks opposites of each other.
4. How to Drive Your Sister Crazy
As real as the title of this book sounds, the story is chuckling and engrossing. There is a good dosage of humor in the story which makes the reading experience funny and engaging. The pictorial representation of the plot and the characters is also done in a humorous way which appeals to the readers and keeps them occupied till the very last page.
The book is divided into halves. The former is presented with amusing cartoons and the latter half of the story is told through elementary text. Readers also get the ability to read the story without any supervision and assistance, as it presents itself to the readers in a very simplistic manner.
Moreover, it has many relatable and everyday anecdotes that every sibling in every household goes through at least once in their lifetime. The bright pictures, clear fonts, and uncomplicated storyline make it a fun and enthusiastic read.
5. My Parents Think I’m Sleeping
Serving as the third part of the I can read series, My Parents think I’m sleeping by Jack Prelutsky and illustrations by Yossi Abolafia is an excellent bedtime book of poems. The poems constitute every feeling that a reader can have ranging from humor, scared, curiosity, drama, and inspiration.
The theme of the poems is soaked in the innocence of a young boy’s curiosity. Any reader gets an opportunity to create a connection with the story and reminisce of their days of curiosity and trying to find out more facts about their surroundings. The colorful prints add an extra layer of practicality and liveliness to the story.
The author can draw the readers in with the simple language used and the pattern of the story framed to keep them hooked till the very end. It also enhances the mindset of the readers and enables them to imagine the scenarios more vividly and clearly.
6. The Three Billy Goats Gruff
An all-time classic, the three billy goats gruff is a story of three goats who lived on a farm near a river. It has been quite a popular children’s story in Europe for several decades. Published sometime in the 1840s, it offers a very straightforward moral lesson which is to not be greedy.
Featuring many comical and lucid impressions of the characters, it makes a very compelling story to read and understand for preschoolers. Apart from the moral lesson of abstaining from greed, it all conveys emotions of brotherly love, mutual respect for one another, and the importance of taking wise decisions. The goats drawn in the book are immensely appealing and the troll is as scary and intimidating as the story wants to put forth.
Not only are there a lot of values to be learned from the story but also many valuable discussions that can be done amongst the readers according to their understanding of the story, characters, and motivations.
7. Never Stop Dreaming
A collection of 10 awe-inspiring stories of young boys who dared to dream. It talks about the qualities required for a person to have a dream and then make it into a reality. Through the simple vocabulary and intuitive illustrations, the different stories offer a unique insight into the character’s dreams and struggles.
Even more so, it showers adequate light on their unique approach to overcoming their obstacles and conquering their fears in the journey to achieve their targets. The moral values and lessons to be learned and adopted from the story are invaluable and of utmost importance. The characters, although fictional, are very relatable and practical in their approach, which makes their mindset and thinking understandable and inspiring.
To add to this, the artist’s work on the pages is comprehensible and coherent with the storyline. This makes the reading of all 10 stories a stimulating and motivating cause to dream in the delicate minds of the new readers.
8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Considered one of America’s most beloved children’s storybooks, If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Jeff Numeroff is a sure-shot hit amongst kids. The story uses very basic and logical approaches to solving tough and complex situations. The nuance of storytelling offers a lot of learning experiences and engaging activities for readers to do either at home or school.
The different scenarios offered to the readers by the reaction the mouse would have once he is given the cookies are uncountable. This generates a sense of lively imagination and ambiguity amongst readers making it a compelling and winsome story. The illustrations highlight the emotions and thoughts of the mouse in a strong and unopposed manner. The story is circular offering young readers many interesting and notable takeaways such as trust, sharing, politeness, and ownership.
Till the time the readers can finish the story, they will be able to think about the infinite number of possibilities and scenarios that could have also occurred if the mouse got the cookie.
9. The Bad Seed
The Bad Seed by Jory John and illustrations by Pete Oswald is a story about a sunflower seed that has a rude temperament and doesn’t bond well with others. To get the readers acquainted with the qualities of the central character, some words are repeated a few times to increase the emphasis.
The sentences and fonts are simple for the readers and the context of the story is also easy to grasp. The primary theme of the story is based on the constant struggle between good and evil. The illustrations are pleasing to the eyes and picturesque, offering some sort of resemblance to many popular animated movies. The conceptual differences between good and bad are thoroughly signified through different imagery which makes it easier for the readers to connect with them.
It also encourages the readers to understand the true meaning of happiness and the importance of understanding the consequences of certain actions in their lives.
10. Gratitude is My Superpower
Alicia Ortego’s Gratitude is my superpower is a heartwarming story that teaches kids the importance of giving and gratitude. The central idea of the book is that everyone has numerous moments that they should be grateful for. It motivates readers to think about all the things or activities that they enjoy.
The easy-to-read and understandable text encourage readers to value the importance of life and the beautiful moments it carries with itself. The pictures depict the important emotions that are underlying within the text and offer the readers the best reading experience. Furthermore, it teaches valuable lessons regarding positivity and being thankful for our loved ones and cherishable moments.
The artistic yet simplistic text used in the book makes it a likable and immensely addictive storybook. Once the kids are done reading this, they will be able to appreciate and acknowledge every moment around them with utmost gratitude and appreciation.
Guided Reading is a powerful approach to enable children to read and understand the context of different texts. It is crucial for teachers and educators to constantly look for fresh books and concepts thereby offering a diversified learning platform. Guided reading books offer a competitive edge as these books constantly offer growth opportunities to children.
Apart from books, one can also opt for guided reading applications and reading websites for a fun learning environment. Guided reading activities also help create an engaging and creative time for students. While these books are great with their content, it is a helpful approach to constantly look for better options in evolving times.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,