Lead your Partner to a good book!

reading partners

Growing independence and fluency design

by: Lauren Faucett

Rationale: It is important for children to read voluntarily. 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. When children get to choose reading materials on things that they are interested in, it encourages this voluntary reading habit.

Materials: students, school library with variety of level appropriate books selected by the librarian, and the assessment checklist that I developed.
 Example books:

A Chair for My Mother
by Vera B. Williams

A New Coat For Anna

by Harriet Ziefert

Abigail Takes the Wheel

by Avi

Adventure Stories That Will Thrill You

by Reading Rainbow


1. Take students to the library; “Has everyone heard of the saying to never judge a book by its cover? Well today we are going to the library and we are going to be following those directions by judging the books 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 it and it might be too hard for us to read, or we plain just don’t like it. Now today I am going to show you how to first choose a book and then decide if it’s the book for you.” I will then model going to the bookshelf and choosing a book with my eyes closed. "Now did you see how I could not judge this book by its cover because I had my eyes closed?"

2. I will then remind the students about the two-finger approach (strategy will have been introduced to students in the past). "Now 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."

3. With a partner, I will instruct the students to venture out into the book aisles together. They will choose a book and keep in mind the 'two-finger approach' when they look at the books they have chosen. I will 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 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 anyone else. With your partner, you are to go to the bookshelf, and I want one person to close their eyes while the other person will guide you towards the bookshelf. You will pick up the first book you feel. Now, if you are the person who is guiding 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!"

4. "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? 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? Right; 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 to see if it interests you or not." 

5. Once the students have found a book that is right for them, I will instruct them to help out their partner. After both of the students have found a book, they will then walk over to the other side of the library and begin reading silently until everyone has chosen a book. I will continue to remind the students that they must work silently together!



Did they find a book?

Did they participate fully and not hurt your partner?

Did they use the two-finger approach?

Did they find a book that is on your reading level?

: I will walk around the library and observe the students to make sure that each of them are participating cooperatively. I will also make comments on a checklist, such as in the one below:

References: Turn, Turn, Turn by Brandi Furguson http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/elucid/fergusongf.html

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