Rereading Favorite Books

Multiple Readings, Reading Familiar Texts

UDL 2.3 UDL 5.3

In Rereading Favorite Books, students listen to the teacher read a favorite picture book several times in order to build early literacy skills (e.g. concepts of print, story elements, letter and word identification). First, while students are seated at the rug, the teacher reads a big book and models concepts of print skills such as reading from left to right, top to bottom, pointing to each word and briefly stopping for periods. After the first read, the teacher asks a few simple comprehension questions (e.g. "Who are the characters?", "What happened at the beginning and the end of the story?"). The teacher continues to read the same book for 4-5 days and on each succeeding day presents increasingly rigorous questions. By the last day, some students can identify sight words and answer challenging comprehension questions (e.g. "Would you have gone into the Three Bears' home when no one was there? Why or why not?"). The familiar texts, repetition, and student engagement make this strategy particularly powerful for young learners.

Implementation Tips

Introducing the Strategy
Introduce the strategy once students are familiar with the classroom rules and routines. To begin, place great emphasis on pointing to each word, reading from left to right and top to bottom and stopping at periods. Finally, ask one or two comprehension questions.
Instructional Planning
Create instructional plans to ensure that each read of the story is growing students’ skills and deepening comprehension. Preserve instructional plans and note the comprehension questions used with each book. Pattern new lessons after ones that have been particularly effective.
Comprehension Questions
Increase the rigor of comprehension questions with each read. For example, after the first read of [[|The Three Bears]], ask students to identify the characters, setting and key events. After a second reading, have students summarize the story by explaining what happened first, next and last.
Incorporating a Story Board
Incorporate a [[!/resources/804dbe48-d797-4f55-6545-1b9215e3bf55|story board]] while rereading books to boost reading comprehension. Encourage students to draw and write about the sequence of events present in the story.
Follow Up Activities
Follow each read of a favorite book with a brief, engaging activity to support comprehension and reading skills. Students can color, cut, sequence, and paste pictures from the story. Or, students can make individual books about the story, illustrating a new page each day.
Using Puppets
Consider using puppets to invest students in rereading favorite books. Puppets can be used to retell a story and highlight key story elements, which supports students' comprehension. Use a favorite puppet or create one that resembles a character in the story.
Cross-Curricular Use
Integrate rereading favorite texts across subject areas, as this is an effective way to teach reading and comprehension skills. Choose a favorite book to reread related to a standards-based science or social studies theme (e.g. farm, plants, friends, Thanksgiving, etc.).


Reading a Text for the First Time
At the beginning of the school year, the teacher gathers the class at the rug and conducts a shared reading of the big book, [[|Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?]] by Bill Martin Jr. While reading the story, the teacher models how to point to each word and read from left to right and top to bottom. During the reading, the teacher pauses to ask student volunteers to identify where to start and stop reading on the page. The teacher also pauses to prompt students to make predictions (e.g. "What do you think the blue horse will see?"). Upon conclusion of the first read, the teacher asks some basic follow-up questions (e.g. "What was your favorite part of the story?").
Increasing the Level of Rigor
At the end of the week, after having engaged in multiple readings of [[,204,203,200_.jpg|The Gingerbread Man]], the teacher says, "We have been reading this story throughout whole week. Today, as we're reading, I want each of you to imagine you are the main character, the Gingerbread Man." The teacher then proceeds to reread the favorite story. While reading the story, the teacher pauses at key points to ask students to analyze what they would do if they were caught in the same situation.The teacher continues to ask challenging comprehension questions while students think-pair-share their answers as a whole group.
Targeting Specific Skills
Prior to engaging in a shared rereading of [[|The Three Bears]], the teacher says, "As we reread one of our favorite stories, we are going to practice sequencing. That means that we will be looking for the order in which events happen. We will talk about what happens first, next and last." At the start of the read aloud, the teacher models how to identify the sequence of events present in the story by asking and answering sequencing questions (e.g. “Whose porridge did Goldilocks try first?”). As the shared reading progresses, the teacher begins to call on student volunteers to answer sequencing questions. Following the reading, the teacher provides students with three images from the story. Students then practice sequencing by gluing the images in order on pieces of construction paper.

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