Brandi Ferguson

April 4, 2002
Reading Independency


:Students need to be able to read fluently and independently in order to become avid readers. As children become independent readers, they need to acquire the skills on how to choose appropriate reading material so that they will become avid readers later on. This lesson will introduce students on how to choose literature in their library and to promote voluntary reading by teaching them to choose reading material that is reading-level appropriate.

Materials :students, library with TONS of books, assessment checklist (as follows)


1. Take students to the library and remind them on the  cliche: 'Don't judge a book by its cover.' "Guys, remember when someone told you that you should never judge a book by its cover?" "Well, instead of using this phrase on people, we are going to do just what this saying means today. We are going to the library today and learn how to choose books by NOT judging their cover. We should judge them by their WORDS inside instead. Sometimes we go to the library and we pick books that are the shortest or have the best pictures, but then we get back home and try to read them and they are either too hard for us to read or not very interesting like the pictures made it look."

2. "Now today I am going to show you how to first CHOOSE a book and then decide if it is too hard for you." The teacher should model going to the bookshelf and choose a book by closing her eyes. "Now did you see how I could not judge this book by its cover because I closed my eyes?"

3. Remind students about the two-finger approach (strategy will have been introduced to students in the past). "Ok, guys remember how I showed you to use your two fingers to see if a book is too hard for you?" "That's right, we pick a book and read a page in it and if there is a word that is too hard for us, we cover it up with our finger. If we see that we have to use two or more fingers to cover up words we do not know on a page, then we will find out that the book is probably too hard for us." "Now with my book I am going to read the first page (reading a few sentences out loud, using at two fingers to cover up some words to demonstrate unknown words). Now did you see how I did not know some of the words, and I put my fingers on them? Since I used two fingers, this means that this book is probably too hard for me, and I would want to keep looking for another book that I don't have to use two fingers on a page when I read."

4. "Now, with a partner, we are going to venture out into the book aisles together. We are going to choose a book, which I will let you know how we are going to do it today in a minute, but I want you to keep in mid the 'two-finger approach' when we look at the books we have chosen, ok?" 

5. Make sure that the students have a partner and then continue with directions on choosing a book. "Now, what we are going to do, as we keep the famous saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover,' in our brains, we are going to find a book. Now it may take you several times to find one, but that is ok as long as you work together quietly and do not disturb any one else ok?" "Now with your partner, you are to go to the bookshelf, and I want one person to close their eyes while the other person spins you around five times. If you are the person who is being turned, you must keep your eyes closed TIGHT while your partner turns you around. After you have been spun five times, the other person will guide you towards the bookshelf, all the while keeping your eyes SHUT. You will pick up the first book you feel. Now, if you are the person who turned your partner, you should HELP your partner and not let them fall down or grab something that is not a book. This is a TEAM effort."

1. "After you have chosen your book, I want you to remember that JUST because it looks long and JUST because the pictures are ugly, does NOT mean that it is a bad book. Remember our saying?" "That's right. You should not judge a book by its cover." "Now when you get the book, I want you to read the first page and remember to use the 'two-finger' approach, just like I did earlier. If you start reading and you have to put two fingers down on that page, what should you do? That's correct; the book is too hard for you." "Now if the first page does not have two of your fingers down on the page, then read about two more pages and experiment." 

2. "Once you found a book that is right for you, help out your partner and then walk over to the other side of the library and begin reading SILENTLY until EVERYONE has chosen a book." "Remember that we must work SILENTLY and TOGETHER!"

Assessment : Teacher should walk around the library and observe to make sure that each student is participating cooperatively and make comments in a checklist, such as in the one below:

Did you find a book?
Did you participate fully and not HURT your partner?
Did you use the two-finger approach?
Did you find a book that is on your reading level?


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