Rachel Greer                   The Secret Codes of Sentences
                                                   Emergent Literacy
The main reason for teaching a lesson on the concepts of print, is because, the learning of print concepts is an important step in the process of becoming a skillful reader. “Helping students read interesting material in sentences helps them realize that reading is a meaningful process” (Eldgredge, 130). Through teaching the concepts of sentences to students, they can pay less attention to the way a sentence is written and more on the meaning.  The student will learn where the beginning and ending words are in a sentence. They will also learn to read the sentence from left to right.
It is important that the student accomplishes the goals in this lesson so that they will have the knowledge needed to view a page in a book, or print in general, and know how to correctly use it.

1. Book Cat Traps by: Molly Coxe  (copies should be provided for all students)
Publication Information:  Coxe, Molly(1996). Cat Traps. New York, New York. Random House, Inc.
2. Handouts
3. Chalk and Chalk Board

1. “Today we are going to learn about the different things involved in reading. We are going to concentrate on reading sentences. There are a lot of different things to learn when we look at sentences.”
2. The teacher should then write a sentence on the board.  “Class watch as I am writing this sentence.  I am going to write the sentence from left to right, because that is how you write and read a sentence. Remember to look at the front of the classroom to see which side the “left” and “right” is on.  They are posted above the chalkboard.  First I will write the word “Cat” because it is the first word of the sentence. Then I will write the rest of the sentence, “wants a pig”. “Pig” will be the last word I write because it is the last word of the sentence. Now I want you to repeat the sentence after me.” The teacher should have students repeat the sentence after she gets through writing and re-reading the sentence.
3. “Ok class, the next thing about a sentence I want to teach you is that the beginning word of a sentence is always the first word you read.  The last word is always the last work you read.” Teacher should now ask class what the first word of the sentence is (Cat). Next, the class should tell the last word (snack).
4. The concept of moving from one line to the next should be taught at this point.  “Now I want you to look at where my finger goes when I read this page: Cat wants a snack. Cat sets a trap.  Do you see how my finger began on the word “Cat” and ended on the word “trap”? Teacher should model reading sentences and moving from one line to the next. Teacher asks class, “Who can tell me why I moved my finger to left of the sentence on the second line?” This can help teacher know if students understand the concept.
5.  Teacher should read the book Cat Traps all the way through. “Now I am going to read a book to you. We will look at the different things we have learned today after I read the book.
6. Teacher should now provide class with their own copy of text.  Teacher can continue to provide guided practice by going from page to page in the book and talking with children about: pointing out sentences and writing them on the chalk board, asking students to point to first and last word on page, and have students use their own copy to help show how to read from one line to the next.
7. A handout can give individual practice.  The first part of the handout should     contain sentences. Students should be asked to circle the first word of the sentence, and to place a box around the last word of the sentence. The second part should contain a list of sentences, but this time students should be asked to draw an arrow in the direction that they should be read.
8. Assessment should be given by handing out books to the students. Each student should be provided the same book, Cat Traps.  Teacher should have a checklist by each student’s name. Teacher should tell all students to place finger on the first word. Teacher would then go around the room and check off if the student achieved the task correctly. The assessment should continue until each concept discussed in class has been assessed.


Coxe, Molly(1996). Cat Traps. New York, New York. Random House, Inc.

Eldredge, J. Loyd (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Upper Saddle River, New  Jersey. Prentice Hall, Inc.

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