Today I’m sharing 5 big ideas about teaching reading skills using picture books as examples. These ideas are the correct mindset we as teachers need to have surrounding how we incorporate picture books into our lessons. My challenge to you today is to latch onto one or two of these “ah-ha” moments for teaching reading and potentially make a mindset shift. Spend the day thinking about a few ideas that really resonate with you. Decide how you can expand these thoughts to help your young learners today. Here we go!
1. It’s not about teaching the book, its about helping the reader use strategies to develop a deep understanding of what they can take away from the information they are reading. So when you’re doing a read aloud, don’t focus necessarily on the content of the book, but on what the students can understand in a system of processes for comprehension.
2. Don’t excuse books that are short or appear basic as being “too easy” or not being rich text for your fifth grades, sixth graders, or seventh graders. If you look closely you may find deep meaning that upper elementary students can grow from as readers. These kinds of books are great to use as an interactive read-aloud that we can share as a whole group with our class. Imagine the conversations we could have.
3. We could read the same text to students at different grade levels and the students will take away something different from those books. Students are growing, thinking, and changing there opinions year after year. Students perspective and thinking about a text read to them in fifth grade will be much different when that same text was read to them in second grade. So if students say to you “Oh I read this book already” or “My teacher read this to us before” challenge them to say now I know you’re going to think in a higher and deeper level than you did when you were in the second grader correct? And of course, they’ll say “Yes, of course, I will”.
4. Instead of teaching to the text by always asking teacher-generated questions lets listen for our student’s responses to a text. We can learn a lot about how our students think by giving them time to talk about what they’re thinking with the class in small groups or with partners. Sometimes our specific questioning gets in the way of students actual thinking. Instead, let’s ask questions like “Tell me what you’re thinking about this book” or “What are you wondering about after reading today?”
5. Model rich learning by sharing aloud you are thinking in your head as you read to the class or during guided reading. By modeling your thinking, students will begin thinking and forming their own ideas.
I hope this chat sparks some new ideas and thinking when using picture books in your classroom. If you love reading aloud to your class, I have a great resource for you! This resource is SUPER special because it includes EVERYTHING you need to have a successful Interactive Read Aloud experience with your class and allows you to put into practice everything we learned here today. You can check out all my interactive read Alouds HERE.If you enjoyed today’s lesson you can find this post and many more on iTunes, Spotify, or Alexa Briefings. Click here to listen