My Reading Journey

                                                                                                       By: Susan Grimes


Rationale: In order for students to become better readers, they must be able to read fluently and independently.  To be independent readers, students should be encouraged to read voluntarily. This lesson will promote voluntary reading by showing children how to choose books on their own, integrating student discussion groups into class time, and providing silent reading time in the classroom.



*List of books to present to students.  The following are five suggestions:  Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers, by Cynthia Rylant;  If You Give A Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff; Diego Saves the Tree Frogs, by Sarah Willso; Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, by Erica Silverman; and I Don’t Like to Read! By Nancy Carlson.


*Scheduled trip to the library and talk with librarian.

*Copies of Reading Journey Passport for each child.  (This is their personal reading log to be completed over a specified amount of time.)

*Di And The Mice and Pen Pals.  Published by Educational Insights.



1. Introduction- We all want to become independent readers, but to be independent, we have to like to read on our own.  This also means you have to learn how to read on your own.  Today we are going to learn how to choose a book to read on our own, as well as learn how to discuss our reading with our classmates, so we can share what we are reading and learning.


2. Review cross-checking- "First, let’s review how to make sure we are reading what the text actually says."  Using Di and the Mice, I will read the first sentence, "Di likes to run her bike."  "Run her bike?  That doesn’t sound right.  Let me read that again.  "Di like to ride her bike."  "Yes, that makes much more sense."


3. Discuss choosing a book appropriate for each child’s reading ability.  "The first part of beginning to read on our own is choosing a book.  Everyone will not like to same books, that is why it is important to learn how to choose a book you think you will like and be able to read.  If you have a book that is too difficult, you may not enjoy reading as much.  We will use the "Two-Finger Rule" to choose a book.                                                       We are going to read the first page of a book and put up one finger each time we come to a word we do not know.  If you have two fingers in the air after you are at the end of the page, that book is too hard."  I will model this technique using Di and the Mice.  I demonstrate reading haltingly and stumbling over three words, raising three fingers.  This book seems too hard.  Now I will try to read "Pen Pals".  I read this slowly and with only 1 error, raising only one finger.  "This book is better for me to try now because I had less than two fingers in the air."


4. Discuss content of the possible choice.  "Not only do we want to make sure that the book we choose is within our reading ability, but we want to make sure we are going to enjoy what we are reading.  Sometimes books have a summary on the back cover.  This tells some of what the story will be about.  Other times, we should think about the topic of the book".  I will show "If You Give A Mouse a Cookie" and say, "If I am not interested in a mouse eating a cookie, I should probably choose a different book.  Do not only look at the pictures, remember to read the first page and check the "Two-Finger Rule".  I would now do a book talk on the books in the materials list to spark their interest.


5. I would then take the class to the library.  I would introduce the librarian and allow her to make them comfortable and excited to be there.  They will directed to the section where appropriate books for this class is located.  Arrange for students to come often.


6. During class, I will provide time in the schedule for students to have silent reading time each day.  I will also read during this time.  Students will be paired weekly to discuss with their classmates about the stories they are reading.  This way they can share their excitement with multiple classmates, perhaps sparking their interest in the book.  I will also take time to share a little of my own readings. 


Assessment:  The Reading Journey Passport will serve as the assessment instrument for this lesson (see attached sheet).  Parents will be asked to sign each entry, thus keeping them up to date with their child’s reading and to provide some accountability for the student.




Lesson referenced: "I Can Read On My Own! By Erin Rice. Breakthroughs, May, 2001. http://www/auburn/edu/academic/education/reading_genie/breakthroughs/rice


Wilson, P. (1992).  Among Non-Readers:  Voluntary Reading, Reading Achievement, and the Development of Reading Habits.  In C. Temple and P. Collins (Eds.) Stories and Readers:  New Perspectives on literature int he elementary school classroom (pp. 157-169).  Norwood, MA:  Christopher Gordon.


Di and the Mice and Pen Pals;  by Educational Insights.


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